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I found this card with my grandmother’s handwriting  in a stack of photographs from the 1980s — Woodstock, NY to Anna Maria, FL.  The green 3 x 5″ card with loopy handwriting, is typical of Gioja’s filing.   What these particular odds and ends had in common, I do not know.  The card seems an appropriate image for the top post of this blog.

I am Gioja’s eldest grandchild.  My mother and father, George and Audrey Prevo, died young and my grandparents, Gioja and her husband, Benjamin Webster, sheltered me for much of my childhood.  As their generation aged and passed away, I came to be responsible for papers and photographs.  Now boxes filled with these documents fill my upstairs back room waiting for a day when I get away from my everyday responsibilities.  I rummage through them one day, carefully order and label another, I find nuggets that fill in the stories of our family.  I find mysteries that will never be solved.  And once in a while I find heartbreak.  The families included are Lawrence, Webster, Risse, and Stallforth.  When I find something particular to share, I put it here.  If you are curious about the scope of the archive, see:  If you are curious what it is like to work on these things, see:

Why Cookie House?  That was the name of my great aunt’s house on Byrdcliffe in Woodstock, NY.  It was a place of fun and rules where all of us visited often as children.  Later my sister and aunt lived there.  Many of the documents now in my upstairs room spent much of the twentieth century in the Cookie House barn.  I wanted to pick a name that would remind my family of family  – cozy and cranky.

Please comment or ask questions.  Each time someone leaves a thought I am propelled back upstairs to work and to wonder.

Mary Prevo

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