December 8th, 2019

Blocked.

With the usually hectic pace of my personal life now approaching a lull, I have some time to catch my breath and dally in some of my side interests. One of those is my family history.

With the help of family memorabilia and the genealogy sites, I've been able to piece together family history on my father's side (McLintock / Cavannaugh) going back to the 18th century, and through the maternal line (Stella Leonard, Grace Block, Stella Boynton ...) all the way to 1600 or earlier (Katherine Reynolds and Esther Ruth, if the information is correct).

(I don't carry the family name because I had my name legally changed as a young adult.)

The one place where I've been hitting a brick wall is with my maternal grandfather, Henry Block. He died when my Mom was young. He and my grandmother Grace had just the two children, my mother and her brother, my uncle Fred. Mom had a contentious relationship with both her mother and her brother. (Actually Mom had a contentious relationship with just about everybody.) Uncle Fred died without children; this worked out well for me, as I inherited a portion of his lottery winnings, but it did leave a gap in the family history. Henry's father, John Block, immigrated from Germany - and that's all we know.

But there's more to the story - because my Uncle Fred was not my mother's only sibling. Her father, Henry Block, had been married once before, prior to meeting my grandmother, and had a son by that marriage: Henry Junior - my mother's older half-brother. About him I know virtually nothing, but there is a single photograph of him as a youth in my mother's photo album.