Saturday, January 19, 2013

Objet d'life: Great-Grandpa Henry's Driver's License

As some of you may know, I love to drive. Driving gives me a solitude, freedom, rhapsody, direction if you will. It clears my head, fills my soul, makes me sound.

Several years ago my father's cousin, Cousin Timmy, sent me a digital image of what has come to be my favorite family history document; my great grandfather, Charles Henry's driver's license from 1919; well it expired in 1919.

Now, I do not own this object; as I said I just have a digital image of it but nonetheless I love it. I love it for many, many reasons.

I love it because:
1. Look at that picture. Look how young (22 years-old) and handsome this man was.
2. Dude, it's from 1918!!
3. Note his occupation; chauffeur. It is a chauffeur's license. 

It makes me happy to think great-grandpa might have understood my love of driving as the rest of my family thinks me a little strange for enjoying long drives to far off destinations. I think nothing of a 4 hour drive and I have done as much as 22 hours before calling it a day.

Cousin Timmy found this license beneath the floorboards in the home Great Grandpa Henry built. It was the home my grandmother grew up in; the home Cousin Timmy grew up in. When Timmy's parents were finally selling the home and moving into a retirement community, Cousin Timmy searched the house from top to bottom for any scrap of family history he could find and this, this was one of the treasures.

Now this is not a typical document to find in a family history collection. A typical family history document would include information about more than one person. After all, genealogy is about documenting lineage; the connection between people. This object is just about Charles. Although, it does provide useful family research information; the address at which he lived in 1918 could definitely help in finding him in the 1920 census. 

I just really love the physical description part though. Great-grandpa was short, just like my grandma, and my father, and me. And again, I love that very handsome photograph.

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