by Nancy Jean (Gould) Pascal (2006)
I was born at Newton Memorial Hospital in 1946, the daughter of Gerald Gorden Gould and Beulah Elaine Snook. At the time of my birth I had one brother, William Edward, four years my senior. Bill was born just before my dad left for Europe to fight in World War II . I was one of the ‘Boomer’ babies born just after the war. The following year another brother, John Daniel, joined our family.
We lived at 13 Mason Avenue in Newton until the summer of 1951 when our family, together with my mother’s sister’s family ( Howard and Margery Sprague, and their daughter Karen) all moved to Florida. Each family pulled a small trailer which were our homes for the next year.
Eventually my parents bought a home in Fort Lauderdale where we lived until I was 12. That summer we moved to Pompano Beach. It was there, a few years later, that I met my future husband, Ken Pascal. Ken joined the Air Force in 1961 and the separation made us miserable. Eventually my parents relented and allowed us to marry in the summer of 1963. He was 19 and I was 16. No one expected it to last. This summer we will celebrate our 43rd wedding anniversary.
In the years that followed we had a daughter, Kari, and a son, Kevin. Both have grown to wonderful adults, have found perfect mates, and have given us 6 grandchildren. They are a constant reminder that life continues to evolve and maybe one of the reasons I needed to look back.
As a child I always tried to get my mom to help me fill in those blanks in the family Bible. I was pretty surprised at how little my folks new about their ancestors. Once my own children were married and raising children of their own , with the help of some notes from a deceased great-aunt, I began to delve into my roots. (And I probably had too much time on hands.)
Like many of you, this search involved into a passion. For every answer I found there were five more questions. I started out with a single notebook with dividers. I now have outgrown an entire room dedicated to genealogy. I have notebook after notebook, filled with all the papers I dare not throw away.
In the course of my research, I kept finding new family connections. Eventually I began to believe that I was probably related, in some way, to everyone in Sussex County, New Jersey. As I collected data I started compiling it into a database of Sussex County families. I never knew when I would find another family connection.
I am amazed and so grateful for all the people who helped me with my research. I decided I needed to share some of the information I had managed to gather, so, in 1997, I began building my web site. It is an ongoing labor of love and, with the help of the Sussex County Historical Society, it is available for all who need it. Sharing this information with all of you has been even more rewarding then discovering my own roots.