Tattered Past

Tattered Past: My ongoing journey through genealogy, history, writing, self-exploration and art. ~~~ Rita Ackerman

Monday, November 24, 2014

Family GatheringsWhen I grew up


When I was growing up mom had an old blue cosmetic case where she kept the old family photographs, I poured over them by the hour, wondering about these people. Sometimes I'd ask questions but usually there weren't many answers.

In 1977 I started doing my family genealogy and found a lot of the answers. I kept asking questions of my mother, my grandma and eventually distant cousins I found through my research.

I know the people in this photo are connected through my Keith and Thompson lines who settled in southwestern Kansas in the later 1870s and early 1880s. They lived in dug outs and married locals and became a part of the growing community. They gathered for special holidays from the countryside and various small towns. Those were special occasions for the holidays, an anniversary, a birthday or a funeral. The women spent all day if not more than one in the kitchen preparing a spread of food and traditions that each of them grew up cherishing.

I believe the lady on the far right is the sister of my gr. gr. grandmother, Nancy Ann Thompson Keith.  Hester Ann Thompson married Jacob Heape and had three children Fanny, Ruth and Ethyl. I don't know what happened to these people. Sadly I never followed up on where these girls went or if they have any descendants. The other possibility is her sister Helen who married a Crawford. I feel sad that I didn't follow up on these ladies.

I wonder what their favorite holiday foods were. What things they later made for their children. What stories did they tell around that table?

As the holidays approach take time to ask the questions. Make note of traditions or foods you've had all your life and haven't thought about. Record the answers for the kids who are now too young to ask themselves.

Americans have a Happy Thanksgiving. If not keep this in mind for your next family gathering.