Tuesday, March 3, 2015


The history of a family is so important.
  When your history is known to you
 there is knowledge of fulfillment and contentment. 
 A knowledge of your place in the world.
  When there are missing pieces,
 and no one left to fill them in,
 you are at a loss as to what those pieces mean to you.

This was my great-grandmother, Susie, on my father's side. 
 She is shown above with my dad as a young boy. 
 My dad was born in 1912, 
so I am guessing this photograph was taken around the early 1920's. 
 Beyond that I don't know much about my great-grandmother,
 but before I get into what I do know,
 let me take you through the years 
of five generations
 that came after her.

This is her son,
 my grandfather,
 John William.

This is her grandson,
 my dad,

This is her great-grandaughter,
 What you don't know about me is
 that I have a new look,
 or an old look,
 however you want to think about it.

Debbie shared with us her new look a while back 
and I told her I would too!

 Talk about your 50 shades!

 I don't know yet 
if this will be my shining hour!

This is her great-great grandaughter,
 and her great-great-great grandson,

There were more generations before her
 and there will be more to come.

I have very vague memories of Susie. 
 From what I have heard over the years,
 and these are quite blurred, 
she was a sort of an eccentric.

 Whether those are accurate truths
 or someone's version of the truth,
 I do not know,
 but could account for why nothing much was told about her. 
In other words, 
she could have been a sort of outcast.

 Can't you just envision 
a woman of her tiny stature
 with attitude!
 I find that to be more endearing
 the real thing.

I have a perception of a large, yellow farmhouse
 across the road 
from this above stand of trees...

...and through the haze,
 I seem to be holding my mother's hand
 and talking to Susie outside her door
 next to a lilac bush.
 Maybe that is why lilacs
 are at the forefront 
of my most favorite flower.

I do know for a fact though, 
that Susie and my great-grandfather, John,
 (I think this was his given name but he passed before I ever came along)
 came from English stock and settled on, what became, the family ranch in Soquel. 
 At this time, and throughout the time that the property was in the family,
 it was just a winding road off the main road, 
over a bridge 
and past the old barn. 
 It wasn't until the property was sold in the 1960's 
that the new owners put a name to it.

Susie's husband was a smithy 
and worked from this little shop on the property.
  The shop was torn down when I was very young 
but I do recall it being on the property.

Their home burned to the ground 
when I was a small child 
and whether my memories
 are from what I had seen
 or what I had been told,
 I truly do not know.

Parlor stove that sat in my great-grandmother's parlor before the fire.

Over the years
 I have acquired a few precious momentos
 that did belong to Susie
 and which had all survived the farmhouse fire.

(In foreground) a fancy little porcelain cup

Commode with marble top

Wheeler & Wilson treadle sewing machine

Small double barrel, double trigger, hand gun

This little hand gun
 evidently was used for protection. 
 I assume it was Susie's 
as it is small and appears made for a lady's hand. 
 The stock was evidently made of wood
 and burned up in the fire. 
 There are no distinguishing markings that I can see. 
 For some reason this weapon intrigues me
 and I tried to look it up online 
but couldn't find any information regarding it. 
 I think I will try a gun shop 
and if I find out anything I will report back,
 or, if in the meantime,
 this little weapon looks familiar to any of you out there,
I would love to hear about it.

 This is my latest project 
and what inspired this post.
 ( I can sure ramble on when talking about one little chair!)
 It belonged to Susie. 
The seat was originally hand caned
 but was broken out
 so we replaced it with a fibre board panel and I painted it.

I love the charming design
 of it's back and the petite size of it. 
 It is definitely a ladies chair...

...and now it resides in the guest room 
and I can see Grandma Susie 
( or as everyone referred to her: Ma)
 sitting there,
 removing her slippers,
 whenever I pass by.

This is my last piece of the puzzle. 
 It is the original document for Susie's final resting place.
  Since it is dated 1918,
 I think it must have been procured before the photo
 of Susie and my dad was taken,
 but I wonder,
 at what age
 a person would consider doing this
 back then.

I know there are good places to check out your ancestry
 and someday I will follow up,
 but it would have been so much more fulfilling
 if all these questions could have been answered
 by the ones
 who knew.


Happy March to everyone.

Sharing today at:


  1. What a charming and informative post - I love all the things you have from your ancestors and the love and care you give them to preserve them in the family.

  2. I loved this and read every word of it, Judy. I love all the history and moments that tie a family together generation to generation. Amazing. She was a tiny thing, wasn't she? I love that character study picture of your grandfather. It's an interesting picture.

    My grandmother's house also burned to the ground. I have her old treadle FREE machine with a burn hole in the top-and an ink well-and a couple of small things that she was able to save.

    Loved this post, Judy. xo Diana

  3. Wouldn't it be such a wonderful thing to sit down and talk with our ancestors??!! I know we will one day, when we are all re-united, but it sure would be neat to talk with them now!
    I love all of your pictures, and the stories of your ancestors. It is wonderful that you have a few treasures as well, and very lucky for you!!

    So, am I right in reading that your maiden name was Allred?? If so, I can think that you must be related to about a million folks in my neck of the woods... including some of my relatives!!

    Thank you for this wonderful post, and for sharing a bit of your heart with us.
    I love, love your hair too!!

    ~Smiles :)

  4. Judy,
    LOVED this post!!
    So much history and I am so glad that you inherited some of your precious family's heirlooms......
    Also, I adore your hair and the style of it!! Thanks so much for the Shout Out!! I will give you one in my next post!!


  5. Oh Judy, your post brought back so many memories of my Aunt's and grandfather on my mothers side. I was much closer to my mothers side of the family. She came from a big German family, 4 sisters and 4 brothers. I loved the pictures and I have some of my family also.
    I have traced my mothers side of the family back to the 1600 hundred's in Germany and it is so much fun. My cousin (who I am very close to) and myself are the oldest living relatives left. She has a brother that is 6 months younger than me. Nellie, still lives on her farm in Virginia and she will be 86 this August. I plan on going home to see her before something happens to her or me after school is out. I pick up a little boy from school and keep him until his mother gets home from her teaching job .
    Maybe some day I will do a post on my family, they sure were very interesting and I love when I hear some new news about the old times.
    I really enjoyed your post and good luck on finding your relatives. I googled my grandfather and a lot of information came up. Good hunting....

  6. Hi Judy, loved hearing about your family history! You are so lucky to have so many family pieces. Your little chair is a cutie, did you notice how the front rung curves inward instead of being flat across? That is called a hoop skirt front rung and is usually older then just the flat front rung, so that's cool. :)
    Thanks for sharing and have a great week,

  7. It seems you know tons! The photos are absolutely wonderful! ANd so nice that you own some family possessions. Quick! Write as much as you can remember down. Your coming generations will be so thankful. Love your pretty do!

  8. I am a sentimental kind of girl and I love reading about the history of families. This was a delightful post, Judy, and a sweet reminder of how precious family truly is.

    You are very blessed to have so many family items and I am sure they will continue to be passed down - that is a joy!

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful post with Roses of Inspiration - I truly appreciate it. Hugs to you!

  9. What a wonderful post. You are so fortunate to have inherited these reminders of a fascinating lady. She was also very cute and from what you said full of life and spunky. It really explains your love of antiques and things of the past. The chair is adorable...you know how much I like chairs.

  10. Hi Judy, I loved your post of generations and history. It is so interesting and such fun to learn these wonderful events. I love the lilac bush and it reminds me of my mother who grew them in her yard. Love your photos and your new do is darling. Love the cut and color.
    The chair you redesigned is a treasure. Love it.
    Thank you for stopping by while I've been away sweet friend.
    Enjoy your search and heritage.
    Hugs and Blessings, CM

  11. I always like to think of hands holding hands through the generations. I know just what you mean about the peacefulness in one's soul that comes from knowing ones history.
    Your hair cut is very nice! A good haircut makes a difference doesn't it? So glad Debbie sent me over.

  12. Great post, Judy; I love this!! I agree that learning about our family ancestry can be fascinating. My uncle (my mom's brother) has done quite a bit of our family history, and his wife continues to work on it. I still think I would like to give it a try myself, as I have always been so fascinated with history. I also love to look at old photographs like the ones you've shared here. I'm glad some objects were not destroyed in the house fire, and that you can now be their caretaker. :)

    Loved seeing yours and your daughter's picture! Have a wonderful week, Judy!


    Denise at Forest Manor

  13. It seems that quite a few pictures of old family photos have a lilac bush. Mom had several colors of them in our yard along with purple crepe myrtles, doesn't seem like home with out them planted.
    Done quite a bit history here on the family, but so many twists and turns as dates are not always correct and land boundaries changed along with names-whew.
    It's good you have pieces of the past in your home such as that darling chair and that parlor stove, always loved parlor stoves and you have a beauty.
    I like your hair do , you have much more than I have, mine is thinning.
    Loved this post and Susie looks so sweet.

  14. Lovely post! I enjoy family history too, and appreciate your curiosity about the generations that came before you. Good luck on your journey into your family's past! Visiting from Roses of Inspiration...thanks for sharing!

  15. Such a lovely post, it's great to know your grandparents and to have family photos.

    Spring cleaners Chelsea

  16. That sense of family, and knowing their history is so important. When we are younger we tend to think, oh yes it's just history...And then when you get older, you realize just how important it is.

    Verbal history is just as important as written, and photographed, and I love hearing about those family mysteries...I think every family has a few in their backyards.

    I love what you have done to that chair, it lives on in a new reincarnation, and a special place.


  17. Such a sweet post! I've been asking my mom lots of questions lately about her family and history! I think it's important to keep as much as possible alive from our past! I'm so excited to know more about the truly creative people in my family and hope to inspire that creativity in the generations that follow. Loved reading this post, Judy!! Blessings, Cindy

  18. Good morning, my dear! I wanted to let you know that this precious post has been featured at Roses of Inspiration. Thank you so much for joining the party last week - we would love to see you again.

    Hugs and blessings!


Your comments are so special to me...Judy