Monday, February 24, 2014

Location, Location, Location

I have the great fortune of living in New York City as I research my ancestors in New York City. Not everyone can live where they research, but I highly recommend it.

It's nice to have the kind regular, incidental interactions with the lives of my ancestors that occurs when you live in close geographical proximity. I attend church at the parish where my 2x great-aunt was a member. I've been known to point out to friends, on our way home from an evening out, "That's where my grandparents were married." And just last week, when reminding myself of the neighborhood where my grandmother grew up for a note in this post, I remembered that my grandmother, Marilyn Mulcahy, had been baptized at St. Anselm's Church in Bay Ridge.

Baptism of Marilyn Mulcahy, 11 March 1931

This sounded a little familiar, and it didn't take me long to realize that I was there, last summer, when my friends' son was baptized. At the time, I had no idea that the church should hold any particular significance for my family, so it's a bit of a missed opportunity, but also one of those small moments of serendipity that connect me to my ancestors through time - whether I realize it or not.

It also, luckily, means I'm just an e-mail away from having a photograph of the church where my grandmother was christened. 

The happy parents with baby Jamie at St. Anselm's
Godmother April, parents Jeff and Michelle, and me holding Jamie
Photos courtesy of Michelle's dad.

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