Earlier this evening, as the last few hours of my 45th year were winding down, I figured I’d clear out my Todoist inbox then maybe take a bath and call it an early night.
One of the action items in my inbox was a link to the following tweet from the Los Angeles Public Library:
I clicked over to the site and my password manager immediately filled in my library credentials and automatically logged me in.
OK, might as well check it out.
Since my grandfather, father and I all share the same name, I entered that into the search box and, the next thing I know, I’m staring at a scan of my grandfather’s registration card. Hey, that’s my pop-pop’s signature! When he was only 20!
Then I found his father’s registration card.
And then HIS father’s! Whoa!
I kept digging. I followed a thread which took me to a sheet from the 1940 census. Then to the 1930 one. And the 1910! And finally, the 1850 census where, at the top, was the name of my great, great, great, great grandfather who, apparently, was a cabinet maker from Germany. (How he would feel about me being a theme-park performer, I can only imagine.)
I even ended up finding his Naturalization card AND what I believe is the passenger list of the boat that brought him to America. So crazy.
My mind is in a whir right now, more thoughts than I could possibly articulate before the clock strikes 46-years-old but, man, what a cool surprise.