Family dynamics are the patterns of relating, or interactions, between family members. Each family system and its dynamics are unique, although there are some common patterns.
Genealogy is not just about amassing dates of birth and deaths on yours or someone else’s family tree. Genealogist dig for information like an Archeologist would unearthing the past by finding clues or evidence that link us to the present, the stories discovered helps to solve the family structure as a whole look at it this way. You and I are individuals with our own beliefs and opinions but, we come from a family unit that helped bridge our own way into the vast world of adulthood, now let’s think back to our great grandparents day, how they lived, what was an average day like for them, how did they survive during that time frame and most important, how did they react to one another within the family and as a whole. That is family dynamics the study of individuals interacting with one another and the family as a whole.
Think back when you were a child reacting with your siblings, parents and cousins, some will be fond memories while others will not be so pleasant to remember and it maybe like digging up old wounds for some. Now let’s expand this concept to our parents and other ancestors. How did they get along with their siblings and other relations, what was the communication link between them if any? Through these discoveries, the complexity of the unknown can shed some light on our families and their history, granted if we do not have at least two elder relatives to help unearth information we seek to learn, then we use Census records to gather the geographical pattern of migration, land deeds if any to determine how wealthy and newspaper clippings for a brief look into a moment of their life, marriage records can also shed some light especially when one partner is twenty years their junior. A person in their fifties will not think the same as a twenty year old and vise versa.
My Mother rest her soul, always had this nervousness about her for as long as I could remember, I never know why or understood what made her so nervous but, today I think I can put the pieces of the puzzle together and form a partial imprint of the larger one waiting to be developed one day. Earlier in my youth, my mother would tell me stories of how her bicycle was stolen while residing in San Francisco, Ca, she was surrounded by five other girls and one was rather on the large side, they taunted her-shoving her around and one slapped her leaving an imprint on my mother’s white skin.
Speculations of the time period.
My mother was about twelve years old when her bike was stolen, according to her recollection, so that brings us to the year 1951. A 1940 Census record shows her living on Fillmore street at the age of 1 and on my grandfathers U.S. National Cemetery Interment Control Forms, 1928-1962 shows that his wife my grandmother in 1951 was residing on 2487 42nd Ave San Francisco, Ca. Ok, I now have an address for the 1950-1951 time period. I googled this address out of curiosity and the light blue residence with the green shrub in front is the dewling. My grandparents had twelve children that reached adulthood. Now, if I were to subtract two children from the 1940 Census that would leave ten children plus two adults living in this small dwelling during 1950-1951 and even if I were to subtract another child that would still leave nine children and two adults in this dwelling. We can only image the tensions that might have grew on each other.
Another piece of the puzzle, since connecting with my first maternal cousin Karin, I recently got an email from her providing me with a bit of more information: January 27 2015
I can’t believe all the information you retrieved on the Bradford family, it’s amazing!! Thanks for sending it to me. Aunt Lucille told me the other day that her father, our grandfather, would go on a drinking binge every 7 years for 5 days. He would also tell all the children really scary detective stories. That may explain why my mother is such a frightened person. Will be in touch.
I am getting closer but have one more fact to add to the missing pieces, I recently had a conversation with Aunt Patricia who is my first cousins’ mother, during our conversation, she informed that her and my mother were at the park one day on the swing sets and were also petting a puppy that happened to show up. While at the park, a man exposed himself to both little girls and they ran home as fast as they could, they told their Dad what had happened and he grabbed his gun, (he was a night watchman for the graveyards) ran to the park. My Aunt tells me they never had another incident like that happen again so only one can suggest what transpired that day once my grandfather got to the park.
I have the slapping incident, small living arrangements for a family of that size and the new information of grandfather going on drinking binges and telling stories to scare his children and the park exposure incident. I can now say with a good amount of certainty why my Mother was so nervous…..