Friday, September 23, 2011

Things to follow up

I’ve finished re-typing Aunt Laura’s “Chronicles.”  Phew—13 pages.  It was good for me.  Back in college I studied for exams by typing my notes.  There seems to be a more direct link between my fingers and my brain than my eyes and my brain.  Some odds and ends that I will be researching more as a result of reading her chronicle:

The Lytle children, at least the girls, seem to have bounced from the Children’s Home to their mother and grandmother and back several times.  I’ve asked for the records of the children from Summit County and received a very positive call from a “records liaison.”    She said records of that age are on microfiche, stored in another state, but she has put in the request and they are being searched for.  She told me if the records can be found, I can expect to see the dates the children were in the home, school records, who visited them, that sort of stuff.  I expect to hear on this front in the next three to four weeks.

Aunt Laura makes a statement to the effect the three girls had to leave the Home because my Dad had to leave when he was sixteen and no longer age qualified.  I’d like to understand more of why his leaving caused their leaving.   I hope there's a hint in the Children's Home records.

Because I assumed the girls went to St. Joseph’s in Cleveland, which is run by Immaculate Heart of Mary, Aunt Ruth’s order, I wrote the Cleveland Catholic Diocese requesting available records.  But, have not heard one word.  Aunt Laura’s chronicle covers those school years very well, and she said she and Ruth were placed at the Good Shepherd Convent in Cleveland and finished school there.  So, that is settled.  As a footnote to Aunt Laura’s story of their high school years, I have a note from my cousin Marge, Aunt Helen Rita’s daughter, that says Aunt Gen took Aunt Ruth out of the Children’s Home in her teens to help Aunt Gen with her sons, so Aunt Gen could work.  Aunt Gen repaid Aunt Ruth by subsidizing nursing school for Aunt Ruth.  Aunt Gen is one of my father’s aunts with whom we were not close during my childhood; my dad accounted her one of the several relatives who steered Aunt Ruth firmly toward taking orders.  Dad always felt she deserved a better life; Aunt Ruth always felt she had a wonderful life.

The great-great grandparents of the five Lytle children were born in Ireland.  Aunt Laura places both husband and wife from Cork.  I have some genealogy work that shows John Maley from County Cork, but his wife, Elizabeth Mulholland from Kilrea Parish in Northern Ireland.  Given the geographical distance, the times (the potato famine in full sway) and the poverty of the country, I assumed they had met emigrating, or in this country.  Aunt Laura says Elizabeth Mulholland was an accomplished mid-wife and John Maley is believed to have been a doctor.  I hope to work this out in the favor of my dad, who was labeled a Shanty Irishman by my mother’s grandmother!  Perhaps instead of starving peasants they were young professionals of the age.  I am grateful that so many starving families were able to emigrate from Ireland and all of Europe as the stupidity of many governments caused death and destruction of millions.  But--wouldn't it be fun to know that superiority is as superiority does, grandma Troike!

Aunt Laura wrote over 8,000 words, and I decided not to edit any out.  I’ve always found a lovely Irish lilt to her phrasing.  We corresponded for years; both of us loved to write.  So, I will post her chronicle in several logical sections.  You won’t be disappointed. And no, none of her letters to me remain.  Too soon old, too late wise, as the proverb says.

Kilrea - - 342208.jpg
Kilrea, County Londonderry, Ireland
From Wikipedia


  1. Had great great grandparents myself that came from Ireland during the doubt they were dirt poor and never got much better. They would be amazed to see how their descendents live today.

  2. Back in the '60's, during the great folk revival, I was very involved in roots and considered myself very Celtic. Even made myself a Lindsey plaid kilt. My dad, who I knew was Irish, would not be drawn into any discussion and my mom said it was because he was not happy with being perceived by her relatives as Shanty Irish.