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Go ask Alyce

hatter.jpgDid you know Alyce Hinton? Me neither. Apparently she died last year. She was my great Aunt. The sister of G.W. Ford. My paternal grandfather. A man I also never knew. He and my grandmother, Yin Yin, split the sheets when my father was a wee lad. She remarried, and it was bad form to ever mention him. (Aren’t families fun!)

How did I find this? A probate investigator called Friday. Aunt Alyce died with no surviving heirs. So they’re tracking down relatives to settle her estate. I’ve no idea what the amount might be, or how many other relatives will be found. But hey, they found me, and I’m practically in the Witness Protection Program.

Now here’s the weird part. I’ve been dying to know anything about G.W. Ford––a Chinese immigrant, given the name Ford through adoption. That’s pretty much all I know. I’ve searched the Web. Explored genealogical databases. Bubkis. I’d given up. So last week I decided I’d just fictionalize his story. Fill in the blanks––which are legion. I even sketched out a thumbnail outline. Just for fun.

Then I get the call on Friday.  A FedEx package Saturday.  And more on the way.
I keep looking around for Rod Serling. It's lonely here in the Twilight Zone.

Bizarre coincidence? Fate blowing in my ear? My delusional nature overriding the medication? Do strange coincidences ever inspire you?

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Reader Comments (11)

Woah. This is weird stuff. Maybe Aunt Alyce has some papers, records, journals, something you can learn more about your family from. I'm sorry she passed before you could know her.
March 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJen
I hope that post didn't sound too morose. Because I'm thrilled. (And that's before I even consider the possibility of some strange inheritance).

Money aside, it's incredible to get the who, where and when's about this side of my family. I found out how many siblings he had. (6) Where they immigrated to. (Winnemucca, NV--parents were railroad workers). Where they died. (San Francisco). And I'll be getting contact info on other surviving relatives, which is surreal.
March 27, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjamie ford
What an intriguing mystery. Sounds like the plot of a great book. :-)

March 27, 2006 | Unregistered Commentershesawriter
Wow, very odd and cool. I can relate - I know nothing about my dad's side of the family...he was adopted.
March 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterKarl
I've been exploring writing more Asian-themed stories lately. And voila, all this information from the Chinese side of my family just shows up.

Life is weird.

March 27, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjamie
Sounds like the stuff for a short story or, possible novel? ;-) Keep us in the loop, these things are always so intriguing.

And if it's million, buy us all a round, okay? lol!
March 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAlexandra
Very cool, Jamie. Wonder if you'll get any pictures or a diary of some sort.
March 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDana
There's almost nothing as much fun as finding out about ancestors. Well, maybe a few zillion things, but to those of us who enjoy that sort of pursuit, to find a connection to a new line that takes you back further than you've ever been, zowie, what fun, fufu. I've taken a couple of my lines back to 13th century England, and just to see the names and dates and places and realize that these were the people alive in my past.... Best of luck to you in unraveling yours. Oh, one of my ancestor's names is now a character in my books. I thought the name sounded real sweet, real Irish, but came to find out the only derivation I could come up with was the Hebrew for "goat." I tried chaning the name to something more fitting, but went back to the original. May you find good things.
March 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBob
Not to sound too "out there," but I have come to believe that when we're on the right track the universe kind of sends of signs. Or perhaps it's just a freaky coincidence. Either way it's cool, Jamie. Keep up updated.

March 27, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterJaye Wells
I'm with you Jaye. If fate is smiling. I try and smile back.
March 27, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterjamie
Yes, to the final question. Moments like what you're discribing are what it's all about.

March 28, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterC. Rooney

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