Wednesday, April 1, 2009

There are things that happen in a moment...

One of my favorite sayings is "There are things that happen in a moment that take a lifetime to explain." This is certainly true in genealogy - every person is a product of a "moment" between a biological father and a mother.

I posted about my Challenging Moral Dilemma almost two years ago, and nothing much has changed on that issue. I know Mary's surname, and who she married, and I don't think that there is a step-sibling of mine, unless she gave the baby up for adoption.

But WHAT IF my father had gotten Mary's father's approval, and had married Mary in Leominster, Massachusetts in 1940 or later? What would have happened? Here are some possibilities:

* There would have been no Randy Seaver (or his brothers) born in the San Diego area to Fred and Betty (Carringer) Seaver! Who would my mother have married? (Actually, another Randy Seaver WAS born in San Diego in 1963 - unrelated to me).

* San Diego High School and San Diego State University would have been deprived of one of their sterling graduates. Would they still care?

* A San Francisco woman would not have met this fellow at the bowling alley and fallen for his left-handed speed ball and wicked sense of humor. Who would she have married? Would they, and their children and grandchildren, be better off?

* Rohr Industries and Goodrich would have had to find another aerodynamics engineer to analyze flow fields and test thrust reversers.

* Two young girls would not have been born in the San Diego area with a fine New England ancestry.

* The San Diego Family History Center would have suffered a grave financial loss over the last 20 years.

* If Fred and Mary had children, what would have been the name of their first-born son? Probably not Frederick, Frank or Isaac. Perhaps Thomas, Walton, or Richmond, or Hildreth. Maybe Patrick, Michael or Sean?

* Would their first-born son have loved being with his grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, etc.? YES, I'm sure, very much so.

* Their children would have a fine Irish heritage, which would provide many elusive ancestors for their first-born son to identify and enjoy learning about, assuming that he cared about genealogy research.

* Their first-born son might have been a computer scientist, a teacher or baseball player rather than an engineer. Where would he have settled? Stayed in New England? Gone west?

* Who would their first-born son have married, and how many children and grandchildren would he have? It's impossible to know! But they would have a wonderful New England and Irish ancestry too!

* If their first-born son had turned to genealogy research, would the New England genealogy community be richer for his presence? Who knows.

Ah - there are things that happen in a moment... a simple YES to Fred when he asked Mary's father for her hand in marriage would have changed history in several places.

The amazing thing is that no one would have ever known the difference, eh?


GrannyPam said...

This is an interesting situation. I have one similar, but with a few more facts. I actually have a copy of a divorce naming my mother and a man I think was her first husband. I'll have to post on the situation, I'd love feedback from the genealogical community.

Craig Manson said...

Excellent. I think about things like this every time I miss the bus!