2019: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 30 (July 22 – July 28): Easy
I “first” joined Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on its “first” year in 2014… and what a whirlwind year that was… writing, editing and researching daily for 365 days! As much as I wanted to continue the following year, I found that I didn’t have the time to continue another year with that type of research… although I did continue blogging and writing stories at my own pace, which allowed me to write on other topics as well as family stories when ideas came my way… but I’ve often missed it. The first year were no specific weekly prompts like today… but I’m taking a different spin on them. There will be some posts on a specific ancestor, but most will be memories that spring from those prompts. Head over to 2014 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks to read about my ancestors in the first years challenge.
If you’re new to genealogy, make your “first” stop to Amy’s website for genealogy ideas or even join in on this 52 Week challenge… you learn by doing… not procrastinating! There is no right or wrong… anything you do is a start!
What’s the Secret?
City vs Country life?
Factory worker vs Farmer?
Home-grown food vs Supermarket bought?
So what’s the secret to a long “easy” life? Everyone has their own thoughts on this… is it the way we eat, where we work, how we live, or even where we live? Both our ancestors, for the most part, grew their own food, but lived in different locations. All mine lived in the South, and were dirt farmers… while my husband’s ancestors lived in the North, and lived within the city limits.
My grandfather, Edgar T. McKinley once went to a Bryan family reunion with my parents in the Georgia Blue Ridge mountains… upon arriving, the first thing Granddaddy McKinley asked of the men, “where are your cemeteries“… and was quickly told, “we don’t need them.” It seems that they lived long lives in the mountains, although probably not an “easy” life! Granddaddy had constantly remarked during the trip as to how he hadn’t seen any cemeteries, and it puzzled him.
While “Longevity” is defined as being a “long life”… it’s not always an “Easy” life. If you live longer than the average person… you are said to have longevity, but not everyone had an easy time in achieving that old age… but we still seem to strive in reaching it!
Pedigree chart of Steve Insalaco
My husbands pedigree “direct line” showing the ages at death… no one lived past age 87 for women and 79 for men. As I don’t have ages of death going back any further, I have no comparisons for those living in Italy. Is a young death age a sign of not an “easy” life?
Pedigree chart of Jeanne Bryan Insalaco
My chart shows a high age of 80 for the women in my line and 86 for the men; ironically they are both my father’s parents! If I took this chart back further, my highest age for a woman would still be 80 as a direct descendant and age 99 for a direct male… my great-great-great grandfather, Berrian Clark Bryan. (B.C. Bryan not showing on chart) Directly in my line also is a 2nd cousin, 2x removed, Ila Stargel Sewell Jones who lived to the age of 114. At the time of her death in 2017, she was the oldest woman living in Georgia and the second longest living woman in the entire United States. I had the privilege of meeting and enjoying much correspondence with her over the years. Did she have an easy life to reach that age? Like my husband always says… “nothing in life is “easy” or free.”
Sibling Charts: Cambino and DeTulio
Cambino Siblings DeTulio Siblings
Even though my husband’s great grandfather Giovanni (DeTulio) only lived to age 67 and his great grandmother, Julia (Catalano) to age 72… it seems for the most part, that their children lived a much longer life… maybe because it was easier! Daughters, Mary, lived the longest in this family to age 93, Josephine (JoJo) to age 92, and sister Carmela (Carmel) to age 90. The younger sisters, Domenica (Minnie), Antoinette, and Rosa (Rosie) lived until their late 80’s except for sister Lucia (Lucy), who died at age 76. The oldest brother, Michael (Mikie), lived until age 70, the next brother Nicholas (Nicky) lived until age 85, while their youngest brother, Andrew, was the first one to die at age 56… it hadn’t been an easy life for him.
In knowing my husbands aunts and uncles, I believe the one thing they all had in common was that they remained of a sound mind. Steve’s grandmother, Minnie, remained very sharp until the end… she never forgot anyone’s phone number or ingredients in a recipe.
In the Cambino family, my husband’s grandfather, Giuseppe. lived to age 72, while his grandmother, Minnie (Domenica), lived until age 86; again, the wife outlived her husband, which unfortunately has been the case in most of the families. The siblings in this family show the oldest sister (Catherine) living to age 90, while the oldest brother (Freddie) only lived to age 60. What factored in the difference of longevity here, might be an easy lifestyle? work? If you look at male vs female in ages of death… all three brothers died before any of the sisters. Did the sisters have an easier life in not working outside the home after the marriage?
If we all knew as a child… or even as a young adult… as to what we now know in our later life… we wouldn’t rush to grow up quite so fast… and hopefully we’d live a more “easy” lifestyle!
Think back to how you couldn’t wait for school summer vacation to begin…. learn to drive… get your license… graduate from high school… get married… have a family… have children… hurry them along to crawl, walk, talk… and soon they are married… the grandchildren come… you’re getting older and soon called grandma/grandpa…your life is becoming shorter and shorter now… and it doesn’t get any easier!
So what does this mean? Stop rushing life… enjoy your children, don’t rush them to walk and talk so soon… take time to enjoy the easy part of your life… it ends too quickly!
Live for Today, Tomorrow isn’t promised to any of us!
Don’t rush your “Easy” Life!
Stay tuned for Week 31: Brother
Continue reading 2019: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks over HERE!
To read more Family Stories… click HERE.
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