Thursday, 3 December 2015

Letter to Grandma, 2015

Today, December 3rd, 2015, would have been my Grandma's 83rd birthday. She passed away in 1980, ten years before I was born. In 2013, I wrote her a little letter which I shared on my blog. I have decided to share it again. I have made some additions though, to make it more relevant to the current year.

Dear Grandma,

Happy 83rd Birthday in Heaven! <3

I wish I could have known you. You were taken away from us far too soon. 

I know you would be so happy that I caught the genealogy bug from you. I have started referring to you as the Genealogy Queen in the family. Does that make me the Genealogy Princess? Hehehe. You would be amazed at all the technology and the discoveries I have made about my ancestors. I think you would have loved being part of the online genealogy community, but you would still have used your traditional methods. :-) How I would have loved to go to court houses, churches, cemeteries and Civil War Battlegrounds with you. We would have had so much fun together, especially with all the genealogy happy dancing I’ve been doing lately! 

For most of my life I knew you through a small number of photographs and stories. Then came June of 2011. That was the first time I ever saw video footage of you. No words. Silence. It did not need words. I saw you moving, walking and smiling. I do not think anyone in my family really knows just how happy I was, seeing the videos of you.

In October 2013, Aunt Molly sent Mum some old letters that you had written to my Great Grandparents (Grandad's parents) in the 1960s. For the first time, I was reading things you had written. For the first time, I was reading what you were thinking. Your thoughts. That is something I never thought I’d get to discover.

You would be thrilled to know that in February this year, I went to Salt Lake City for the first time ever. I'm sure you would have known what's in Salt Lake City - The Family History Library! In one of your letters, you wrote about the Latter Day-Saints opening a Family History Library/Research Center in Anchorage while you were living there. That made me smile. While I was in Salt Lake City, I went to two of the biggest genealogy conferences in the world - RootsTech & the Federation of Genealogical Societies. Oh Grandma, I had THE. BEST. TIME. EVER. I wish you could have been there with me. I wish I could call you on the phone and tell you all about it. I met so many wonderful people, and made some amazing life-long friends. In a way though, it felt like you were with me. And guess what Grandma?! I met another young genealogist from Texas who has the name Swindell in his ancestry. We're not sure if we're cousins or not yet. Still checking. But how awesome is that?

I cannot wait to go back to Texas (soon, hopefully!) and hang out with Uncle David for a while. He is (fingers crossed) going to take me to all these places that are significant to our family history. Plus, we're going to go through all your genealogy stuff. I know I already said it, but I cannot wait!

Thank you for giving me this intense love that I have for genealogy. I never expected it.

I love you.

My Grandma, Nancy Robinson
Nancy Robinson
Born: 3 December 1932, Texas, USA.
Died: May 1980, New Mexico, USA.


  1. Such a lovely letter... your grandmother would be so proud of you. I wish you every success in finding so many more connections.

  2. Reading this brought tears to my eyes. I have become the "family genealogist" because of family treasures left behind like old photos, old letters, old family possessions that ended up with me somehow, and an intense interest in keeping and finding family momentos, photos, memories alive. So far I have a family tree on ancestry, scanned hundreds of photos, looking for someplace to develop some old negatives, and trying to organize it all. My Dad also had an old scrapbook someone made for him in Germany and other places in Europe of pictures he took there when in the Korean war. I understand your passion for family and gathering whatever you can to keep it going into the future generations.

  3. I missed this when you posted. Such a heartfelt conversation with your grandma.