|Agness Miller and Tim Brennan with 3 of thier |
4 daughters Ruth, Mary Alice, and Helen.
Margaret was not born yet. Taken about 1926
Hearing about what happened to the files, from the man who threw them away, was a lesson in control; having to inform my father was heartbreaking. I think I can now truly understand how my dad’s mom must have felt while watching her mother burn all of her grandparents’ possessions.
My grandmother told me stories about the wonderful things in their house. Hand-painted china brought over from Europe, antiques, paintings, musical instruments (Grandpa John and his brother Joe could play anything they picked up), plus letters, pictures, and so much more. Within a week of his death in 1935, everything was gone. Her mother, aunts, and uncles had gone through the house and burned anything they thought had no value. My grandmother could do nothing but watch, and later cry in private as no one understood why she was so upset. Looking back she would say it was the Depression, and you took what you could to survive in uncertain times.
|Ruby Cindonia Taylor, |
taken 1910's. Married
Family fires are not unique to my family; it seems that there was a “recent” loss in my husband’s family as well. In about 1950 his great-grandmother Ruby's family home burned on their farm near Coventry, Connecticut. Her sister Ruth inherited the farm from their parents, Benjamin and Anna Taylor. Benjamin’s parents, James Taylor and Nancy Wilbur, had settled there in the late 1800’s after moving from Warwick, Rhode Island. My father-in-law told us that the fire destroyed all of the antiques, pictures, and family records. There was only one thing that survived the fire. The freezer of food his great aunt had dragged from the house while it was burning.
These stories have made me, once again, take up a scanning frenzy. Before you ask, yes, I am saving the images in multiple places. I can do my best to not let what I find be destroyed or lost.
*Digital image of Ruby Taylor given to me by J. Finsilver.