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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Some Field Work and Gary Flanagan

The recent months have taken me away from my seat at the computer in the office at our home.  I still find time late at night to complete some searching on and to write my blog for the next morning's 8am scheduled post.  That scheduled queue posting option does come in handy.

What has taken me away from my seat?  Well, in addition to my normal duties as a "stay-at-home mommie", I have been doing some "field work".  My first venture was in the closet at my mom's house.  She has a box full of her parents information.  It includes yearbooks, photos, momentos, and other documents.  When I started looking through the box, I was not prepared for the overwhelming amount of information.

I also spotted a stack of unmarked photos of my grandparents with a little boy.  It was their son, Gary Flanagan.  He died when he was a toddler of a bowel obstruction.  That is, in fact, a fairly common birth defect and successfully remedied nowadays.  In the early 1940s, it was not so easy.  There was apparently a bit of a logistics snafu as to where he would have surgery.  He passed away on the operating table.  I believe that he was under two years old at the time.  I'll have to double check my family tree.

In the past, Gary's photos were no where to be found.  His death was just too upsetting for my grandparents, especia1ly for my grandma.  In recent months, I found a photo of Gary in my mom's photo album.  Again, it was unmarked with my grandpa holding him.  To find a stack of photos was pretty amazing.  In looking at various photos of Gary, I realize just how much he looked like my mom as a child.  My mom never knew her brother, he died before she was born.

My decision a few weeks back was to leave my grandparents and Gary's information at my mom's place.  There is so much in her huge box that I only grabbed the information that really belongs in the "box of treasures" that I do have on loan from my mom.  To my pleasant surprise and suspicion, there were photos of Jack Flanagan in the box at my mom's house.  There are also a few newspaper articles about his exploits in hunting and fishing.  I will post those soon.

So I grabbed what I could find in the box about my great-grandparents.  This includes a transcribed diary written by Herbert Borchers, Sr.  I can't wait to read through those entries.  I actually knew him.  He passed away just before I turned eight years old.

Is there more field work in my future?  Maybe over the summer.  I just found a whole lot of information to go through.  Yet again, treasures abound.


I did get to look up Gary's information on my tree:

Gary Richard Flanagan, b. 28 Dec 1941, Napa, California; d. 9 Feb 1943, Napa, California
Source:  California Birth and Death Indexes

---He is buried with his parents, Richard Joseph Flanagan and Dorothy Marie Borchers Flanagan at Tulocay Cemetery in Napa, California.  This Flanagan Family Plot is known to me to include John "Jack" Francis Flanagan and Mary "Minnie" Elizabeth McLaughlin Flanagan; Catherine "Kay" Veronica Flanagan Fratessa and Joseph Bertram Fratessa; Ellen Maxwell Flanagan; and Anne Fratessa Scoville.  I haven't visited the site since my grandfather's burial in 2000.  I will need to venture there soon.  At least with this Flanagan Family Plot, I know exactly where it is located at Tulocay.

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