Monday, January 28, 2013

119 Years!

My great grandmother Sophia Dollar Friddle, was born 119 years ago today…at least that was what she thought.  She was never quite sure whether she was born on the 27th or 28th of January.   She was born near midnight – who knows if it occurred before midnight or after midnight…I suspect no one was looking at the clock, when my great grandmother was born.
I’m not sure birthdays were all that important to my great grandmother but the story came out when my brother was born on the 27th of January.  After some close questioning from my mother, Mom discovered that there was really no one who could be sure about the date.  Mom Friddle’s step grandmother was a midwife who delivered several of new families newborns.  I know that Mom Friddle’s aunt came over from Ashe Co., NC to have at least her youngest child, and I suspect some of her other children as well.  Mom Friddle had a special and close relationship with her step grandmother.  Her own mother died when Mom Friddle was only a few months old.  I’ve never hears was Buena Vista Bailey Dollar died of…perhaps the result of a difficult child birth or possibly an infection of some type.  So, Mom Friddle was raised by her step grandmother…and her step grandmother, Lulu, never had children of her own…so Mom Friddle was the nearest she had to a child.  Sarah Rebecca Pearce Dollar aka Lulu was only 19 years old when she married the 47 years old Alexander Monroe Dollar and she was 26 when Mom Friddle was born.  Lulu raised Mom Friddle and when her husband died and Mom Friddle’s father was making noises about Mom Friddle moving in with her parents, Lulu strongly encouraged the 14 year old Sophie to get married, the she herself married a widower and moved to Ashe Co., NC.

There aren’t that many concrete details from my great grandmother’s early life.  Even the day of her birth is a bit mysterious.  I never heard her talk about the grandfather who raised her and have only heard how she went back to NC and TN to visit family.  Perhaps one of her early visits back was to visit Lulu before her death in 1955.  Mom Friddle’s mother died when she was only a few months old and the only thing she probably ever saw or knew about her mother was on a memorial board that listed the year of her birth and the date of her death.  I don’t think Mom Friddle even had the company of her brother and sister except on rare occasions.  They lived with her father and his new wife, while Mom Friddle stated with her grandfather and his young wife.  In some ways, what I know about my great grandmother really starts when she married David Carl Friddle and moved out west in 1910 with her young son.  Mom Friddle went back a few times to visit her childhood home.  I’m sure she saw her step grandmother, as many of her cousins who still lived, but mostly she was there to see her sister, Bessie. 
So, today I think of the great grandmother who I only knew as an old woman.  I can remember being enthralled at listening to her tell stories, I wish I could go back in time and ask her all the questions that I have.  Even with all I have found out about her…I still feel like there is so much to learn. 


Monday, January 21, 2013

Shirlie's Tmeline

Growing up, the only thing that I knew about my Dad’s grandparents was a photograph that sat in my Mom’s den on the shelf.  It was a very simple dual metal frame that had a picture of a man and woman.  The man had a prodigious mustache and nice head of hair and the woman had a rather sad look on her face.  Later I learned that their names that their names were Ulpian Grey Johnson and Shirlie Louisa Pope.  When my parents took my grandmother back east – We found a whole lot more about at least Shirlie Pope’s family.
Ulpian - Date Unknown
Shirlie - Taken abt 1904

As Mom and Dad traveled back east, one of their goals was to stop off in Minnesota and see my Grandpa Frank’s sister, Nan.  She was living in a nursing home and suffering from dementia.  However, when my grandmother walked into the room, she both remembered my grandmother and seemed to enjoy visiting.  I remember meeting Aunt Nan briefly when I was a little girl.  I think Grandpa Frank brought her to Lewiston to see our family when she had come back west for their sister’s funeral (Mary).  My Mom was in the hospital at the time and I was probably about eight years old.  Sadly, my grandfather died several months later.  That visit was probably the last time that my grandmother and Nan had seen each other…so my grandmother was quite anxious to see Nan and visit with her family.  The oldest of Nan’s children had were of a similar age to my father and his older two sisters, so I think the families were fairly close when they still lived back in North Dakota.  One of the things that my parents and grandmother’s visit produced was a collection of letters that had been written between Nan and her grandfather, Winslow Lonsdale Pope.  These proved to be a real revelation.

Mom and I had no idea who Shirlie Pope’s parents were.  Back then, the census records weren’t that readily available, especially the 1900 census.  Shirlie was born on 14 Jul 1881 in Vermont, so she wasn’t in the 1880 census and we had no idea who her parents were or where she was born.  These letters between Nan and her grandfather was a treasure trove of information.  Mom and Dad got copies of these letters and between the three of them, they read them through.  Then they called me on their cell phone and told me a few items that they were able to figure out from the letters.  They now knew that Shirlie’s father was Winslow Lonsdale Pope and that he was married to a woman named Sue and that he had two step daughters.  They also figured out that he lived in Massachusetts.   With this information, they asked me to see what I could find…and so I began my search.

The internet was still pretty basic back in those days but I was still able to post queries on several sites.  Within a few days, I got a reply that told me that Winslow Lonsdale Pope was the son of Francis Pope and Belinda Willey and gave me information that gave me several other generations back.  I called Mom and Dad back and they were just about to Niagra Falls, NY…and had already passed through Vermont and New Hampshire.  They had actually stopped at a historical site that was in tribute to a Charles Pope.  Unfortunately for them – he had no connection.  His family had just arrived a generation before.  Mom and Dad were in the exact area that Shirlie had been born and raised and as they put it, if they had yelled out the door while going through town they might have come across a cousin.

Nancy Lyons Pope - Taken abt 1898
It was exciting to break down that brick wall and learn more details about Shirlie Pope and her family.  It turns out that Winslow Lonsdale Pope first married Martha Rutherford and they had four children and only two of them survived infancy.  Martha became sick one day with severe pains in her stomach and neck and slipped into a coma and died four hours later on 27 Jul 1877.  Winslow didn't remarry until 19 Mar 1881 to Nancy Ann Marie Lyons.  Within a few years, Winslow and his wife travel to Iowa with their small family.  They left Winslow’s son behind because by that time he was a young man and wished to stay behind.  He would have been about 14 or 15 when they left.  They traveled first Lake Park, Dickinson Co., IA where Winslow’s daughter Viola died in 1892 of consumption.  By 1900, they are living at Sioux Valley Twp, Jackson Co., MN.  Shirlie is not recorded with her parents in this census (and I've never been able to locate her).  I have thought she must have been working outside the home at this point was recorded in another household as a servant.  In 1902, Winslow and Nancy lose another daughter, this time to diphtheria (Mattie Winnova Pope) in Sioux Valley, Jackson Twp., MN. By 1903, the family is living in McLean Co., ND because Shirlie marries Charles A. White and Winslow has land.  It must have been a very difficult few years that followed Shirlie’s marriage.  She and Charles White had two sons: George b. 9 Jul 1904 and Elmer b. 6 Aug 1906.  While pregnant with Elmer, Shirlie lost her mother Nancy Ann Marie Lyons Pope to consumption on 30 May 1906.  In late April of 1907, Shirlie’s husband was involved in trying to fight a prairie fire when he came home and collapsed and died less than a week later.   Shirlie remarried two years later to my great grandfather and they had five more children, one who died at birth.  Shirlie died just a few years later of pneumonia on 14 Apr 1927.
I have only located Shirlie in one national census – that of 1910 when she was recorded with Ulpian, her two sons and young daughter.  I've never been able to find her in the 1900 census and I've never located the family in 1920 census.  Dad thinks that they were down on the Missouri breaks and thinks that they family was probably never counted.  I've seen her on a state census for North Dakota in 1925.

Shirlie's family - Taken abt 1927 -
L - R- Ulpian,  Nan, Frank
Audrey and Mary up front
I've always thought that Shirlie’s face looked sad in that old photograph.  When you look at the timeline of her life, she faced a lot of tragedy.  She saw one sister fade away with consumption and another died of diphtheria and then lost her mother to consumption not too long after that.  Only a year later, she lost her husband to the effects of smoke.  After her remarriage, I don’t think that life was easy as it was a time of little work and prosperity – but she had to find a way to make it work because she had her two sons and three more children to take care of.  In 1919, she had another child who she lost either at birth or shortly afterwards.  She and Ulpian had one more daughter when she was 41 years old.  Just four years later, she died herself of pneumonia.  There was little information to find about her and by the time Mom and I really started looking – not too many people we could ask.  It took a long time to discover the timeline of Shirlie Pope’s life…and a packet of letters sure helped us unravel her family’s ancestry.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My Genealogy Obsession

I can still remember the day when I was in my teens when I first saw the Gage genealogy that my great grandparents had.  I really didn’t know how to look at it properly or really even find the ancestral line easily.  All I knew was that my great grandparents names were in it as was my grandmothers.  I think Mom borrowed a copy of the book and I can remember looking at it and wondering about those names in that book.  I’ve since compiled my own genealogy books…as well as books with my mother.  They are self-published and full of the research that has been an accumulation of years of research and countless hours of work.  I’m not sure many of those starting their research in today’s technological age can truly appreciate the differences.

The actual record of the marriage of Moses Johnson and Nancy Mayfield!
Mom bought a genealogy program called “Family Tree Maker” in about 1997 and we loaded it on our computers and began putting in information.  We thought we knew quite a bit, but it turned out that we really didn't.   After putting everything we knew about our direct lines – there were missing gaps of dates, birth locations, death locations, maiden names or maternal parents.  (I wish I could say that all those gaps have been filled after 15 years – but I would be lying)  That is when we started learning about the work of genealogy research.  Back then, newslists and genealogy forums were just getting started – there was little real genealogy information online.  So, Mom and I went down to the local LDS Family History library and started looking through their books and microfilm and microfiche.  We went down to our local library and started looking through their books.  There were lots of indexes – but not a lot of detail that could tell us if we were looking in the right places.  We both started posting information requests on genealogy forums and newslists and one day we got a break.  One of those gaps in our family tree was someone we called “Unknown” Johnson.  He was married to Nancy Mayfield…but his first name remained a mystery.  Mom had posted a query on the Mayfield forum and one day we got a lead.  We were told that a “Moses Johnson married a Nancy Mayfield on 6 May 1816 in Granville Co., NC”.  With a little more research – we had filled in one of our missing gaps.  I have no idea how many hours that my mother and I spent searching on the internet, looking through countless books and learning how to use the equipment at the family history center to get that first genealogy victory…but I can tell you that it was sweet.

I can’t say that the genealogy research is all drudgery because that would be dishonest.  The pursuit is great fun and can be a great adventure.  My mother’s grandparents homesteaded on Grouse Flats, Wallowa Co., OR.  We found out that my great grandfather’s uncle Albert was buried up there.  So, one early summer afternoon, Mom, Dad and I took a drive up to Grouse Flats.  This involved going up a winding grade from Asotin to Anatone, WA and then down another winding grade aptly named “Rattlesnake grade” until we turned up a road heading towards Troy, OR.  From there we headed up another winding grade to go to Bartlett cemetery.  We didn’t exactly know the location, but we kept our eyes peeled and soon enough we came to a turnoff that led past the Bartlett cemetery.   We got out and walked around the small cemetery (this is how I know it was early summer – my mother never would have gotten out and walked around that cemetery because of her fear of snakes!)  We found cemetery stones that showed children who had died young, families buried together, and eventually Uncle Albert’s grave.  There are a lot of people who wonder at the sanity of walking around a cemetery and seeing it as an enjoyable activity.  When I walk around a cemetery I see family histories, untold stories of the loss of a child or the long life well lived, mother’s buried next to children whose death dates are the same or symbols on gravestones that tell of a military background.  You never know what you will find – sometimes a smile and sometimes a sense of sadness.

In the years that I have done research I've spent money on death records, land records, pension records.  I've spent hours in a courthouse pouring over land records or marriage records and then have taken the time to photo copy those precious records.  I've driven long distances and flown in an airplane clear across the country to fuel my appetite for answers.  I've spent hours on the telephone with distant cousins and countless emails to other researchers.  As records have become available online, I've spent untold hours looking through census records to find familial patterns.  I can remember the thrill of finding the grandparents that I personally knew in those census records. 

I've been engulfed in my genealogy obsession for many years now and have been fortunate to gain many friends with whom I've been able to share theories and information with.  I’ve learned family anecdotes and have been able to share them with other family members.  It all started with curiosity and a genealogy program so many years ago.  My mother and I sat back in the den with both of our computers humming and our fingers moving along a keyboard.  Mom died seven years ago and now I continue on my own.  I’m sure Mom is up there finding all of the answers that we hadn't found – I just wish she could send me an email and let me know what she found out!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

January 12, 1949

House on Thain before the fire

Richard & Cappy on the back step abt 1947
It was January 12th, 1949 - I’m sure it was a normal Wednesday.  Mom woke up, had breakfast with her sister and got ready to go to school.  I know that my grandmother probably made her wear her woolen stockings, which she hated – and she walked to school with her sister.  It was a cold day – according to the historical record the day before was -8 degrees F and the average daily temperature for the month was 7 degrees.  I’m sure there was a special dinner that night because it was her sister’s 10th birthday.  Because it was my aunt’s birthday, she was staying the night with her grandparents (Mom & Pop Friddle) who only lived about a hundred feet away.  Mom probably went to bed at an early hour and was sound asleep, when she was suddenly awakened – and her world changed.

I’m not really sure when my grandparents became aware that their house was on fire – but I know my grandmother’s first thought was to get her daughter to safety.  So, she woke up my mother and hurried her down the stairs and away from the house.  Mom was told to go down to her grandparents’ house.   There was a lot of snow that year, so there was a path that led to Mom & Pop Friddle’s house that made Mom think that she was going through a snow tunnel.  She looked behind and just above the top of the snow, she saw flames leaping out of the roof near the chimney.   Mom hurried down to the Mom and Pop Friddle's house and and I’m sure she and her sister along with their grandparents watched while their house burned down.

Mom’s house was on 125 Thain Road, located just at the top of Thain Grade in the Lewiston Orchards.  Hastings, McDonalds, and Erb Hardware currently sit on the lots that used to be the homes of my grandparents and great grandparents.  Thain Road is a busy road…and so people driving by saw the situation and stopped to help.  Some well-meaning person was throwing out of the window, the new dishes that my grandmother had gotten for Christmas.  Four young men were struggling to move the upright piano out of the living room.  It appeared to be too heavy for them until the roof started collapsing from the fire, they got such a shot of adrenaline that they carried that piano out of the house and clear across the street.  It was one of the few items that were saved, plus a few pictures and mementos.  Mom’s father had died just 16 months before (Daddy’s Gone) and Grandma managed to save the leather jacket that he had as well as some pictures and some his personal mementos.  In reality, very little was saved and the home that my grandmother had built with her first husband was gone.

It was a significant fire for the Lewiston Orchards at the time.  There were no fire hydrants nearby with water to help battle the blaze and while I’m sure there was a volunteer fire department, they were ill – prepared to fight the fire and so all was lost.

When Mom woke up the next morning, she was in the unique situation that she couldn't go to school.  Her sister could – because they had saved her clothes – but the only clothes that my mother had were the play clothes that my grandmother had hung out on the line to dry.  It had to be hard for her though – she was eight years old and literally everything that she had was gone – her clothes, her toys and her books.  Her classmates all brought some money to school and the teacher went out and bought Mom two dresses and a Sambo doll.  Mom would wear one dress on one day and her mother would wash the other dress.  During that time period, girls were not allowed to wear anything but dresses to school.  I don’t know how many people remember what or who “Sambo” was…but Sambo was based on a children’s book about a little black boy and was a popular character from her childhood.  (Yes…I know it was politically incorrect.)  I remember going to the Sambo’s restaurant as a kid – primarily for waffles. 

Betty (Mom) Joan pictured with their step father Gwen (Top)
and their mother below - While the new house was being built
So for the next several months Mom and her family went through the process of rebuilding.  Mom and her sister stayed with their grandparents (Mom and Pop Friddle) and Grandma and her new husband (Gwen Shearer – they had married Sept 1948) lived in the shed behind the house while they rebuilt the house.  I’m sure it was many months before it was finished.  Just about everything we have that belonged to my grandmother comes from after that house fire.  We have a few chairs, an old 1948 sewing machine, and some dishes.  There are a few other items that they saved from the fire like that old piano, Grandpa Richard’s leather jacket and few other items.  It took many months before they were all living in the same house again. The first year after it was finished - the took a picture (see below) and put it on their Christmas card to send out to all of their family and friends - I'm sure they were happy to have a home again!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Cemetery Tales - Shingletown Cemetery

The first time I visited the Wesley Methodist Cemetery aka Shingletown Cemetery near Laurel Bloomery, Johnson Co., TN was in 2001.  It was a voyage of discovery that was made even more special by the fact that I was able to visit the home that my great grandmother grew up in.  (The Little House in the Hollar)  In 2003, I was able to go back…but this time I took a cousin with me to visit the house and we were able to visit the church as well.  We were also able to visit the daughter of the Ferd Reid who had directed me to the Dollar home in the first place.  Betty was taking care of her mother, who had dementia.  As we took some time to visit, Betty explained to me that she had grown up there in that house and her father had run a store that had burned down.  I remember as a child hearing my great grandmother talking about walking to town to go to the store.  I always wondered where exactly she was going because Mountain City was a long way away.  Betty told me several bits and pieces of information and asked me if I knew anything about her family.  I told that I didn’t really have any information…however, that has changed.

One of the most pivotal relatives that I have come across is Andrew Pennington b. 7 Sept 1813 in Ashe Co., NC and who died on 29 Dec 1894 in Shingletown, Johnson Co., TN.  You might wonder why I call him pivotal…In 1850, he and his family is recorded in the Ashe Co., NC census with an elderly man named Ephraim Pennington.  Within two years, he sells his land to an Elijah Pennington and moves to Johnson Co., TN.  That elderly man living with him was most likely his father and the Elijah Pennington who he sold his land too was his nephew.  That information makes him important in my ancestry because it turns out that Andrew Pennington was the younger brother of my ancestor, Levi Pennington b. 1794 and Ephraim was their father.  Not only that, when Andrew went over to Laurel Bloomery in Johnson Co., TN – within 20 years, Levi’s daughter and husband (my 3rd great grandparents) followed him over there – and that is where my great grandmother was born. 
Betty had told me that her mother was the daughter of Bettie Pearl Blackburn who had come from Arkansas and her grandfather was William A. Davidson.  She didn’t really know all that much about him.  So, in 2005, when Hazel Davidson (Betty’s mother) passed away, I was able to read her obituary and get a little more information.  So, knowing that she was born in Johnson Co., TN near Shingletown, TN, I was able to establish from the census that her father, William A. Davidson was born in 1881.  William is recorded with his parents, Creed and Nancy Davidson.  At this point, my curiosity is somewhat appeased and I go on and do some other looking in the census records for my Pennington line.  I am starting to piece together the children of Andrew Pennington and his wife Mary Elizabeth Pope, imagine my surprise when I discover that they had a daughter named Nancy Laurinda Pennington who married a Creed Davidson.  I’ve been able to further establish the link by cemetery records for the Wesley Methodist Church Cemetery aka Shingletown Cemetery and her death record.
Nancy Laurinda Pennington Davidson
Creed Davidson Grave

That one link led me to look even more closely at that cemetery and its inhabitants.  I have found that a large percentage are either directly descended from Andrew Pennington.  So with that information, I was able to learn even more about Andrew Pennington and his family.  Enough to know that in that little piece of Tennessee – there are a lot of Pennington relatives.  So by researching layer by layer on a family, I was able to gain a larger understanding of the family as a whole.  Andrew Pennington is quite distinct to me now and not to be confused with the Andrew Pennington who lived in Smyth Co., VA (A Tale of Two Andrews)  It just goes to show that it might be a good idea to explore some of these small cemeteries where some of our ancestors are buried.  You never know when you will discover another family layer to explore.

Family of Andrew Pennington

Generation No. 1
1.  ANDREW4 PENNINGTON  (EPHRAIM3, EPHRAIM2, EPHRAIM1) was born 07 Sep 1813 in Ashe Co., NC, and died 29 Dec 1894 in Shingletown, Johnson Co., TN.  He married (1) ELIZABETH SHEPHARD.    He married (2) MARY ELIZABETH POPE Abt. 1835.  She was born 18 May 1812 in NC or VA, and died 12 Oct 1884 in Shingletown, Johnson Co., TN.


                   i.    MARY E.5 PENNINGTON, b. Apr 1836, Ashe Co., NC; d. 27 Mar 1916, Shingletown, Johnson Co., TN; m. ROBERT C. SEXTON, 14 Mar 1863, Johnson Co., TN; b. 06 Mar 1835, VA; d. 04 Feb 1887, Shingletown, Johnson Co., TN.

                  ii.    LEVI PENNINGTON, b. Abt. 1837, Ashe Co., NC; d. Bef. 1860.

                 iii.    JOHN H. PENNINGTON, b. Abt. 1840, Ashe Co., NC.

                 iv.    EPHRAIM PENNINGTON, b. 07 May 1842, Ashe Co., NC; d. Sep 1904; m. (1) LOUISA KATHERINE HALL, 07 Oct 1862, Johnson Co., TN; b. Abt. 1842, TN; d. Bef. 1875; m. (2) MARGARETT R. RICHARDSON, Abt. 1885; b. Jan 1861, NC.

                  v.    MARTHA JANE PENNINGTON, b. 26 May 1848, Ashe Co., NC; d. 21 Apr 1928, Shingletown, Johnson Co., TN; m. MADISON M. MCCRACKEN; b. 26 Jul 1894, Wideners Valley, Washington Co., VA; d. 20 Feb 1928, Shingletown, Johnson Co., TN.

                 vi.    MARGARET C. PENNINGTON, b. 19 Mar 1851, Ashe Co., NC; d. 06 Sep 1914, Grainger Co., TN; m. PLEASANT ALEXANDER DIXON, 23 Jun 1863, Johnson Co., TN; b. 25 Aug 1844, Yadkin Co., NC; d. 09 Jul 1910, Grainger Co., TN.

                vii.    NANCY LAURINDA PENNINGTON, b. 07 Sep 1853, Ashe Co., NC; d. 15 Feb 1930, Johnson Co., TN; m. CREED F. DAVIDSON, Bef. 1875; b. 28 Jan 1852, Smyth Co., VA; d. 13 Jan 1922, Shingletown, Johnson Co., TN.
               viii.    ADELAZA PENNINGTON, b. Abt. 1856, TN.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Great Great Aunt Jeanne

Taken 1981 - Top L- Ernie, Dewey, Harold
Bottom L: Ruth, Jessie, Florence and Jeanne
(7 of the Shawver Siblings)
A few days ago, we learned that my great great Aunt Jeanne had passed away.  She was the last of my great grandmother’s siblings – and had been the last one for the last ten years.  I always identified with Aunt Jeanne…and whenever we got together at reunions or funerals, I always spent some time visiting with her.  I don’t think that she would be offended if I called her a combination of “sugar and spice!”  I believe that she would appreciate the cooking term as she was a well known "great" cook.  Aunt Jeanne was a lady who as incredibly kind and loving but she always had spine of steel.  The health challenges alone that she survived took a strong will.  She had had numerous joint replacements for the last 20 years.  Aunt Jeanne was stubbornly independent but was also generous and strong presence in the lives of all she touched. She was a wonderful mother and grandmother – the devotion of her children and grandchildren are proof of that. 

George William Shawver &
Elizabeth Matilda Legg
In genealogical terms, I have always found Aunt Jeanne to be fascinating.  She was the youngest child of the 17 children of George Christian Shawver (he had three separate families).  Her oldest sibling was born in 1883 (Harvey) and she was a great aunt when she was only a few years old.  Her paternal grandparents were born early in the previous century.  George William Shawver was born 15 Nov 1824 and his wife, Elizabeth Matilda Legg was born 16 May 1830.  They both died in 1900 (Elizabeth on 12 Feb 1900 & George on 9 Mar 1900) and her paternal great grandparents were born in the late 18th century.  Aunt Jeanne was born on 6 Jun 1926 when her father was 59 years old and her mother was 44 years old.  Her next oldest sibling, Virginia, was eight years older than her.  I suspect that she was an “oops” baby!  My great grandmother, Florence, was born on 14 Jun 1897 and she married in 1917 when she was 20 years old.  Her oldest five children were all older than Aunt Jeanne.  Aunt Jeanne used to love to hear stories from my grandmother and great uncle because she said that they knew her father better than she did.  They had more time with their grandfather than Aunt Jeanne had with her father.  Aunt Jeanne lost her father in 1931, when she was only 5 years old and she was raised by her mother.  She married Warren Renz in 1946 in Lyons, Burt Co., NE and she and Warren were the parents of six children.  Aunt Jeanne lost her husband twenty years ago and had remained a widow since.
George Christian "Chris"  Shawver & Tamsey Perry

It wasn’t just the gap in years with her ancestral generations but even when with the younger generations.  She was my great great aunt and 42 years older than I!  She was a great aunt before she was a mother.  She probably had at least 20 great, great, great, great nieces and nephews.  She has a large family with many children and grandchildren – but her nieces and nephews must number near 1000 and span at least 5 generations.  (I know from my family alone, there are about 180 nieces and nephews!)  Her father was old enough to have known his grandparents who were born in the 1700’s and Aunt Jeanne was old enough to remember her father.  That span of memory is over 200 years. 

It will be strange attending the next Shawver picnic and not finding Aunt Jeanne there with her coffee directing traffic or at the Gage picnic enjoying the visiting with the family.   She has been a presence in my life – for my entire life…and I will miss her!