Thursday, April 14, 2016

Finding Faulkner: Part Two | Operation Grampa

It started, as good quests always do, with a family tale.

The title made me laugh. My dad had been trying to uncover more information on his grandfather who had died a year before he was born. Knowing how tight-lipped my grandfather was about anything past, I didn't doubt that he never spoke of his own father. (dead is dead). My father knew that "Grampa" was a doctor in Minnesota. He knew that his name was Lloyd Anson Faulkner. He was attempting to discover more about his medical schooling, and trying to unearth his school records.

He had notes from people he had contacted, books he had referenced, libraries and other places he had called. Looks like he started out believing his grandfather went to Rush Medical College in Chicago, but through a series of phone calls and letter writing (this was done pre-internet!) he had traced his way to a man that gave him the answer: Bennett Medical College. Upon further investigation he learned that Bennett was now part of Loyola University. From his notes it appears that he was successful in speaking to someone at Loyola, but as to the outcome, all that followed was a xeroxed page from a yearbook and a copy of a letter sent.

I don't know if he ever got the answers he was looking for.

What caught my eye was the piece of yellow legal pad paper with my mother's handwriting on it. She had written down some notes as to Lloyd's parents. When I asked her about it she told me she was taking notes during a conversation my dad had had with his cousin. Since his cancer diagnosis in the late 1990's my dad had been stepping up his communication with her. They were both only children, their parents were twins, and I suppose my dad just wanted to gather as much family info as he could before he was gone.

Well, as far as I was concerned I had just found the Holy Grail! There on the paper were the names of Lloyd's father and mother (with maiden name!), his grandfather and his siblings! Birth and death dates and burial info.

After doing the Superior Dance (oh, like you have never done it) I set in to research this new found family of mine. (Later, it would turn out that someone had done some bad genealogy - but we'll get to that in due time.)

Shelving "Operation Grampa" for the time being I set my sights on finding my 2nd and 3rd great grandfathers......

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