52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks: Family Pictures

One of her dearest possessions was a camera. She could capture and remember poignant moments in time, plus to her the lens was magical. Miss Mamie treasured her grandchildren of whom she took many snapshots. Miss Mamie delighted in her husband Lafe’s fishing and hunting exploits so those prizes were photographed, too. Once in a while, she would turn the camera over to a family member so he/she could snap a shot of her.

Mamie had four children: Pearl, Helen, Edward (nicknamed Jack), and Isabella.When her family was young, they visited the local photography studio to have portraits taken. Then, she got a camera…informal pictures were now hers at the snap of a button. There was Jack on his bronco…Pearl and Helen sitting in a Model T…Isabella monkeying up to the roof of the house.

Two of my family treasures are pictures she took of her granddaughter Merna Mae. One is the young MaeMae (as Merna was nicknamed) with her horse Beauty. MaeMae rode her horse to the one room schoolhouse that she attended. In the picture, she looks shyly at the ground and not facing the camera.

The other is a snapshot of MaeMae with her mother Isabella and sister Mary Lee. There they stand proudly by their car and with a pony.

Miss Mamie would be most proud to know that her little slices of everyday life are appreciated and valued by me. She was my great grandmother, and we never met. Her daughter Isabella was my grandmother while MaeMae was my mother. Miss Mamie’s name was Naomi Ruth (Stevens) Boultinghouse. And she is loved along with her family photo treasures.

52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks: Love

Well, I should have known that this was no passing fancy…this was real. I had fallen completely and desperately in love…this was real and true. With that very first flirtation, I was hooked. This was real and true and forever. Cross my heart!

It started out with just one look. I yearned for one little answer…one little hint that this was it. Was I on engaging in a short affair or a lifetime commitment? I tended to go for the latter. Time would yield the answer.

And so it was…in this same month 13 years ago, I pledged my love to a beloved. This is a confession of my love for (drumroll here, please) GENEALOGY! Building my family tree, getting DNA results, meeting cousins have been cherished and treasured. I am totally in love and fulfilled.

52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks: Surprise

Looking through his military records, my eyes stuttered on one word. How could this be, dear grandfather? What is your story?

Surprised but not daunted by the information, I chose to research why Patriots became deserters…why did my grandfather leave General Washington and his troops as they sought and fought to guard Pennsylvania and New Jersey from the British in the winter of 1777?

Obsessed With History writer, Garit Boothe, offers some answers about why men deserted during the Revolution: lack of proper shoes and uniforms to survive the winter; irregular pay for months on end; PTSD (yes, walking toward the enemy with cannon fire at one’s back can do that); huge chance of losing as the Patriots and Washington had less supplies and soldiers; and/or personal problems at home. Boothe’s comments can be read at https://www.quora.com/Why-did-soldiers-during-american-revolution-desert.

Another commenter, Roosevelt Wallace, states that desertion is not about cowardice. It can be about lack of proper training, lack of food and supplies, weather conditions, disease, lack of leadership. (Wallace’s comments appear at the end of Boothe’s article.)

What I do know about Joseph is this: he was 37 years old when he enlisted. He was a farmer. He was a common family man with no military training. The leader of his company was Peter Dickerson, who was the local tavern keeper. Which of the above reasons spurred him to desert? How did his brain, his heart, and his conscience work that all out?

I also know this about Joseph: in 1790, he helped form a local militia to protect the citizens of western Pennsylvania. He and his family moved on to the Ohio and Illinois Territories, where he was again part of the local militia. So…

My original intent was to research my 4th great grandfather’s military records so I could apply to the DAR and win recognition for him since no one in the family had ever chosen to honor him. Well, surprise, surprise, surprise…my dear grandfather, now I know why your descendants had not. I also know that you hold a special place in my heart for trying.