My fascination with genealogy began about the age of twelve when I found a eulogy written by my grandmother for her father. I met him once when I was five and he left a huge positive impression on me. I remember when I arrived at his house the first thing he did was greet me with a surprise cradle he had made for my dolls. I also remember the jewelry he made from rocks. He taught me how to identify an agate. He got a kick out of a trick he played on me, “Do you think this will float or sink in the water?” He asked holding a porous rock.
“Sink.” I replied without hesitation. I wished I had been able to stay longer, to get to know him more. He was a true gem.
On another occasion he saw me looking at a picture of a young woman standing in a lake covered with lily pads. “Do you know who that is?” He asked.
“That is your grandmother.”
“My grandmother isn’t that young.” I shot back.
The eulogy written from his daughter’s perspective allowed me learn almost as much about her as it did about him. Suddenly it was possible to picture her as a child with her parents. Later I came across a book. I didn’t realize what it was at first. I simply thumbed though it and then noticed some of the people in the book had my great-grandfather’s last name, Hamp. I began listing all the names drawing lines and arrows to whom they were related. Page one hundred and ninety had me mesmerized. There it was, Leonard Hamp, my great-grandfather’s name. This was all about his parents. I couldn’t stop staring at the pictures.
According to Gems of Our Valley the first hotel in Grace was the home of George Hamp Sr, built in 1907. It was also the first home to have running water and a bathroom. In the book they say Grace Equipment now stands in the place where the old hotel used to be – I don’t see a sign, but the image on the left looks like it could be Grace Equipment. Gems of Our Valley was published in 1977, so Grace Equipment might do business under another name or not at all. I wish they had just given an address.
I kept my hand drawn tree from this book for many years until the internet became a thing and I discovered Anscetry.com. The first thing I did was look up other trees matching the one I had. I downloaded their information that filled in gaps. – Don’t hate me, I know better now.
I showed my grandmother the new information I had and she shared with me the hand written genealogy from her grandmother, Elizabeth Hamp née Allsop. I couldn’t believe what I held in my hands.