A few days ago, a man commented on one of my stories, saying that he was Mary LuLu Taylor Leary Begier Warren’s great grandson. Joe Brown comes from her marriage to James Begier, the man she married after James Leary passed away. LuLu and James had three children, Minnie, John, and Mable. Mabel Claire married Edward Anthony Brown, and they had three children, Charles, Frank, and Mary. Frank Brown married Mary Lou Conway, and Frank Joseph (Joe) Brown is their son. Joe is my husband Bob Schulenberg’s second cousin once removed. Finding a new cousin is always exciting for me, but with the discovery of Joe, comes so much more. Joe brings with him a Gold Mine…a true Gold Mine. Joe has sent me pictures of his family, and his own drawings too. In return I have sent him pictures of our family and my in-laws family, so we are working on getting acquainted.
Joe has been researching his family tree too, so we have a lot to talk about and a lot to share. He has access to a bunch of pictures from a part of Bob’s family that I know…some well, some only from my own research and stories from Bob’s grandmother, Vina Leary Schulenberg Hein. Joe, however, has much information, and many pictures…pictures of people I didn’t think I would ever have and pictures of people I know well, when they were just children. I am so overwhelmed by all this and his generosity, that it brings tears to my eyes. What a gift he has given me and the rest of the family too, as this story will serve to inform them of this amazing gift we have received. Overwhelming and amazing!! Receiving these pictures was like being given a part of our family back. I have often wondered what Bob’s grandma, Vina Leary Schulenberg Hein looked like when she was a girl. Now I know. She was a pretty girl with long ringlets. I have never seen a picture of her brother, and now I have several of them, including one with his wife, Rose Schulenberg Leary. And the only picture we had of Marion Chester Leary was the one I have used in stories in the past. My father-in-law only knew of that one. Now I have several of him too. And I have pictures of Chester’s half siblings Minnie Begier Morgan, John Begier, and Mable Claire Begier Brown. I have pictures of the history that has taken place in Forsyth, Montana, where much of Bob’s family history is centered. Of course I can’t include them all here, so they will be used in a future story. I simply could not feel more blessed.
Joe has told me that he has much more information to share with me, and while I thought I didn’t have very much to share in return, I am finding that I have the continuing story on the Schulenberg side, at least, and he has the continuing family of his side. That is an amazing combination, and with the history that he knows, I hope that I will be able to contribute some history too. Neither of us live in the area that we are talking about…Forsyth, Montana…and yet a lot of the family history took place there. What I do have is the stories told to me by my husband’s grandmother, our beloved Vina Leary Schulenberg Hein, and the stories told to me by my in-laws, Walt Schulenberg and Joann Knox Schulenberg. I am eager to share all of this history with Joe and his family, my family, and my readers. It’s going to be an incredible journey.