Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I Found Adam & Bessie

And I mean that literally.....

A few weeks ago, after finding Adam's obituary, I was able to determine where he was buried, though a website called, I know, weird, right? Trust me, this is a dream site for genealogists.  At first I found the record of where they were laid to rest. They also have a feature on the site where you can put in a request for a photo and if someone near that grave site sees it, maybe they will do this for you. On a lark, not expecting a reply, I listed Adam and Bessie.

A complete stranger, named (ironically) Chrissy, picked up my request, went to the cemetery, and found them for me. She took this picture and posted it today. A COMPLETE STRANGER did this for me....
Wow. Just wow.

It gave me chills. I'm a little overwhelmed by it actually. 

And kind of a little sad.

I mean it's not like I expected to find him alive and well somewhere. I know he's 126. And I even know how he died. He had a heart attack. He was only 59.  He's in Watertown NY, not Syracuse.

It overwhelms me that my 26 year old man has no idea he is going to die of a heart attack at 59 and I do.  Bess has no idea she's to live the last 20 years of her life without him.

At this point I should note that my friend Deanna called today because she's thinks I'm going a little overboard in my devotion to (my) Adam. (It was that lap comment from last night.)

Sometimes when I read it, and,  for instance, he talks about his boss Bill, and then later Bill gets fired, it's almost comical-Like I'm omniscient or something. And I want to assure the February Adam that in April, Babcock will be his boss. It's all going to be ok. And on the night Bess gets mad over the shoes, I want to whisper in his ear, "It's ok, by Saturday you'll be sleigh riding with her and you have 'a fine time.'"  (I love his use of the word fine.)

I know all of our lives are like that.We have no idea what is around the next corner, and sometimes it's so far off from what we think or imagine. We never know. However, in this case, in a few instances, I DO know what's around the corner for Adam, a little of it anyway.

I know you can get all kinds of published diaries out there and experience the same thing, that's nothing new. It's his real handwriting on the actual pages that make such an impression on me. I don't know and it's a little hard to explain.

But I see that diary in my hands and then this picture above and hope the years between 1910 and 1943 were Fine ones....


SweetMissMagnolia said...

oh goodness that is sad.....but in a way legitimizes all the entries-these were real people.....awe....

Unknown said...

As I started reading the first paragraph I found it all a bit creepy but then my thoughts switched over to "hey my MIL would love that site!" I immediately shot her an email with the link and then I continued to read on about your "find".

This new information tells us a bit more about their commitment/love for each other. I would assume seeing as Bessie was buried next to Adam she must have stayed a widow for those 20 years. :\

Krista said...

Coolest thing ever. I seriously just got chills.

It makes you wonder what they may or may not have done differently if they had known.

I often think about how short life really is, and how we just never know what will happen. I think it comes from losing a parent in my teens?

Christine said...

Kristin-That's what I thought-That she probably didn't remarry. I imagine her last name is still Filsinger.

Although my own grandma, who has been with Bob for 13 years and is not married to him will be buried next to my grandfather where she already has a spot. Most people aren't the swinger my grandma is though ;-)

Christine said...


I KNOW!!!!Thank you for appreciating the coolness factor of this with me. I really appreciate that!!!

Krista, I didn't realize you lost your Dad that young.

Last night I was out to dinner and a friend and I were talking about how you just never do know. A friend of a friend of ours lost her husband who was 47 just yesterday. And we just saw this person about a month ago and she was having a good time and she had no idea that in a month's time everything would change.

However, it always seems like we say those things in regard to bad things. I'd really like to be able to say, "Why just last week I was stressing over money and I had no idea that this week I would win the lottery" or something similar.

Of course that would require me to play the lottery but you get the picture.

Krista said...

So true! I think it is human nature to think of the bad. Well, at least it is THIS humans nature to look at the bad. The glass is always half empty around here. lol

I really wish we could find some living descendants of theirs. I am so ready to posthumously stalk them to find out what we can!

Yup... my dad's side of the family all drops off young. His dad was 42, my dad was 58, etc. Of course, that is balanced by my mom's side where my grandpa lived to be 92, my grandma is still going strong at 91, her mom was 93 when she died... I might live a nice and average length of time!

Christine said...


I've been pondering finding his descendants and it's so much more difficult to go forward as the census becomes less helpful and non-existent for the public after 1930 at this point.

I have faith (and I'm only kind of joking) that Adam is going to help me out with this somehow!

Meredith said...

I am reading this post and I am just sitting here, nodding my head.

So cool!!!!!! FindaGrave is AWSOME by the way, and in no way weird.

I know exactly what you mean when you say it is overwhelming and sad. I feel the same way when I “find” someone. Like, I was looking for the stone of my great, great, great grandparents and when I finally found it, I was actually disappointment. It was a lovely stone, but for some strange reason, I was thinking there would be more to it. Like, I was actually expecting them to be alive or something. Or at least have some sort of hallelujah chorus playing from somewhere with the clouds parting and the sun shining right on the stone.

Being omniscient – that’s it! – that feeling I get when I am looking through census records and I know that so-and-so will be in the 1920 census and I find them and I know that they died in 1927 and will not be in the 1930 census. I want to say “Hey, don’t eat all that meat! You are going to have a heart attack in 1927!” Or, “stay off that tractor! You are going to have an accident!” Like it matters but it is sad that I know what is going to happen to them and they had no clue.

It makes me sad at times because you are right, it is overwhelming, to know what is going to happen to all these people.

And some say when someone is looking me up in the 2010 census, they will know things about me.

I wish I could go back and tell them to keep a journal. I wouldn’t care if it was all about cleaning out the barn or something. It would be great to see their handwriting. I know that they touched that page with their own hands. That is the best part because I can feel a real connection.

Now I am really weird, right?

Christine said...

Thanks Meredith-You can tell the real genealogy fans because they totally "get" this. To other people I probably seem like some nut chasing dead people.

The fact that the diary is in his own hand is what makes it special to me. Of course, I should take note and keep my own. I at least filled out the census form right away ;-).

That's a funny comment that you expected the hallelujah chorus to be playing when you found the stone! Or perhaps expected that your ancestor would be sitting it when you got there. I get that.

I do so love finding something like that though and can almost hear the "click" as something falls into place!