I have never really given much thought to exploring my family tree, mainly because it always seemed more like a family shrub than a tree.
By the time I was 3 years old, all but one of my grandparents had died. The only one I have any recollection of is my grandfather on my mother’s side. He lived in the apartment downstairs from us in a shoebox-shaped, two-family in the North End of Providence until my mid-teens, when he passed away. He was an Italian immigrant who became a mill worker, but he may have made the most amusing impression on his grandchildren in the kitchen, where he painstakingly built salads decorated with hard-boiled eggs and mixed Jell-O with canned fruit cocktail. We thought it was weird.
So I was a little skeptical when Sylvia Bartholomy of the American French Genealogical Society approached me recently with a proposition.
How would you feel about having your family tree done? she wanted to know.
Full story appears on page A1 of Saturday's Call.