Wishing Grandma, the original genealogist, a happy birthday!

She is not, of course, the original genealogist EVER (she's not that old!) but my grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Cronin Raynor, is the original genealogist in my family. She was born April 5, 1915 to Timothy Ambrose Cronin and Ellen Marie Casey. She started genealogy as a hobby when she was younger and it just took off from there - she started when there was no Internet to help, when she had to write letters to churches and relatives and state agencies and visit cemeteries and read books and everything else we should still be doing but which has become much easier and accessible (yes, we are a little "spoiled"! :)) But it's because of her that I had so much information to start with on BOTH sides of my family and it's because of her that I was exposed to genealogy at all, that I saw I how fun and interesting it can be. If genealogy is an inherited trait, I got it from her (and since today is her 96th birthday and she's still going strong, I hope I inherited her other genes as well!) - so thank you, Grandma, from one genealogist to another, and a very happy birthday!

My grandma, Mary, and her older brother, Dan. She looks about 3 yrs old so probably about 1918.

Grandma at about 13 with her mom Ellen Casey Cronin

Grandma with her brother, Dan Cronin, to the left
and cousin, Ralph Casey, to the right.

The Casey women - my grandmother (second from left), her mom Ellen Casey Cronin (second from right), and all the Casey aunts (sisters and sister-in-law) at Coney Island.

Grandma and Grandpa at their wedding in 1946.

Grandma, her mom, and my uncle Cliff, about 1949.

The two genealogists and the two Marys :) - Grandma and me, about October 1979.