Monday, June 26, 2017

Another Link to the Past

The little girl in this picture is my great grandmother, the one who taught me how to gamble for nickels in my early teens. Until recently, I had never seen a picture of her younger than her mid 80's when most of my memories with her were formed. Here she is as a little girl with her parents and older brother posing for a picture. Her parents were also second cousins, something that I blogged about some time ago and I often wonder if they even knew that. Both of their lines combine into one line giving me two fewer 5th great grandparents than one would normally have. If my math is correct, I only have 126 5th great grandparents instead of the normal 128.

These lines/line are also my sole southern family that moved north during the lead up to the civil war. The rest of my ancestors were on the north side of the line to start with. For reasons unknown to me, my 5th great grandfather, great grandfather to the two adults in this picture, never made it to Iowa. In fact, I don't know where he is buried though I'm guessing it is somewhere near where they lived in Virginia. My 5th great grandmother however did make it to Iowa and is buried on a hill overlooking a tributary that feeds into the Mississippi river on the east side of the state. I have been to her grave in a family cemetery full of her descendants that also overlooks a farm still in the family to this day.

The one thing I haven't been able to figure out thus far is what my 2nd great grandfather is holding in his hand. It sort of looks like a newspaper that has been creased and rolled up in the opposite direction. I don't think it could be a hat. Whatever it is does give him a sort of distinguished look.


Kelly said...

To me, it looks like some sort of periodical folded backwards (since it appears to have a spine). The adults look much happier than the children, especially the mom. Makes me wonder if there was some threatening to behave and not fidget involved before taking the photo.

Ed said...

Kelly - If they were my kids with a long exposure time, I would have probably several threats as well!

Vince said...

Doing a quick edit to pull out the details a bit, on the whole I'd say it's a magazine folded over it's spine with the top (left as you'd read it) tucked over the bottom.
Now the stumper. Did you hear anything about this guy losing the first two segments of his index finger. Well, were you further West you'd say Trigger Finger, but it was a thing to lose on farms after machinery took over. It didn't require the threshing drum to do the surgery, but that was the main arm taker. Any of the belts or chains could slice off a digit handy enough.
Anyhoos, it looks like the reason for the book was to hide the loss.

Ed said...

Vince - I think the finger is just pointing at the camera in a way that makes it look like it might be missing. I have other pictures of him later in life with all fingers intact.

Bob said...

The old pictures are so interesting. I've always wondered why the subjects never smiled!

Ed said...

Bob - I probably have several dozen photos, including one I will be posting next week, with a child that is blurry and the rest of the party in perfect focus.