McAdoo Clan

This McAdoo genealogy blog has been created to share family information. It will be used to record genealogy data as well as to communicate family news.

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Location: Metuchen, New Jersey, United States

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Reflections After a Funeral

While Ginnie and I were driving home from Uncle George Minko’s funeral last Friday afternoon, we talked about how much we had enjoyed the visit. It occurred to me that talking about a funeral as being a joyful experience was as good an example of an oxymoron as one could find. Yes, of course there was sadness, funerals are somber affairs, we attend them mourn the dead and pay our respects to the family.

But funerals can also be a time to renew relationships with friends and family, meet new family members, and tell stories and more stories. When these events happen at a funeral, sadness seems to dissipate and joy emerges. Laughter replaces tears and you find yourself in the midst of a celebration. What an interesting human phenomenon!

That is how we felt, driving home through the rain last Friday afternoon—sad but joyful. Saddened by Uncle George’s passing but overjoyed to meet relatives we rarely see and some we met for the first time. I have not had much contact over the years with relatives on the maternal side of my family. The same is true for the McAdoo side of the family. Yet when events bring us together, we seem glad to see one another and usually depart promising to stay in touch—yet seldom do we keep these promises. Why?

I don’t have the answer to that disturbing question, but the elusive response has troubled me for many years. It seems to me the reasons are varied, family issues, personalities, interests, perhaps even indifference. However, when we gather, the barriers we have erected in the past tend to disappear and for a moment gates of opportunity to communicate open.

In the past two years, I have begun to turn my concern into action. I have done an extensive amount of research on my ancestors and related families and in the process have discovered many living relatives. The research is continuing and can be viewed at our ancestral website, The password is vpm. One way we can continue to strengthen our family relationships is to participate with me in continuing to build our family tree. There is much missing data and your input will add to our family history and knowledge.

I mentioned earlier that family gatherings are frequently occasions for storytelling. This certainly has been the case among the McAdoo’s. Stories about the McAdoo brothers, Jimmy, my dad and my Uncle Howard have become legend, so much so that I decided to write a book about my dad. Perhaps when it is published, opportunities will arise to strengthen our family relationships.

Last year we held our first family reunion. We had such a good time that we decided to meet again this year on August 19th. Hopefully, the reunion will grow into an annual event.

So, reflections on recent and past family gatherings have led to opportunities to communicate and get to better know one another. It continues to be a great joy for me and it can also be for you. Why not join the journey?