I’ll try to keep this short, but so much has changed in the past year. I want to give a massively ginormous thank you to everyone who has reached out to me in the past year as a result of this website. It makes me so happy to hear from fellow McKinnons who have stumbled upon this page.
Since my last post, I moved to the UK from California and now work full-time at a DNA company doing the exact kind of work I love. I live down the street from Charles Dickens’s old flat and within walking distance of Jane Austen’s place as well. As with any new job, I’ve turned my attention away from my hobbies to get myself settled into my new life, but the McKinnon page and my genealogy work is always in my mind.
One of the most incredible occurrences as a result of this site was being reunited with a mysterious family chest that I didn’t know existed! If you’ve read my former posts about Ralph and Angela McKinnon, you may recall that their son, Ralphie, passed away from appendicitis when he was four. What I didn’t know, was that they kept a chest full of his belongings and letters related to his birth and passing. My Aunt Clare, his sister, kept it as well, until her passing.
When Aunt Clare’s friend cleaned out the house, she gave my mom one box of letters. We thought that’s all that was left. Ralphie’s chest was forgotten. It collected dust, unclaimed, in the attic of the McKinnon’s former home in Oakland, CA for 30-something years.
Incredibly, thanks to this blog, the current owners of the home found me and were unbelievably kind in returning the chest to us. I can’t tell you how floored I was! It was like opening a time capsule.
I can’t wait to come home and explore it myself (seeing as I had to witness all of this over Facetime). There’s toys, clothes, letters… So freakin’ amazing.