As most of you know, I have been working diligently on a book about the Mariani family. A few weeks ago, in researching Daniel Mariani, the youngest son of the Swiss immigrant, it dawned on me that the Marianis tended to live very long lives. And that just because Daniel's daughter would be 99 years old, didn't, in the Mariani world, mean she wasn't still living.
I turned to the tools and websites learned in Finding the Living genealogy classes and found a street name associated with her. I recognized that street from the 1940 census research I did. Which had the street number. What are the odds that she'd be in the same house as over 70 years ago? But I wrote a letter.
And got a phone call less than a week later from an extremely coherent and wonderful Louise! We had lunch Saturday at her lovely home.
I shared with her what I know of her immigrant grandfather and she let me COPY HIS PICTURE! And the genealogy work her sister did in the 1950s on the thin typewriter paper neatly bound in a binder. She told me stories told to her and filled in a number of gaps. Her information changed more than one dot-to-dot picture that records had given me about a person.
She complained a bit about the things she can't do any longer, like walking her 40 blocks each day, but for 99---heck, for someone even 79-- she is amazing. I can't wait to go see her again.