Wednesday, January 9, 2013
From Where Grandpa Came
23rd May 2012
A point I should have made about Grandpa Leland is that the photograph I sent you was most likely taken in Canada. My understanding is that Leland was born in Utah and left the United States hoping to evade military service in World War II.
Leland was a Mormon and so did not believe in armed services. I’m not sure how that works but I think that he was just a coward with no love for his country. I’m told that his father was one of fifty two children by twenty six wives. However, the telling was done by Alan who argued with his mother over a supposed Polish ancestry. The Mormon Neals had been a wealthy family at one time but polygamy changed all that leaving us common folk.
I have never heard the utterance of Ann’s maiden name and never met a relative from her branch of the family. When Leland passed on a good number of folk from Canada wanted to come down but Alan refused saying that you remember a man when he was alive. Those that come to see the dead, he believed, are only interested in what they can steal.
“They wanted to stay in my father’s house and take home his silverware,” Alan would often say of his branch of the family.
So it has come to pass that I have no link to my Canadian or Utahn ancestry. This is no loss from what I understand. The Neal family is a big thing, but we have few folks worth mentioning.
Alan cut ties with most of his family and then inspired me to cut ties with him. It comes to me that I adopted you out of lack of relations and you adopted me keeping with my sentiment. Blood is thicker than water and makes more the mess when it runs.
Keep the ties the hold you well, little sister,
Richard Leland Neal