Saturday, September 12, 2009
Family History Harkens
Very strange: found a couple of big antique Bibles handed down to me from Mom's side, and when Ericka cracked one it opened right to 1 Samuel. As I noted back when we first learned of our fetus' sex and/or gender, Sam's name is similar to my unused first name, though we certainly didn't choose it because of its Biblical origins. Catchy story all the same:
In this time of retrograde Mercury, wherein we've been experiencing myriad communications breakdowns and other difficulties, it was oddly soothing to have our preparations for Sam's arrival unearth some ancient channels. The 1872 Holman Edition had some family photographs, including this one:
That's John Wetzel, identified with nice penmanship as "Grandpa Wetzel" to my great-grandmother "Granny."
I had the good fortune to know Granny, my maternal grandmother's mom, for several years until she died in 1976--amongst other things, I remember visiting the house belonging to a friend of hers that had been a station in the Underground Railrod, as well as playing bingo at her nursing home and winning 50 cents, which I used to buy myself and her roommate a couple bottles of Pepsi. Sadly, that side didn't really go in for family history--in contrast to Mom's father's side, for which I have an extensive family tree my grandfather put together on one of his first computers--so I don't have any information about my great-great-great-grandfather.
John Wetzel is a pretty popular name at the genealogy sites, but I could find no link to my family. Presumably he's a contemporary of this guy: born in PA around the right time and even had a granddaughter named Ethel who had birth and death dates very close to Granny's.
The other Bible was published by Parmelee & Co of Philadelphia, and contains no date. It did, however, have a newspaper clipping with some helpful information about the sizes of military units so as to better understand war news. Flipping that over we find an interesting article that places it not too long after November 1918:
That gave us a good chuckle, and not just because we expect to be bartering with eggs ourselves someday.
Since this is from NTodd's Pa's Wife's side and I'm waxing nostalgiac, I might as well post this undated photograph:
So there's NTodd's Pa in a rare shot sans beard, his bride, and my godfather, Euell Gibbons. Behind them is some dude I don't know, and not pictured are other people whom I don't know (save for Euell's wife Freda, who took care of me as a toddler when Mom was very ill for a long time). Sorry, I cropped it to show NTodd's Folks better.
And here's Dad with his customary beard:
On the back in his handwriting: "To you from me". Mom's at the bottom: "October 1967".
I don't look like him, do I?
Okay, that's it for tonight's stroll down Amnesia Lane. Rest assured there will be more as we uncover other, uh..."treasures."
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Family History Harkens:
Wow, these are treasures. So your dad wasn't a hippie then? :)
Posted by: Lesley | Sep 13, 2009 6:09:12 AM
I had to shave the beard while I worked at a rehab hospital for my c.o. alternate service. The horror...the horror
Posted by: NToddsPa | Sep 13, 2009 6:33:35 AM
I love these photos and stories. My family history is much shorter in America...just since 1903 give or take.
Posted by: mnkid | Sep 13, 2009 8:45:29 AM
Btw, the guy behind Euell was Joe (but I do forget his last name): he was the treasurer for the Lewisburg Friends Meeting>
Posted by: NToddsPa | Sep 13, 2009 12:36:09 PM
The pic of your dad sans beard, he sort of looks like my cousin John.
Posted by: Buckeye .. | Sep 13, 2009 4:10:20 PM
The pic of your dad avec beard looks sort of like my cousin, David.
Posted by: Nancy in Detroit | Sep 14, 2009 12:45:18 PM
I have a cousin who looks sort of like your dad's beard.
Posted by: P. Drano | Sep 14, 2009 9:25:48 PM