Tuesday, November 2, 2010

All Souls' Day

Today is All Souls' Day.  Today we remember the Faithful Departed.  Family and history are very important to me.  I am the family tree keeper.  I love Ancestry, I have been able to find many original documents.  My family has never been rich or famous, though some generations have had more than others.  Mostly we've been farmers and fishermen, living our lives close to nature.  I may be from 'town' but farm life isn't that far removed from my veins. 

This lovely lady is my great-great grandmother, Martha Chard Skeffington.  She was born in Bird Island Cove (now Elliston) Newfoundland.  She married and raised her family in Bonavista.  She was much-loved by her family.  When I was born her granddaughter Maude sent me Martha's rocking chair.  It's one of my prized possessions.  It's just a plain, black, Windsor back rocker, but sitting in it I feel all the past and love.  I think it would be the thing I would save from the house in a fire (family and pets already out of course).
  This is a picture of my Grandma (Ella's Great-Grandma in Bowmanville) as a little girl.   Uncle Gord is still with us too.   Great-Grandpa Heard was a farmer and Great-Grandma was a missionary doctor's daughter.  She grew up in China.  Her father had actually been born in India because his parents were missionaries too.  Great-Grandma remembered being evacuated to the coast during the Boxer Rebellion and some of her cousins were interned by the Japanese during WWII.  I was lucky enough to know Great Grandma until I was 10.  She was such a sweet and loving lady.  My happiest time was when we lived in her house.  It was a century home and around the corner from my Grandma and Grandpa Johnson.

I loved growing up close to Grandma and Grandpa.  Two of my uncles still lived at home.  My youngest uncle was only 13 when I was born.   Even with his health issues, Grandpa was loads of fun and would play with us grandkids as much as possible.  He loved Christmas and was a bigger kid than the actual children.

This is my 'German' family.  My Great Great Grandfather was born in Hutchenhausen, Canton Landstuhl, Germany.  His wife was from Strothagen, Hannover.   They came and settled in Neustadt, Ontario in the early 1860's.  This is a picture of some of their children and grandchildren.  My great grandma is likely in here somewhere, but we're not sure and there is no one left to ask.  This side of my family were fairly old when I was born and didn't talk so much about themselves.  I didn't get interested in family trees soon enough and missed a lot of opportunities.

This is John Fletcher, he is Colin's Great Grandpa.  He was a farmer up here in Renfrew County.  I don't know much about Colin's family.  I'll have to talk with his Mom.  She's the family tree keeper for their families. 

I just thought I'd share some pictures of our Faithful Departed.  They are never really gone so long as we remember and share their stories. 
So remember those who have gone before.

Merciful Father,
hear our prayer and console us.
As we renew our faith in Your Son,
whom You raised from the dead,
strengthen our hope that all our departed brothers and sisters
will share in His resurrection,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen

Eternal Rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace.


Life of a plainlady said...

I really enjoyed seeing the old pictures. I have some from my husband's side of the family and they are so much fun to look at. I learn something new everytime I get them out and look at them. Now I need to get inspired and put them in an album so everyone can enjoy them.

Paula said...

I love the old pictures too. I need to get them into albums and labeled so the names and places aren't forgotten. I need to get after my MIL to do the same.

Diann said...

Great photos! You really resemble your grandmother from Bowmanville!
My grandson was born in Landstuhl, Germany. He has dual citizenship. His dad was US Army, stationed in Germany and he and my daughter lived there for three (long!)years. (That was before the Canadian hubby!)

Paula said...

Wow, Diann, that's really cool! I've been told at family reunions that I look like Grandma. It's kind of funny because I look a lot like Mom and she looks just like her aunt (on Grandpas side). I guess it's like Ella, you can look so much like someone from one side of the family or the other, depending on the day. :)