One of my great-grandmother's grandsons, Joseph Goldfarb Forbes (Joe Forbes for short) was mayor of the city of Oak Park (1967-1970) and member of Michigan State House of Represantatives (1971-1984) . He was born in Detroit, son to David and Yetta Goldfarb, the fourth of their seven children. He resided in West Bloomfield where he was known for his friendly behaviour and affection for people. He died on December 2004, at the age of 88. May his soul rest in peace!
Several years ago, I embarked on an internet genealogical quest intended mainly as a tribute to my mother's memory, in an attempt to track her father's family saga. She had been very fond of her father (Hersh Goldfarb) and she kept telling me the story about his widow mother, his three brothers and three sisters who had emmigrated to America, leaving him behind as his wife was against departing from Romania. Sort of mini tragedy. Sometimes I think that the fact that I've never visited the USA and feel no urge to do so, has its roots in this story of hers. It is as if in my subconcious I resent the place that has 'robbed' my grandfather of his initial family.
The first of my great-grandmother's descendants I contacted after finding information through the internet, were a nurse from Cincinnati and a restaurant owner from Los Angeles. These people were fourth generation like me , so they knew little (the nurse) or almost nothing (the restaurant owner) about great-grandmother (first generation), her children(second generation) and grandchildren (third generation).
And then I came upon the name of Joe Forbes. He was a public figure, so I thought I would find some biography with information on his parents and siblings which could also lead me to the others. Well, I found no such thing. In those days people were humble ,not like today when the biography gets written on the first month of their public job. I did ,however , find in local newspapers, his obituary and also an eulogy on his service and integrity as a man and legislator.
Obituaries in Genealogy are of the utmost importance. It was from the obituary that I learnt about his three daughters. One of them who lives in Aghoura Hills , California, kindly emailed me some pictures and additional information on her father and his family.
Joseph Goldfarb Forbes was considered a key leader in the Legislature of Michigan. He was elected as the Democrat majority floor leader for five consecutive terms. One of his successors said that in order to survive as a floor leader (whose job is to run the floor debate) one needs a sense of humour and "Joe Forbes possessed humour in abundance". (Im sure of that. All those on my mother's family side had terrific humour that helped them overcome hard times).