Thursday, May 23, 2013

Chances Are

If you recognize anyone in this photograph, we are related. . .

My Grandfather is the dashing gentleman that is being framed by the pink draperies.  My Grandmother is sitting next to him, on his right, but her face is almost completely hidden by the flowers in the center of the table.  You can see her large white earring and black hair. My Mother is the third person to the right of my Grandmother.  I'm sure she had her long red hair pulled back in a pony tail. The lady in the center-front of the picture, with the hat and purple dress was my Great Grandmother. This was her dining room.  She had 12 children and lived in a mansion. (I never saw it although I have pictures of it and there are some on the Internet at the Historical Society). The rest of the people are my Great Aunts and Uncles and their spouses.  Most of them are gone now, but I remember them well.

As you know, I recently brought home two POD-like storage containers filled with furniture and boxes from my Mom's.  Among the heirlooms that will soon be in my living room is the beautiful camel-back sofa that came from my Great-Grandmother's mansion.  I even have a photograph of her sitting on it with my Great-Grandfather. I am humbled to be the next in line to own that piece. I will take good care of it.

I've never told anyone before that my Great-Grandparents were wealthy and lived in a mansion.  He died before I was born, and she died when I was nine.  (But she had been in a nursing home for a long time and we had moved away, so I didn't really know her.) I never even had dinner at a mansion, much less lived in one! My Mom tells me stories about playing on the servants staircase that was in the back of the kitchen.  She remembers all of it like it was yesterday.  I love the stories.  I will need to record them to pass on with the sofa someday.

So, I confess, I'm a Redneck by choice :)  I grew up with candlelight and crystal chandeliers, and have one hanging in my dining room to this very day. (Only because my Mother insisted on buying it when we saw it at a thrift store). I live a simple life in a small town and never seem to have enough money to even do proper maintenance on the house.  But I still appreciate sterling silver and fine china. I can celebrate my roots and still dig in the dirt.

I often wonder how many others are, like me, descendants of the people in this room.  There must be a lot of us.  We moved to Colorado when I was nine years old and that was the end of our family get-togethers on that side of the family.  We were still close to my Grandparents, but we didn't go back to see any of the extended relatives.  I asked my Mom why and she kind of gave me the run-around.  I think she may have been treated poorly when she ended up being divorced after only a few years of marriage.  Back then it was a pretty scandalous thing.  And even if it wasn't the fault of the wife, she was forever the black sheep of the family.  Mom has never said that, but I think that's what happened.  I'll probably never really know.  And after all these years it doesn't matter anyway.  I would still like to know who my relatives are. 

So, if you know anyone in this picture, let's talk family!




  1. What an elegant dinner party..would love to say I am a long lost cousin but I don't know anyone. I can trace my fathers side of the family back through but can't get my Mother's side out of the county I was born in, although I do have a birth certificate from my great, great grandmother who was born in Ireland but can't find her in the census anywhere. I think that is strange.

    Have a great weekend!

    1. Mama Bear,
      I wish we were related too! It is very strange that you can't find your G.G. Grandmother in the census. But who knows how accurate things were back then. Having her birth certificate is really cool though.
      Thanks for stopping by and you have a great weekend too!



After getting multiple spam comments from Anonymous users, I have had to disable that part of my comments. I'm so sorry for the inconvenience. Please sign up and say hello!