Working – Family Finds

Nearly all my ancestors can be found in the records working. For the most part, the men were farmers, the women were keeping house. The few exceptions included a weaver, a preacher and a lime burner. More recently my ancestors have worked in cities, including a paper hanger, a postal clerk and a research scientist. The ancestor who stands out is one who made the transition, as an adult, from rural farmer to city worker. My great grandfather John LaFara, 1864-1945, was a farmer in Tipton County, Indiana but sold his farm and moved to the city to work as a laborer.

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Character – Family Finds

I did not personally know my great aunt Grace, but those who did often described her as being fun, and full of life. My father said his aunt Grace was “a character,” my aunt Lois would say Grace was “lots of fun,” and my grandmother said her sister “liked to laugh.” Grace’s husband, my uncle Frank, would say “Grace loved her flowers and her family.” From records and family photos, I think Aunt Grace looked for the positive even when life was a challenge. Aunt Grace was a character with character.

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Tragedy – Family Finds

Peter Hebble inquest summary, 1851
Peter Hebble inquest summary, 1851

Once in a while a vital record reveals a tragedy about an ancestor. Sometimes a record documents death at an early age, or from a disease that is curable today. I have also found newspaper articles that include details of a family tragedy: divorce, illness, accidents, house fires, and loss of a child. These discoveries lead me to wonder what impact a tragedy has on the whole family. This week I consider the fate of my 3rd great-grandmother, Mary Hebble 1812-1851, and the impact her illness and death had on her immediate family.

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Mother — Family Finds

For this week’s prompt I thought I’d share some favorite photos of my mother. My mother will be 96 this summer and she is regularly surprised to have lived such a long and relatively healthy life. I’m not sure why she is surprised since both her mother and grandmother lived long lives. Nonetheless, my mother appreciates her good health and takes pleasure in working on her quilting projects everyday. It may be the creative process that has contributed to her long life, it has certainly made it more enjoyable.

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Loss – Family Finds

I have previously written about my 3rd great grandmother, Sarah Smith Gilbert 1820-1846, in the post Sarah Smith: Challenge[1] While writing that post I wondered about the impact of her death on her family. What was the impact of her loss on her husband? My 3rd great grandfather, Samuel Gilbert 1812-1895 was left to care for their 2 year old daughter Hannah when Sarah died in 1846. At the age of 34, Samuel was a farmer and laborer. He probably had little time or experience to care for a small child

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