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Apr 03

Helen is Found!

A couple of days ago, I noticed that a check I’d written to the Social Security Administration for the original application of one Helen Potwine, born August 28, 1891 and died in September, 1966. This was the only Helen on the SSDI at Rootsweb.com that matched the birthday of my grandmother, Helen L. Palmer, and appeared to have connections to New York and Vermont where she lived. I had also found a burial for Helen Potwine with her husband Roy, a veteran, at the Long Island National Cemetery. He was a Vermont native who died in April, 1966.

Yesterday I found the highly anticipated envelope, marked Social Security Administration, Official Business, in my mail box. I didn’t yell, I quietly carried the mail in and set it down, went downstairs and changed my load of wash, came up and divided the mail up, Papa’s on his chair, D1’s on the stairs, D3’s on the dining room table. Finally I opened it, and then I did a little dance.

It’s definitely her. Helen Lois Potwine, with Palmer written in above Lois and an arrow indicating it is her maiden name. Parents Orlando W. Palmer and Libbie Winn, born Aug 28, 1891, Hoosick Falls N.Y. Hurrah! Although I’ll never have any relationship with this grandmother, or understand her life, times, motives or actions; I am satisfied to find she had some stability in her life, and a marriage of some duration after two short ones. I hope she found happiness, and touched some other people in a positive way. But I can never know.

I do know that my Mom would be happy her mother Helen is buried in a marked grave, with a stone that memorializes her passing through this world. Mom searched for her parents on and off for years, and had purchased a stone to mark her father’s grave, when she finally found his burial place. Now the fun begins. I need to find a obituary (a kind volunteer is looking one place for me). I need to check city directories in the areas she may have lived. I need a cheap flight to New York to put flowers on that grave, if only once.

Are there any Potwine relatives out there who knew of Roy and Helen? Any friends or acquaintances of the family? I need to talk to you!