Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Ryan "Cousin Bait"
I was reading the post of a fellow family history blogger, and she said that the primary role of her blog is "cousin bait." I thought that was such an interesting expression, but in the end, that is one of the primary purposes of my blog. As a result of it, many of my extended family including 3rd and 4th cousins have found me because of something posted here.
A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by Pat Biederman. She is the daughter of Ray Ryan, brother of my grandfather, Roy. I wrote about Ray in an earlier post. Pat was interested in my post about James Nicholas Ryan, the oldest child of James Hugh Ryan and Rose Gross. Jim, as he was known, was Pat's uncle, although he was dead by the time Pat was born. Jim tragically died of diphtheria at the age of 22. His loss had a tremendous impact on the family.
Pat told me of her personal interest in Jim's history and how her father passed on certain artifacts of Jim's that had been in the possession of his sister, Rose. Included was a map outlining the ports of call and the distances traveled by the USS Virginia and the other ships in the fleet as they traveled around the world. She also had a beautiful embroidered picture that had been given to the fleet by the Japanese in remembrance of their visit to Japan.
Pat's son, Matt, is the current caretaker of these very special artifacts. Matt and I have since emailed and shared information and I am hoping to set something up in the near future so that we can all compare notes and the pieces of the puzzle that we each possess. Pictured below are closeups of the embroidered artwork that Matt forwarded to me.
The information I have in my possession includes Jim Ryan's service record that I ordered from the National Archives. The next several posts will focus on separating the fact from the fiction about Jim's life and death that occurred far too early.