Sunday, February 28, 2010

Loved Though Unknown

I love this picture. My grandmother was born in 1899 and her mother is the girl in the back row, the first on the left. I'm guessing that this picture was taken in the early 1890's, about one hundred and twenty years ago. What do I know about this picture? Well,
-Great grandma's name was Minerva and she is standing behind her mother whose name is also Minerva. Now why did they do that. One of her brothers, Sam, was named after his father's brother Sam. This makes life very difficult for those who like to delve into the past.
-Minerva's parents are Minerva and Robert Haddock
-Robert Haddock's mother's name was Eleanor (McBride) Haddock and although her family tree flourished in Ireland, the family roots can be traced to Scotland.
-Minerva Haddock Senior was a Baker, and her parents were Eliza and Samuel.
-Great grandmother's sisters were Allie, Ella, and Daisy.
-Minerva married R.C. Ray, my great grandfather.
-His father's half brother married one of Minerva's sisters, so cousins shared a similar DNA profile
-I know the family was Puritan and their faith was often expressed in verse and song.
Now those are all bald facts, but none of them explain why I love this picture. Aren't the boys a handsome bunch? And grandma is so beautiful. Great, great grandfather Haddock looks as wise as Abraham Lincoln (and like they might have had the same tailor). My mother remembers Minerva, but knew her only as an older woman. No one remains alive who knew Minerva's parents. Each generation in it's turn passes from this earth and eventually from memory. And yet, this picture with my darkly handsome ancestors staring out at me, stirs me. There is a connection, a familiar, tangible something. These are bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh and are loved though unknown. Loved.

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