This week’s theme for 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks is Favorite Picture. Because I can’t slight either side of my or Dave’s family, I have chosen my favorite picture from our Lane/Schwegler and Ferguson/Parry lines.
There are no tradespeople or scholars in my Lane line that I know of. They were farmers; some were sharecroppers. There are very few pictures of them. This picture of my father, Talmadge Lane, and his siblings, was taken in a field of cotton. That seems appropriate since they all picked cotton in the bootheel of Missouri when they were children. Their father was a sharecropper turned carpenter. My dad is in the back row on the left. Next to him is his sister Bell and brother Vernon. In the front row, left to right, are his sisters, Pauline, Margaret, and Helen. I’m not sure of his age, but he was probably a teenager because of his height.
I am fortunate to have a picture of Julius and Sarah Frances (Ridenhour) Schwegler. Julius and Sarah were my great-grandparents. Julius came to this county from Switzerland in 1863 when he was four and a half. His father, Joseph, was a watch-maker turned farmer. Sarah’s German-speaking ancestors, the Reitenaur’s, emigrated from Alsace, France, to our country in 1749. The Reitenauer name eventually became Americanized to Ridenhour. This picture was possibly taken in the 1880s and could be their wedding picture. They were so young when this picture was taken and would spend forty-four years together until Sarah died in 1924.
This picture appears to be a Parry Christmas taken about 1905. Seated around the Christmas tree are Evan Parry and Margaret (Morgan) Parry, Dave’s great-grandparents. Also in the picture are Thomas Morgan Parry and his wife Sarah Elizabeth (Mitchell) Parry, Dave’s grandparents. Sarah is holding their first child Margaret Parry. Tom’s sister, Mary, is also pictured with her husband Ebeneezer Evans and their daughter Isabel. I love the baby bed, obviously a toy, in the foreground of the picture. And oh, how I wish we could see the pictures hanging on their walls. Evan was born in Wales and immigrated with his mother and siblings in 1859 when he was fifteen. His father preceded the family three years earlier. Margaret was also born in Wales and immigrated to the U.S. with her family in 1860. It’s clear from this picture that the Parry’s lived a prosperous life.
The last picture I adore is of Tom Ferguson and Lola (Pope) Ferguson, who were so young when they married. Tom was twenty-one, and Lola was only eighteen. I didn’t’ know Dave’s grandfather because he died when Dave was ten. I had the pleasure of knowing his grandmother, who lived fourteen days shy of celebrating her one-hundredth birthday. Dave has a sharp memory and has some great stories about his grandfather and grandmother.
In this day and age, we have many pictures in our possession. We also have access to photos online on Facebook and Instagram. Digital cameras have made it easy to capture the every-day detail of our lives. How I wish these ancestors of ours had these great tools at their disposal. But for now, we will have to be happy with what we have. Perhaps some distant relative has pictures of my ancestors and those of Dave. If so, please contact me. I would love to share what I have with you.
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