The Scrappin Genealogist

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Fearless Females: Day #6

Describe an heirloom you may have inherited from a female ancestor (wedding ring or other jewelry, china, clothing, etc.) If you don’t have any, then write about a specific object you remember from your mother or grandmother, or aunt (a scarf, a hat, cooking utensil, furniture, etc.)

I have two very special heirlooms that have been handed down to me. Let me give a little back history here. My mother was my grandmother's only child, so me, my sister, and my brother are her only grandchildren. Since I was the first one born, I have always been special to my grandma. Since I'm not a grandparent, I don't understand this, but my mom confirms that although you don't love them any more than the others, that your first grandchild is very special.

The two heirlooms that I have were both given to me by my grandmother. The first one is the pin pictured below. This pin was given to my great great great grandmother on the day she gave birth to my great great grandmother Lilly. Lilly was born on 30 March 1870 in DeQueen, Arkansas. When Lilly gave birth to her first daughter in 1891, my ggg grandmother gave it to her. Lilly wore it often, and on the day that my great grandmother Maude gave birth to her first child in 1913, grandma Lilly gave the pin to her. It was given to my great aunt when she had her first daughter. Now, it never passed to that child as my great aunt Lorene wore it until she became sick with leukemia. When it was apparent that she was going to lose her fight, she gave it to my grandma, who was the youngest daughter. A few years ago when my grandfather passed away and I went out to help with the final arrangements, my grammy gave me the pin and told me about the special significance of it.

I adore this pin because it represents five generations of mother/daughter love. The mothers in my family have handed down this pin to their daughters since 1870.

The second heirloom is the ring pictured below. This ring isn't as old as the pin, but it has a special significance. When my great grandparents were married, they didn't have much money. My great grandpa couldn't afford a ring at the time. But, as they started to have children, raise children, and save money, he bought her the ring below. It's a small eternity band and it doesn't even fit any of my fingers. But, this ring signifies the love that they shared with each other. My great grandma was lost when her husband died unexpectedly. She didn't know how much money they had, and she didn't even know how to write a check. He literally took care of all that. I love this ring because it is a tangible piece of their lives together.

The last one is the bracelet pictured below. This one was given to me by my paternal grandmother. I don't know if you can read it, but it says Graham Ausmus, which is my father's name. This is a baby bracelet that my dad wore when he was a baby. I just love it because I can't imagine my daddy ever being that small to wear it. I cherish this also because it is something that my grandmother made for my dad, her firstborn son.

I cherish all the heirlooms that I have received, but the three above are extra special to me mainly because I know about their histories. I know where they came from, why they are in the family, and how they came about being in the family. They are tangible pieces to the past, and each of them represents love.

Now, did you all see Who Do You Think You Are? last night? Lionel Richie was on it and all I can say is wow. He wanted to find out more information about his great grandparents, and boy did he find out! He found out that his great great great grandmother was a slave and that upon her masters passing, he freed her and her unborn baby as well as provided two years of schooling for the baby. How cool is that? The baby ended up growing up and being a pioneer in the civil rights movement. I always enjoy seeing success stories of African Americans. In my years as a professional genealogist, there have been many African American people who came to me for help, and I was only able to do so much. So, when I see stories like Lionel Richie's or Vanessa Williams', it makes me so happy that they were able to find out about their ancestors.

I didn't catch who was going to be on the show next week, but I am sure it will be just as good as the rest of the stories have been this season.


Janeen said...


All Roads Lead to Roxbury said...

To reiterate what Janeen said: Beautiful!

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