It is my firm belief that you can never say "I love you" enough to those whom you care deeply about nor is there such a thing as too much ice cream or it is too late to say, thank you.
Leslie Ann Ballou at Lost Mementos graciously bestowed the Ancestor Approved Award to In My Life and while it has been precariously close to 'far too long,' I would like to thank her for this award. After all, who doesn't enjoy having a chance to have your friends applaud and appreciate your efforts? Especially when I discovered that Leslie Ann and her husband both descend from Somerled. How cool! But what immediately made me feel a kinship is Leslie's reference on her post to Steven MacDonald - my favorite Southern Scots singer/songwriter.
With this award comes the responsibility of listing ten things my ancestors have surprised, humbled and/or enlightened me:
1. I was surprised to learn my gr-gr-gr-grandfather, whose children would become the poster children of Baptist conservatism, once listed his occupation as a beer seller in Rochdale, Lancaster, England. (I was very nervous sharing this bit of information with my great-aunt Lenoa Polar Belott ... after the shock wore off she, fortunately, thought it was laughable.)
2. I was surprised to learn my uncle, Earle Bergeron, one of the Flying Sergeants who was killed in the China Burma India theater when the C-47 he was piloting crashed on takeoff did not immediately die upon impact as the family had thought; he died on the way to the field hospital.
3. I was humbled to learn my gr-gr-gr-uncle John Little was captured at the Battle of Chickamauga and died of dysentery at Andersonville Prison before his 17th birthday. I was also
4. Humbled to discover my patriot ancestor John Space, who served for the duration of the Revolutionary War, wintered with General Washington at Valley Forge and was present when Cornwallis surrendered.
5. I was enlightened (surprised!) to discover information that confirmed the family legend that my gr-gr-aunt Lizzie Little Goldrick really DID travel to London based on the legend that a "bushel of gold was deposited in the Bank of England" in the name of an ancestor (who married a "Spanish toe dancer"). Great Aunt Lizzie actually walked into the "Old Lady of Threadneedle Street" and attempted to make a withdrawal. Oh to have been a fly on the wall ... The family explained away Aunt Lizzie's discovery that there was no bushel of gold by surmising that the English must have used the gold during the war. Hummm ....
6. I was surprised to learn that Myron Hawley McCord, husband of gr-gr-aunt Sarah Etta Space McCord, not only obtained a questionable divorce from his first wife to marry Aunt Etta but had an ongoing affair with Mary Emma Winslow, who later became wife #3. Myron, a politician, lumberman and newspaper publisher from Wisconsin, was a Territorial Governor for the state of Arizona - and upon his death, wife #1 sued wife #3 making for a sensational trial and fodder for the tabloids.
7. I was amused to discover that my father was less than correct in his assertion that both of his grandmother's were named Francis - causing a temporary halt to my family research until I realized that it was his paternal grandfather and maternal grandmother who were both named Francis .. minor details.
8. I was surprised to find a detailed account of a barn, built in the 1850s by my maternal gr-gr-grandfather Zephaniah Allen Space while living in the village of Jenny (now the city of Merrill in Lincoln county, WI), was purchased and moved - twice - ending up in the Town of Pine River in Lincoln county and stood until 2008 when it was razed. Fortunately I have photographs from which my mother painted a beautiful watercolor.
9. I was surprised to learn that my maternal gr-gr-grandmother Margaretta Ann Shankle Space used money from her divorce from Zephaniah Space to amass a considerable amount of land which she left to her grand daughters with specific instructions that the land was intended for them, not for their husbands.
10. I was surprised to learn that my middle name, Jane, was given to me because my maternal grandfather Harley Space used the name "Jane" as an endearment when addressing any little girl. I later learned that Grandpa Harley's mother, Nancy Stone Space, a member of the Lac du Flambeau band of the Ojibwe, was given the name Equi-sans which is Ojibwe for "little girl."
With the first part of responsibilities taken care of, now comes the fun part (who doesn't like the chance to play Santa Claus??) I am pleased to pay this award forward to the following five bloggers, all of whom are deserving of kudos:
1. Tipper Wilson Pressley at Blind Pig and the Acorn
2. The wonderful ladies at Cemetery Divas
3. Denise Olson at Moultrie Creek
4. Lisa at A Light That Shines Again
5. Colleen at Orations of OMcHoday
Congratulations ladies .. you are my inspiration to keep the stories of my family alive.