Friday, February 24, 2012

Pure Genealogical Joy


My story began with this athletic patch that ultimately made me desire confirmation of oral family stories. The patch belonged to Uncle Dick Dollen who I affectionately call “My Unknown Uncle” for he passed before I was born. His patch was stored in an old cardboard box that belonged to my Grandmother.

 On 9 February 2012 I wrote about his baseball patch and shared what little I knew of Dick’s high school experience at The Luther Institute of Chicago. That post spurred me to dig deeper for there were missing pieces - questions unanswered. So I took a chance and contacted the athletic director of Luther North High School who forwarded my email to the school’s Development Director.
I would like to introduce you to Lori Wright, the Development Director of Luther North High School. Lori was able to locate the 1947 and 1950 yearbooks; which were his freshman and senior yearbooks. It was in her office that I learned much, much more about this unknown uncle of mine. Thank you to Lori!


My Uncle Dick was an athlete! As you can see he was a letterman in his Junior and Senior years. He played four sports: football, basketball, baseball and track. 


His football jersey was number 57; which means he was a linebacker. 

 In my February 9th  post,  I wondered about the position he played on that championship team. I now know that he was a pitcher and his team was called, “The Wood-Choppers.” Baseball fans all know how important pitchers for a winning season.

I am sharing the photographs I took this morning just because I am thrilled. What I learned today makes my uncle’s story a richer and more meaningful one.  His high school story is accurate and I am now in possession of the evidence.

Asking questions and looking for the answers by digging deeper is the foundation for good genealogical research. The 1950 Luther Institute yearbook gives primary evidence to the fact that Uncle Dick Dollen attended Luther Institute, was in the Class of 1950, played four sports and was a pitcher on the championship team of 1950. It also directly links his P.S.L. Baseball Athletic Patch of 1950 by referring the to Private School League team. Mystery solved!

Happy Hunting!


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