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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Re: Harris in Henry and Patrick Co. Virginia

This is off-topic. I just want to share my own family oral history to show why I have such little regard for it.
My grandfather lived with us in Brooklyn, New York, until I was fifteen. My parents and I knew that he was a retired Veterinarian and must have lived well as he had an 8x10 photo of himself and my grandmother in a luxury car in the 1920s. My mother wrote his obituary, thinking it was entirely true, "...retired veterinary surgeon, practiced and lived in Mount Vernon and Wakefield, New York, graduate of Fordham University and New York University." The 1900, 1910 and 1920 census and a quick check on attendance records at Fordham and NYU revealed that he spent his entire career in the Bronx: working for a printer in 1900, for a veterinary surgeon in 1910, working as a chauffeur in 1920 (probably borrowed the car for the photo)--and did not attend college.

Before we had television, we never cared whether his very entertaining stories were true or not. It is only human nature to want your loved ones to think well of you. And it is only us genealogists--representing a tiny portion of the population--who want to know what really happened.
Paul


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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