Monday, March 28, 2016

If It Weren't For Family ......

It's weird how things happen sometimes.  Yesterday I wanted to post a picture of me in my brand new Easter dress when I was about four years old.  While flipping through my old albums, I found this one.  I have a larger version that I restored for a photography class, but I don't ever remember seeing this exact picture.

Apparently at some point I had it in my hands, since all the writing on the back is mine!  There in big bold print is every single name.  Originally, I thought the baby was my grandmother.  How wrong I was.  The little boy second from the left, front row, is my Grandfather Alvin, later married to my Grandmother Grace Perkins.

What a shock!!  Although we have information on my Dad's side of the family clear back to the 1600's, I knew little about my mother's side until now.  This is some exciting stuff for me!!

Some of my information was correct ... the back five girls belong to Daniel from a previous marriage.  His current wife Catherine Christine spit out seven MORE children, including my Grandfather Alvin.  YIKES!!  On his left is Minnie ... I remember visiting Great Aunt Minnie in Denver Colorado before she passed away.  The baby is the mother of cousin Penny, the only redhead in the bunch, who also lived in Denver at that time.
They were apparently pretty well off, as everyone seems to be dressed well for the 1880's when this photo was taken, and can you believe it?  They are all looking at the camera!! 

I knew my Grandfather Alvin as the big giant of a man who liked to fish.  All of the pictures I have of him show a nice creel, a big pole and lots of fish on a string.  He died when I was about four years old.   Alvin worked on a construction crew to build the road over Walker Pass east of Kernville California.  I was told way back when, that my grandmother Grace met him while working as a cook in a big crew tent.  They married at age 17 I think.

The only other information I have on my grandmother is this:  Mrs. Caroline E. Allen, my great great grandmother, had a daughter (my great grandmother - no name) who married a "damn" Yankee named Perkins and moved to the city of Clay Center, Kansas, where my grandmother was born.  All of them were disinherited from the family, which probably means the Allens were slave owners.

Since I'm such a history buff, all this stuff is fascinating to me, so I'm on the hunt for more information.  After all, if it weren't for family, I wouldn't be here!!


  1. Isn't family history fascinating! I started researching my family about five years ago. If you want more info, do a free trial to (then if you like it you can do the subscription). I found a lot of my dad's family history from the newspaper articles back then.....lots of gossip. Another information is "Find A Grave". There are people who go out & take pictures of the grave sites & if there is any more information at the offices of the cemeteries, they will list that. Also, if there is an obituary that will get listed also. You never know, you might find more family that is actually alive.
    Liz-Boise, ID

    1. It is indeed Liz. I found even more information yesterday and I have a long way to go!!

  2. "the back five girls belong to Daniel from a previous marriage" Ever since I realized my grandfather's first wife divorced him I wonder about this type of wording. Divorce was often considered shameful back then so was sometimes hidden by phrases like that one.

    1. You are so right Linda. Actually, I think they WERE divorced, which really shocked me. I didn't think they did that in the old days!!