Monday, August 15, 2016

Notes From My Grandmother | Potwin Lineage and Genealogy, an Introduction

Somehow, much of my grandmother's hand written and (badly) typed notes and research wound up in my possession. Traveling from Chicago to Los Angeles and back to Chicago again. It sat, in the dark of my mother's closet, until my dad passed and my mom decided to begin her great purge. Knowing I had picked up the torch, the next generation to pursue the Greatest Hobby on Earth, the papers came to live with me. Unsure for many years on just what to do with them, I have decided to bring them out and share them with you - transcribed, of course - no one can read my grandmother's handwriting! But in her own words; mistakes, rambling sentences, and all. I think she will be pleased her work and her writing are once again out in the light.

An introduction to Elizabeth Twining Potwin Thomas' compiled Potwin Lineage and Genealogy:

"Mrs. Beulah E. Simms Potwin was my truly faithful inspiration. I never met her. We were true "pen Pals". I was inspired to read telephone books; in the many towns and cities I would search for family names, (ours are rather unusual - Potwin (Twining), and call them on the phone. (People do enjoy talking about their families). This was years before 'roots' became popular.

Bob Potwin is listed in the Santa Monica phone book. In conversation with his (they live in Brentwood, CA) wife I learned of Mrs. Thomas D. Potwin (Bob's mother) who lived in Yakima, WA and that she also was interested in genealogy. For years we corresponded and I treasure, and still have, letters and linage material. She is no longer living, God rest her soul, as I at last have come to the the end of my family saga (my branch of the Potwin line) Her husband's father was a brother of my great grandfather. FANTASTIC! 26th day of April, 1980 

For 14 years I have amassed my treasures (ha). Not just the Potwin line; the Twining, Rowley, Ashby and Thomas. And oh, what active and diversified ancestors! I've researched Plantagenets (another lead from Beulah via Thomas Costain's books - she was a learned lady too) My mother would have enjoyed Beulah's letters. From my mother's family scrapbook I copied reams of papers with and of information that I incorporated in my "Family Story" (of both Potwin and Twining - fini - 4/16/80) In researching the Huguenots, where the Poitevine's figured greatly I found the Twinings (Pilgrims) and Rowleys (Roily is French) interested in the same causes and problems. From my mother's family scrapbook there is enough information for the 'other side'. I hope to put it together soon. There were many Potvins in Canada (different spelling). I should have looked up Twining when I lived in Canada; many migrated to Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and eastern Canada from England. Montreal phone books were full of Potvin family (of course M. is French). I brows through phone books in Torrence CA, Inglewood, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Westwood, Santa Monica and Brentwood.

Francis H. Potwin, Inglewood, who's father was Louis J. Potwin Jr. from Vermont. Mrs. Thomas D. Potwin's husband's family were in Connecticut where many of my line originated. (ETPT)

I wonder what the outcome or finished manuscripts would have been like had I become serious about genealogy before 1966. I do not know where I could have found more facts and stories. The last Christmas my husband, I and all the children were together I had completed a copy for each of the family tree. That was Christmas 1954! In the little room where the best seller 'Snake Pit' had been written; - no, no not by me! (ha) At that time I had meager information of the Thomas clan; all that Mother Thomas and Irene knew ...... "

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©1980 Elizabeth Twining Potwin Thomas - private collection

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