Saturday, June 14, 2008

Family Survey

I received a family survey as part of the genealogy challenge on Natural Designs In SscrapBooking ( It's a series of 72 questions that you can send to relatives that you don't know very well, and learn more about the family history, not just dry facts. I've started filling out the survey myself - I figured if I got people to fill it out for me, they might want my story in return. Anyway, I'm up to about question 23 right now. I keep going back and adding to earlier answers - I'm going to end up writing a novel.

I thought I would post my responses here as well as have it available for my "family" - some of them are really distant relatives.

1. What is your full name? Margaret Ruth Sanders

2. Why did your parents pick this name? Margaret was my paternal grandmother’s middle name and the name she went by. Ruth is my mother’s middle name.

3. What is your nickname? When I was younger, it was Tootie. Now, it’s Maggie

4. How did you get your nickname? When I was a baby/toddler, my father came home from work and asked how I had been. My mother said I had been a real toot that day – and it stuck, at least for family and childhood friends. I used Margaret throughout school. But my sister Kathy tagged me with Maggie after the Rod Stewart song “Maggie May”.

5. When and where were you born? I was born at Houston Baptist Hospital in downtown Houston, Harris County, Texas on March 15, 1957. The hospital is no longer in existence.

6. When did your family move there and why? My dad moved to Houston from Lafayette, LA for a job. My mother moved from the Rio Grande Valley with a girlfriend from home to find a good job.

7. Were there other family members close? Who and where? My dad’s sister was in Houston as well when Mom and Dad got married. There was no other family at the time, although my paternal grandparents moved to Houston prior to 1966, then moved to Pearland in 1968 – 2 years after we did. At various times, all of my dad’s siblings have lived in Houston. Three of my mom’s brothers have lived in Houston at different times, although only one is currently in the area – and he lives on the other side of town from me.

We made the trip to the Valley to see my maternal grandparents a lot while I was growing up. It was about a 7 hour trip, and we would leave on Friday night and come back on Sunday night.

And we occasionally traveled to Lafayette to see my paternal grandparents as well. I remember once riding in Pappy’s Mayflower truck – I think we were going from Houston to Lafayette.

We didn’t take a long vacation every year, but every few years we would take a 2-3 week trip, and would visit family during the vacation. In 1964, we went to the World’s Fair in New York. Dad had a pickup truck and we had a camper on the back. We took Kathy to stay with Nanny and Pappy in Lafayette, then Mom, Dad and I headed towards Washington, D.C. Dad’s brother, Raymond, lived in Hagerstown, MD with Pat and Ray, Jr. We toured Washington and Virginia before heading to New York. Mom’s brother, Cooper, lived on Long Island with Ruth, Susanne and Gary. Mam-ma and Granddaddy drove up with Mom’s sister, Iris, from Texas as well. We did the touristy things in New York as well as the World’s Fair. I remember seeing the UN building and the Statue of Liberty.

8. What was the house (apartment, farm, etc.) like? How many rooms? Bathrooms? The first house that my parents lived in in Houston was at 8503 Medford. It was a small 3 bedroom/ 1.5 bath house with asbestos siding, no central air conditioning, and hardwood floors throughout. It also had a 1 car garage. I shared a bedroom with my younger sister, Kathy.

In 1966, we moved to 2703 Robinhood in Pearland. It was a brand new 3 bedroom/2 bath with central air, formal living and dining rooms, carpet in the bedrooms and the living/dining rooms. When we first moved to Pearland, Mary Lee was 6 weeks old, so Kathy and I still shared a room, although eventually, as the oldest, I got a room to myself and Kathy and Mary Lee shared a room until I went to college. I would give up my room when we had company. The yard was much larger than the house in Houston and the house was on a circle. The circle became the playground for most of the kids in the area since we didn’t have to worry about a lot of traffic. We would play 4-square or jump rope. We would also play hide and seek throughout the neighborhood.

9. For those born before 1945 did it have electricity? Indoor plumbing? Telephones? This isn't applicable for me, unless you count not having central air in the first house I lived in.

10. What do you remember most about your home? For the Houston house, it would have to be the attic fan that kept the house bearable as we only had a couple of window units. And the house had a lot of pocket doors.

For the Pearland house, I think it had to be the yard – we had a huge back yard. Also, we had a laundry room in the house and we had a dishwasher and drier. I think having a second bathroom was pretty cool and the hall bath was divided. The sink and vanity was open to the hall with the door closing off the toilet and tub. That way, the 3 girls could share one bathroom and getting ready for school all at the same time.

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