Long Lost Family

As my loyal readers are aware, I’ve been researching my family history, and it turned out to be a hot mess of historically significant awesomeness. In addition to helping me learn where I come from and who I am, my super secret wish was that this blog would help me meet more members of my extended family. Being the only child, my fear in life is that I will end up alone when I’m old, with no family for me to share my life with.

My family is full of strong personalities, passion and drama, and according to my research we’ve always been this way. The current generations are no different. The Brown side of my family is like a Lifetime movie of the week. The best stories, of course, I can’t write until more family members have died, or I get a book deal and a team of lawyers to defend me (hint). Until that time, I can only share the PG-13 stories about generations gone.

Today I met Dawn. Dawn is related to me through the Lucas family. As near as I can figure, we are 3rd cousins once removed. The Lucas Family is the side that came to Chico as pioneers and ran the meat shop. Want to know what Dawn does for a living? She is a meat cutter! The love of cattle and meat run strong in this family. It was amazing meeting Dawn. I felt bad I only had my lunch break to visit with her. But we did get to share stories from each of our immediate family, and it is safe to say, we are related! The stories and personalities that we got to share were freakishly similar.

Dawn and I at the memorial for John Henry Lucas Jr. in Children's Park, Chico, CA.

This family is huge, and during the 1900’s they all scattered and lost contact. During the late 1900’s they all died, leaving the younger generations with no way to learn about each other. Unfortunately I think this occurred because of anger and bitterness. My family can hold a grudge like no other, and after talking to Dawn about it, she confirmed that fact. A lot of our conversation was surreal, it was almost like talking to myself in a way. We have so much in common, from both having a partner that helps soothe our grudge holding ways, to having immediate family with alcoholism.

When my Grandfather died, I got a first hand lesson in grudge holding from my immediate family. How he chose to divide his estate caused a lot of hard feelings and anger for the immediate and not so immediate family (oh, yes, I have stories about THAT). So it’s really no surprise to Dawn and myself, that generations before did the same thing. I think in addition to the family drama, it was common during the early to mid 1900’s for people to move from country life to city life because of mechanized agriculture. I’ve seen a lot of evidence of that in my family tree.

Dawn and I plan on meeting up in the future. Her Mom has memories of staying on the Lucas Ranch, and meeting family members that have died. I want to interview her and learn all I can for the book that I someday plan on writing. Hopefully Dawn and I can combine our powers and research even farther back, back to Ireland and Germany. Then we can meet our European Family.

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