She was a beautiful, young Irish maid, working in a wealthy English household. Her employer’s oldest son fell in love with her. When he announced intentions to marry her, his parents said they would disown him. He married her anyway. Then, bride and groom ran away to live happily ever after. “Her name was Mary Cordial,” my maternal grandmother Marilyn Matilda Dietz told me, that distinct glimmer of pleasure in her eyes—the one she always had when she retold this story. “And you are her legacy.”

This blog is a resource for those who want to--have to--find out more about who they came from.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

2010 Census Redux

I filled out the form for the 2010 Census on Tuesday afternoon. I gave them the number of people in our household, their names, their ages. I did not lie about mine, as so many women have done since individual names and ages were first recorded in 1850. Reluctantly, I checked the race boxes, and only because I know my descendants will be paying attention to these details. I left the phone number and birth date fields blank. The Census Bureau doesn’t need to know that information. If they want those, they can consult the phone company and the Social Security Administration. They didn’t ask me about our household income, which was just fine with me—I wouldn’t have given them that, either. What I did give them was what future generations will need to find supporting documentation.