For starters I went through the notes I have from my maternal side, whose information was previously gathered by my Aunt Grace. I also dug into my paternal side. Loads of material was available from a pamphlet printed on the occasion of a celebratory family party held in New York for my father on his 91st birthday (he celebrated one additional birthday after that). Please note the buttton to add 'husband' to my little corner - how optimistic. Juan and Dolores are in there, but they don't show.
The upper, paternal side of my tree are the Millers & Johnsons. The lower maternal side of my family, are the Carters & Cordles.
And the past few days here is a tidbit I’ve added to to what was previously known.
I also discovered there is a book, Encyclopedia of Latin American and Caribbean Literature, 1900-2003 by Daniel Balderston, Mike Gonzalez which mentions another maternal ancestor, Edward Cordle. He wrote a serial newspaper column based on a fictitious pair of characters Lizzie & Joe; their stories were written in the patois vernacular of Barbados, which in those days was a daring thing. I don’t want to kick in the $90 necessary to purchase the Encyclopedia volume. But I understand – or perhaps misinterpret, there is another book too, entitled Overheard which was published, or so I believe, in 1903. I’d pay $90 for that book – if I can find a copy.
Now for the real challenge! On my paternal side, pretty much everything is a mystery. I am going to have to stop being a freakn’ arse and call my father's nieces - in particular Sandra and Anita - if I ever hope to puzzle out at least the stuff that is still remembered first &/or second hand. For example, here is a photo of my maternal Grandma, Caroline Josephine Johnson Miller.
Family story: My father told a story how on one of his first ship voyages out of Panama, he stopped in Jamaica to visit his mother's sister (half sister?) hi Aunt, whom he'd heard about from his mother Caroline. When he got there, his Auntie horribly snubbed him [the bitch]. She wouldn't let him in the front door, making walk round to the back door to let him in. After that uneasy visit my father still stopped by another time and by then the entire Jamaican branch of the clan had gone back to England - no forwarding address. Someday I hope to drop in on my unsuspecting British cousins and get snubbed first hand for myself [the bastards!].
For better or worse, the whole Brit thing pops up in my family on both sides, no surprise as both sides are firmly rooted in British colonies of Jamaica, Barbados and to a lesser degree in Trinidad. My maternal grandmother Adele never gave up her British citizenship. My father used to razz her about it all the time. 'You love that damned John Bull, don't you? What's that flag and crown ever done for you, eh?' Indeed!
Daddy probably had a point. Still, whether it did anything for us or not, the Brit influence might just explain my fascination with the Beatles and Harry Potter and wine gums . Really – you have no idea.