Thursday, November 10, 2011

Family History Photos

My latest family history project involves scanning old photos into the computer and gathering bits of information about my ancestors.  I'm trying to go beyond the dates and places and learn more about personalities, interests, and talents.  In observance of the upcoming Veteran's Day, I thought I'd share some photos of ancestors who served.  Here is my great-grandpa in his WWI uniform:

Donald Joseph Telfer
Unfortunately, though he survived the war, he died at a young age in a mining accident.  I don't know a lot about him, but I do know that my grandma was at school making Valentine's day cards at the time of his fall.  I wish I could ask her to tell me more about his personality.  (My unsolicited advice:  ask your parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles to describe their parents and grandparents.)


This next photo is of my grandpa in his WWII navy uniform:


Ettis Raymond Brockett



I have many memories of Grandpa: how he would give us kids the "finger guns" when we walked into his house; his big container of pennies that we could look through and pick from to add to our collection; how he loved to read about the wonders of the world; how he would send me "beer" money at college--his little joke, knowing it would definitely be root beer money; his kind heart and willingness to help everyone--he literally invited strangers into his home.



This final photo doesn't have anything to do with Veteran's Day, but I just love my great-grandma's outfit!

Malissa Edna Morgan

My mom remembers Lis as an outgoing, talkative person.  She also remembers the iced cakes with nuts sprinkled on top that Lis would make.  According to my mom, Lis believed that if you knew how to play the piano, you would be popular.  Lis did not play the piano, but send money to my mom's parents so they could purchase a piano so my mom could take lessons.  She loved lilacs and listening to baseball games on the radio.  She particularly like the Yankees.  She liked to play cards, and taught my mom to play solitaire.  Apparently she was very ill when she was young, and as a result, did not have much hair, so she always wore hats.  She was also tall, about 5'8", which made her a bit self-conscious.  I think she must have been pretty self-assured the day she wore this hat, though.  It would easily push her height well over the six-foot mark.  I imagine it was quite the fashion statement in its day! 

Thankful thought:  Thanks for grandparents, great-grandparents, and so on. I love learning about their personalities, and seeing how they have influenced my life.  For example, if Lis hadn't funded the purchase of a piano for my mom, I probably wouldn't have learned how to play.  (Although I'm afraid my piano playing didn't put me in the ranks of the popular kids at school. My kids are absolutely convinced, and probably rightly so, that I was [am?] a geek.)  I have to wonder, too, if loving lilacs is an inherited trait.  If so, I know where I got it!

2 comments:

Thanks for making this a conversation. I love to hear your comments!