I’m still playing catch up on Amy Johnson Crow’s great challenge of examining 52 ancestors in 52 weeks and today I’ll be highlighting weeks 3 and 4.
Week 3: Longevity
I was lucky enough to actually meet who, to my knowledge at this point in time, is my relative who had the longest life span. My Gammy as she was often called by her grandkchildren and great grandchildren, was my great grandmother who passed away in 1987 at the age of 96.
Sadly I had no idea that I was going to get so fascinated with my family tree in the next handful of years, otherwise I would have asked more questions or paid more attention to Gammy when we went back to Pennsylvania and would visit her for an hour or so.
Margaret Wise was born on February 11, 1891 to Anna Maria Leighty and Jonas Wise. She lived in Pennsylvania her entire life. She married Charles Morgart in 1910 and they had 4 children, 3 living to be adults – one of them being my Grandma (who was my focus in Week 2). In 1917 Charles committed suicide when he was given a terminal diagnosis. She married two more times before she passed, where I hear she loved to play the “mouth organ” until the very end (a harmonica for those who don’t know the lingo).
My grandmother inherited her good genes as she lived to be 93. My dad and I have similar body shapes as my grandmother and I often wonder if we will eclipse 90 as well.
Below is a generational photo with my great grandmother holding me, my grandma and my dad.
Week #4: Invite to Dinner
Who would I want to invite to dinner. This is a difficult question. Instinctively I would choose my grandma once again, just because I miss her so much and would love to have more conversations with her. But the more I contemplate this, if I had to choose 1 person, I think I would select my grandma’s grandma or my great great grandma mentioned above, Anna Leighty.
Why Anna Maria Leighty (who my own grandmother was named after, Anna Maria Morgart)? There are certain mysteries I have discovered about her and a dinner with her I’m sure would clear lots of things up.
I have a distant relative, whose daughter was my Grandma’s cousin. I remember when we would go across town and pick her up for family dinners before she became too old and was put in a nursing home. Her name was Anna Mary Mullen, and when I read items online that her father, George Mullen, left behind, he claims that his mother was Anna Maria Leighty, yet he is never listed on a census with her. He was listed on a census with her mother, Mary Ellen Adams., as a grandchild, but that’s the most I have found how he is a relative.
I just find it strange that if he was Anna’s child, why wasn’t he living with her and her children? Was she married once before and my great great grandfather didn’t want anything to do with a child from her first marriage? Was she taken advantage of and so her mother was raising that child? So many questions that could be answered and I hope one day to finally find the answers to this mystery.
If you would like to participate in 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks join Amy Johnson Crow’s challenge by clicking here.