Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day! A Day to Remember our Family

Today instead of doing our normal collection (group time when we do history, geography, science and/or German), I decided it was the perfect day to spend time on some family history.  Both our family lines have a rich, well documented history. We have family stories, photos and family objects that date back to well before the Civil War (In fact, we can trace some lines back to the 1600s and beyond). It's my dream to put this knowledge into a book that can be passed down (and around) to our relatives.
We went through old photos and I told the kids story of their relatives who
  • mostly came from Europe (Scandinavia,  Germany, France and Ireland)
  • was a French trapper and traded with Native Americans in the late 1600s
  • were forced to join the crew of a Swedish ship and jumped ship in Washington, USA
  • fought in the Union Army during the Civil War
  • yet another side of the family owned slaves in Virginia and Mississippi
  • came over from Finland and started farming in Minnesota
  • owned a tugboat on the Erie Canal and had to pull the barge with a rope that was under his arms
  • rode their bikes through a giant tree (photo above)
  • started the first TB clinic in the Oklahoma territory and traded his medical services for chickens and quilts during the Great Depression
  • became missionaries in Brazil
  • was too skinny to join the US army in WWII and instead worked as a carpenter on an army base
  • and on and on... (til the kids cried out NO MORE!)
 Then I pulled out some of the family "stuff" we have
  • a tool for making bullets (top left pic below)
  • hat pins
  • barber's equipment
  • tax coins
  • wooden coin
  • tool for buttoning up women's gloves
  • a toy from 1891 (right) that "walks" down a surface
  • my Grandfather's christening outfit
  •   a dress from around 1900 (from my side, but I don't know the significance or why it was still around)
  • and lots of hand made doilies (from my great grandmother and great-great grandmother)
Flylady is probably crying to see all the stuff we have tucked away, but I sure love sharing the memories and stories with the kids!

Happy Valentine's Day to you and your loved ones!


  1. What a blessing to have those treasures avaliable from people who are a part of you! Happy Valentines!! to your family from mine.

  2. What an interesting family history you have, to know so much about your ancestors must be fascinating!