How I caught the genealogy bug

Updated: Jan 30, 2019

The genealogy bug bit me in 2000 when my mother showed me this old family photo that reminded me of Little House on the Prairie. I asked who the people were, and she told me all she knew was the baby on the lawn was her maternal grandfather. I had to find out who they were. Never before had I had any interest but that photo really sparked my curiosity. Who was his father? Where did they live? Where did they come from? Who are the other two adults in the photo? Who are the other children?

I began to search online and found the family relatively easily. The first find was the 1900 census, shown here:

It turns out, this photo was taken right around the same time as the 1900 census. The census revealed to us that the other two adults in the photo were Anna's brother and sister, David and Emily Robinson, which told us her maiden name - Robinson! I also noticed they were born in England and came to America less than twenty years prior. I had to know more - and I have found so much, but the hunger for more information is still not satisfied, and still the search continues.

Later, my great-uncle sent me a copy of the same photo, in much better condition. The house has since been torn down and is the site of West Penn Hospital's daycare playground. It was at the corner of Gross Street & Mend Way. Mend Way is the alley to the right of the house, which I couldn't see in my mother's copy, above.

It is true that knowing this information doesn't change anything about our lives today, but it brings them back into our minds to reflect upon the struggles and challenges they endured, enabling us to be here today - and for that we honor their memory by never forgetting.

For more information, see the Dickinson page.

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