Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Family Stories at the Courthouse

The San Antonio Skyline.Image via Wikipedia
Yes, I went to San Antonio, Texas the week after Christmas to visit my sister and family.  But I also had high hopes of discovering more about my secretive grandfather, Big Paw Paw.  And all his women.

And I was not disappointed.

Before going to the courthouse for uncovering all of Big Paw Paw's secrets research, I visited with my aunt (Big Paw Paw's daughter; my dad's sister), and she reminded me of something about him that I hadn't really forgotten but really needed to hear again.  He hadn't been a nice person to his family.  He had been mean.

I know I've mentioned all that to y'all before.  It's just easy to forget because I never knew him, and I have distance.  So when I make fun of him and make you (& myself) laugh at him, I'm really making fun of him and laughing at him.  It's no mistake that I use a lot of sarcasm.  I mean, shouldn't some good come from Big Paw Paw? It's high time he caused people to smile, don't you think?

So the day after visiting with my aunt, my sister took my kids to North Star Mall in San Antonio, a place I love. Sisters can be so mean, right?  But I love genealogy more.  So she offered to buy the boots like hers for me that I had tried on in her closet & instantly wanted.  Badly.  And I set off to go digging around in Big Paw Paw's past at the courthouse.  (So, sisters aren't so mean, eh?)

San antonio riverwalkImage via WikipediaParking is easy and great for a city of San Antonio's size.  Plus, it helps that I know downtown like the back of my hand.  So after going through security, I headed down to the basement.  Yes, I said, "basement".  In Texas.  You see, the river runs through downtown, and there's a river level with shopping and restaurants.  Then, there's a street level with, well, the downtown area.  Like many of the buildings downtown, there's a river level, or "basement", and then the above ground levels or stories.  And the place I was looking for, the District Clerk's office, was down below.  And easy to find.  A lady took me behind a door with a security code to the much coveted area of original city recording books, microfilm, and way cool automated microfilm readers.  And beautiful jewelry?  Yes, a friend of the ladies in the basement was selling some handmade jewelry, which we all were oohing and aahing over.  With the thought that this was meant to be otherwise why was it here? thinking, I purchased a really cute necklace.

The Bexar County, Texas Courthouse located at ...Image via WikipediaWith the shopping out of the way, the lady who was assisting me asked me the years and surname that I was interested in looking at so she could pull the correct record book.  She pulled it and directed me to an unoccupied desk.  She was really pleased that I already had the file number of my grandfather's divorce suit.  I also told her that I'd like to peruse the "Marshall" surname and all the entries for more of Big Paw Paw's lawsuit activity, and she said it'd be no problem.  She went to shop for jewelry, and I began to shop for Big Paw Paw's secrets.  I wasn't disappointed.  Big Paw Paw had been popular, or maybe infamous, at the courthouse.  I quickly wrote down the necessary info for them (There were several very nice and generous ladies in the office.) to pull the microfilm.  

The microfilm that would tell me some of Big Paw Paw's secrets.  

Secrets about his family and women.

[Stay tuned for Big Paw Paw's secrets. I didn't really have to tell you that, did I? ;) ]
Enhanced by Zemanta


  1. So you got to shop (at least for a necklace) and do genealogical research simultaneously?! Well played.

  2. Being able to research and shop - amazing.

  3. Can't wait to read more!! I do know what you mean about having distance. It's easy to laugh about the foible of our ancestors when we didn't have to experience any of the negative impacts first hand.

    Also, I think you have discovered a niche market...set up jewelry shops in all archives/courthouse basements. I'd be all over that.

  4. Love the way you lead us up to "come back for more"... I hate cliff hangers. ;)
    Excited for you that the visit paid off.

  5. what a place to stop! i was just ready to learn the secrets!


Inappropriate comments will be deleted. So keep it clean and be nice.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...