The following are posts from my old blogs relating to my family lines. I thought I would compile them in to one offering here. Bits and pieces of these were included with more family history on my website, Ancestors – The Genealogical Research of Lisa Ann Spalding Deeter.
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HOW IT ALL BEGAN
For as long as I can remember I was facinated by the Victorian Era. I loved the clothing, art and literature and of course the homes and their contents. I think much of this influence came from the fact I spent so much time with my Pap as I was growing up. He was born in 1870 and was a strong influence on the family. I also loved to look at the family photos, both those on the walls as well as albums and those tucked away.
ANCESTORS IN THE CLOSET
One of the annual rituals when I was growing up was cleaning out the hall closet every summer. This was something I always would look forward to because the closet was filled with treasures from the past. My favorite part of cleaning the closet was when we would get to the boxes with the family scrapbooks and pictures. I would beg my parent to let me look at all of them! Mom and dad both had kept scrapbooks during High School filled with school activities, photos and momentoes. Both also had scrapbooks filled with pictures they cut out of magazines of movies stars and entertainers of the 1930’3 through the early 1950’s. As the only child, when my parents passed, it has become my duty to guard these treasures.
Left to right – Back: (Standing) Ruth Rebecca Emenheiser Spalding, Elizabeth Emenheiser Vandergrift, Benjamin Franklin Emenheiser, Cora Emenheiser Ziegler, Naomi Rachel Emenheiser
Middle: Catherine Jane Daugherty Emenheiser, William Otterbein Emenheiser, Franklin Benjamin Emenheiser
Front: Kephart Ezekiel Emenheiser, Paul Daugherty Emenheiser
This family photo was always something I anxiously waited to see. It was carefully laid on the bottom of the box and covered with tissue paper to protect the cardboard of this cabinet photo. My father would become teary eyed as he would tell me about his grandparents and his aunts and uncles. The beautiful young lady on the left in the back row is my grandma, my daddy’s mother. She was a wonderfully talented lady who cooked and sewed better than anyone I knew! It took me a few years to relate this photo to the wonderful lady who made pull taffy for her grandkids. I remember I would sit and just look at this picture as long as possible until mom was ready to repack the closet. I would always ask if we couldn’t get it out and hang it up in our living room. Dad and I both thought this was a good idea, but it did not seem to compliment my mother’s decorating scheme, so back to the box and piled in the closet one more year!
Finally when I was married, my father gave me this photo and said it was time for them to come out of the closet! I immediately had it framed and on the back posted the names of all the family. It has travelled from house to house with me, always having a prominent place on the wall. When we built our home in 2000, my dining room became my antique haven and I have this and many other family photos were on display among my treasures. Now that we have moved back to Pennsylvania I have my own little den/craft room complete with my Ancestor Shrine. Pictures and treasure fill the room and make me feel as I am surrounded by my family.
I WANT A HAT LIKE THEIRS
In my previous blog, I used this as my main blog picture because this has always been one of my favorite pictures of some of my ancestors. It portrays an elegance of a bygone era. Aren’t the clothes wonderful? Can you believe this was taken on a vist to an amusement park? The family would travel from Thurmont to a nearby park by train to enjoy a day of leisure there. A center piece of the park was a beautifully carved carousel. A big band shell stood in the center of the picnic grove. They would listen to the band or orchestra as they shared a picnic lunch. My grandfather, Walter, used to talk about this whenever he would look at this photo. He had the chance to visit the park many times while growing up too.
This picture includes my great grandfather, Bernard Hampton Spalding (back-left), my 2nd great uncle Blaine and his wife Nettie standing on the right in the back. My 2nd great Aunt Hattie is seated on the left on a chair in front of her brother. She is one of my more colorful and interesting ancestors and I always loved hearing stories about her from my grandfather. She died in 1930 the year my dad was born. My grandfather did not know all the names, but he did he remembered they were family.
Even though my dad’s parents lived out of town, we did get to visit there often. My grandpa, dad and I would take off on adventures of our own. Long walks down the railroad tracks or skipping stones on the island were my favorite times and all the while listening to my dad and grandpa telling stories of the past and talking about ancestors I never met. Maybe it was because I was an only child, but I always preferred the company of my adult relatives.
Left to Right – Standing: Charles William Spalding, Relative of Bertha’s, Bernard Hampton Spalding, Nettie Irene Wastler Spalding,
Seated on Chairs: Bertha Phillips Spalding holding Charles Chester Spalding, Annie Louise Webb Spalding holding Eva Philomena Spalding
Seated on Porch: Harriet Ruth Spalding, Maude Spalding, Bernard Blaine Spalding, Walter Kefauver Spalding, Horace Francis Spalding
THE MATERNAL SIDE
Left to Right – Front: Michael Watson Mundis, Chester Garfield Mundis, Insert – Philip Sheridan Mundis*, Thaddeus Stevens Mundis, David Clinton Mundis
Center: Robert Harrison Mundis, Henrietta Albright Mundis, William Henry Mundis, Daniel Mundis, Charles Franklin Mundis
Standing: Milton Frederick Mundis, Mary Jennifer Mundis Meyers, John Sylvester Mundis, Amanda Florence Mundis Loucks, Daniel Cyrus Mundis
Family tradition was that *Phillip had left home when he was a young man and did not stay in contact with his family. This insert was the only picture of him. Henrietta wanted a picture of all her children and so they modified this photo to include this. She was able to gather 12 of 13 adult children together to sit for this photo. A fete that impressed me as we had a real challenge getting 3 kids and their families together for a Mother’s Day portrait some years ago! Henrietta had 16 children, 13 lived to be adults, 2 died as young children and one was an infant. Henrietta was herself one of 16 children! I just can’t imagine having that many children. But they were farmers and the kids helped on the farm and some even went to work on other farms when they were young teens.
I am not sure of the date of this photo, but the youngest was born in 1880, so my guess would be somewhere around the turn of the century. My great grandfather, my “PAP”, is seated on the left on the floor. I stuck to him like glue and was blessed to have had him in my life because he shared so much of the past with the family. During the summer I loved to sit on the front porch with him as I was growing up and listen to his stories. In the winter I would curl up in the big overstuffed chair and beg for more stories!
“Pap” and my grandma Helen, his only daughter, lived across the street from us so it was my second home as I was growing up. This was their family home and the one I referred to as my Victorian Dollhouse. Although there were not a lot of pictures of the inside of the house, I can still wander through that house in my mind and recall the details of the huge old bedrooms suites, plush chairs and sofas, the family portraits on the wall in large oval frames, the dining room filled with beautiful crystal and china, the mantle above the fireplace filled with crocks and other old treasures from their days on the farm. I even remember the patterns of the wallpaper in different rooms.
The front porch was the social center for the family as well as friends and neighbors during the summer months. Grandma had huge wooden rockers and a great old swing on the porch that I fell asleep on many summer nights. I loved the big old canvas green awnings that protected us from the hot sun and allowed us to sit out on rainy nights.
What a blessing to have had those wonderful family times as I was growing up. I treasured the time I had with all my relatives and I am sure their stories influenced me a lot in my love of the past. Now it is my turn to be a grandma and I hope my grands will have as many wonderful memories of their visits with my husband and I as I have of being with all my grandparents and relatives.