52 Ancestors Week 35: Unforgettable

+12 votes

Time for the next 52 Ancestors challenge...

52 Photos and 52 Ancestors sharing bacgesPlease share with us a profile of an ancestor or relative who matches this week's theme:


Share below.

You don't need to share every week to participate, but those who do will earn badges. If this is your first time participating and you don't have the participation badge, or if you pass a milestone (13 shared profiles in 13 weeks, 26 in 26, or 52 in 52) let us know here. For more about the challenge, click here.

in The Tree House by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.9m points)

25 Answers

+14 votes

I recall my Grandmother, Oma M Allison-Rammel (1895-1995), telling the story of an "unforgettable" experience.

She and her mother, Etta May Omelia-Allison (1872-1844), were both widowed at the time.  They lived together in the "Family Home" in Assumption, Christian, Illinois.

One day they received a surprise gift.  Etta's brother and Oma's Uncle, John James "J.J." Omelia (1879-1952), had moved to California a few years earlier.  He was always bragging about the weather.  He loved to grow flowers.  And he liked to "rub it in" to the folks back home that he could grow flowers all year round in Southern California.

So one cold winter in Illinois, JJ cut some of his roses and sent them by air express to the two ladies.  Think this was about 1930. 

It even made it to the local papers.  A copy follows:

by Bill Sims G2G6 Pilot (119k points)
Bill thank you for sharing your sweet story and newspaper article about the roses. I lived in Southern California in the 1970s, and had a yard full of geraniums and bougainvilleas, and I have never had a yard like it since.
That was an extraordinary gesture! Thanks for sharing with us.
That would be a very hard act to follow - very special
+13 votes

I am part of the Military and War Project, and a great deal of my time is spent trying to make war veterans unforgettable. Yesterday I worked on the profile for my 3rd cousin Francis Marvin, who served in terrible battles in France in WWI. I love WikiTree and the ability to honor these veterans. Probably the reason for my passion is that I do not want to see veterans forgotten, and I try my best to especially honor those like my grand uncle Kyle McCleery and father Clare Lovelace Jr., who gave their lives for their country. This is a 1945 photo of my father, who was killed in action 4 months before I was born.

by Alexis Nelson G2G6 Pilot (576k points)
Alexis,  While commenting July 22nd, on the topic,"Challenges", I became aware of your father, Clare's, service and sacrifice.......Thank you, for honoring his memory, and that of others, also......I extend appreciation for your post and, especially, for sharing the memory of your father.
Thank you John for your very nice comment.
Thank you Alexis for sharing this
Thanks for your contributions to his memory. (And the memory of so many war veterans.)
Thank you C., I appreciate your comment.
+11 votes

Grandfather Truslow (Gramps), was aboard the USS Kenneth Whiting during atomic testing at Bikini Atoll in the South Pacific in 1946.  Seeing an atomic bomb explode would be pretty unforgettable, in my opinion.

by Dorothy O'Hare G2G6 Mach 6 (68.2k points)
Thank you Dorothy for sharing your grandfather’s story about witnessing the bomb; that would really be something to see.
+11 votes

My great-grandmother Elsie May Mimms (Mimms-73) will definitely be remembered not only for the fact she lived to 106 but also for her sheer sense of determination that was partly responsible for her reaching that age in the first place.

My great-grandfather, Erich Artur Otto von Hippel (Von Hippel-5) is also unforgettable for the exciting life he led. Born in Germany, lived in Uganda and married to Ugandan royalty with 5 children, he had a degree in agriculture and was a skilled crocodile hunter working for the Ugandan government. It is also believed he might have been doing some kind of work for the British government at some point. He led such a fascinating life and the family all have countless stories about him.

On the von Hippel side, I have Erich's grandfather Artur, uncle Eugen and cousin Arthur Robert who are unforgettable in the sense that they were very notable and are on Wikipedia and other online resources due to their scientific discoveries. Erich was on good terms with Arthur Robert and parts of my family still have some contact with some of Arthur Robert's descendants.




by T. Dowding G2G6 Mach 3 (31.3k points)

Thomas thank you for sharing your very famous family. My husband is a retired optometrist; and yes, he knew about Von Hippel-Lindau disease. As for myself, I hope you will write more about Erich and his hunting crocodiles. 

Talents abound!
+17 votes

I wanted to post about my grandmother this week, Frances (Jackson) Langholf, as she just passed away on Thursday morning. She was 96! When I was a kid we used to sing "You Are My Sunshine" to each other.  I may have been her sunshine but she was one of the brightest stars in my sky. 

She was only about 4'10", a tough little Iowa farm girl who faced so much adversity as a child and still grew up as a positive, supportive, unconditionally loving role model! She devoted her life to her family and to politics and was the right hand woman of one of New Mexico's senators for decades. 

She could make just about anyone she crossed paths with crack a smile. She was a gem! And without a doubt, unforgettable.


by Eowyn Walker G2G Astronaut (1.9m points)
edited by Eowyn Walker
Sorry to hear about your grandmother, Eowyn. She sounds like she was a lovely person and 96 is a great age.
Thank you Eowyn for sharing your precious grandmother, and your sweet story about your wonderful relationship.
Thank you both! :)
Would love to see that picture of your grandmother!
Should be able to now!
Thoughts go out to you on your loss. She does sound unforgettable
+13 votes

I remember an unforgettable story my Grandpa used to tell about when he worked at the Pentagon during WWII.

The story goes that when he walked to work from the boarding house, he always walked past the White House. When he did the President's dog, Fala, used to run up to the fence. One day he was running late, and when he neared the White House fence, Fala didn't come. He didn't think much about it until he heard whimpering. He walked a little further and found Fala with her head stuck in the fence. My Grandpa bent down and got Fala free and started walking on. Just as he was coming up to pass the entrance gate to the White House he got stopped by a guard. The guard told him to wait there because someone wanted to speak with him. He was terrified thinking he was going to get in trouble. Then a black limo pulls up and inside it are Fala and President Roosevelt. The President tells Grandpa that he saw what he did for Fala and he wanted to shake his hand and thank him. He then offers my Grandpa a ride to work! Grandpa said he was so embarassed he politely said no thank you. When he finally gets to work he gets called to see his boss. His boss then asks what he did because he got a call from the President telling him to excuse Grandpa from being late!

I don't know if this is true, or a tall tale, but either way it's a fun, unforgettable story!

Len Dodge

by Chandra Garrow G2G6 Mach 6 (60.4k points)
Chandra, thank you for sharing your great story about your Grandpa and President Roosevelt and his dog. I’m betting that it is true.
Think if he was making it up he would have said he rode with the President to work in his limo, instead of saying he turned him down.
Thanks! I've always thought it was probably true. There's just so many stories he passed down and some of them are so interesting I just find myself thinking "Can this really be true?!"
+11 votes
I think the one unforgettable thing I cannot forget is just how horrible and rude the English Colonists were to my Scottish born 3x great grandmother - Betty Walls - just because she had a daughter born out of wedlock.


Betty Walls later married Thomas Roberston and emigrated to NZ on board the Philip Laing in 1848.

Below is the rude letter the ship owners wrote about Betty.

"Robertson's wife who is from the Orkney Islands, had about 20 years ago a natural daughter without whom she says she cannot go.I was much surprised at hearing this.I thought the respectability of her appearance indicated anything but looseness of Morals, & in fact the said child being born 20 years ago the mothers slip can only be considered an act of youthful indiscretion. The girl's name is Elizabeth Simpson, she at present resides in South Ronaldsay in the Orkneys."
by Robynne Lozier G2G Astronaut (1.0m points)
+11 votes

This is a fun one, certainly unforgettable to the boys.   On April 19,1919 there was a small note in the local papers “ Nathaniel and Wesley Rogers biked to Roseville Sunday to see the elephant”. These were my uncles, aged 13 and 10 at the time. The family lived on Sacramento St in Auburn California.  What this means is they rode 20  miles down the hill and then 20 miles back up the hill to come home! Further research find that the big railroad circus, Al G Barnes Circus had a parade in downtown Roseville on April 13, Sunday, at 2 pm one day only. I have no idea if the boys had any money to actually go to the performance. 

by Lyn Sara Gulbransen G2G6 Mach 4 (43.5k points)
edited by Lyn Sara Gulbransen
Lyn thank you for the fun story and article about your uncles going to the circus in 1919. My great aunt Phoebe loved to see a circus. It must have been the highlight of their youth.
+12 votes

My wife's uncle died yesterday. Here is his now open profile. 


The pictures are from the third March at Selma and was profiled in Smithsonian Magazine a couple years ago. We only found out about this two years ago and I was able to confirm with the photographer who also gave me permission to print this on his profile 

by Gurney Thompson G2G6 Pilot (252k points)
Sorry for her loss, his service to our Nation is to be celebrated.
+9 votes
Mty Bohemian grandfather got two unforgettable surprises. First, my brother Jon put a small bomb in his cigar,so when grandpa lit it,it exploded.

Secondly, grandpa thought his rifle was empty,but  Jon proved him otherwise, the bullet cracking a hole in the window as itt slipped through.
by David Hughey G2G Astronaut (1.6m points)
Thank you David for the stories about your grandfather. Do you think your grandfather tried to play any tricks on his brother after the exploding cigar?
+8 votes

I will never forget my great aunt Stacia and the tales she told of Iowa's cold winters during her childhood. The walk to school through mounds of snow would take an hour. Lucky her mother had the foresight to place hot potatoes in the children's coat pockets. "If you failed to cover your ears, you'd get frostbite and the cure was to rub 'em with snow! Took me a while to figure that one out!"

Aunt Stacia couldn't get over the fact her great nieces and nephews had been to University. "All those years of schooling!" she'd say with wonder in her eyes. 

Bless her heart.

by C Ryder G2G6 Mach 8 (82.7k points)
C. thank you for sharing your great aunt Stacia’s story about walking to school. The potatoes in their pockets was certainly interesting.
+10 votes

When he was 90 years old, my mother's Uncle Paul told me this story:

When he was 12 years old, he and older sister Emily, in her new fur coat,  had gone for a ride with Father in the 1912 Buick. When it began to get dark, Father had stopped to light the headlights, which had to be lit with a match. The headlight caught on fire! Paul ran to the brook for water, but when he returned, Father had managed to put the fire out---with Emily's new fur coat!

The funny part of this story, Paul told me, was that Emily did not remember this at all.

by Joyce Vander Bogart G2G6 Pilot (159k points)
Thank you Joyce for sharing the story of Paul and Emily and their fabulous photos.
Joyce,   Had to come back and see if I could relate to the fur coat.....the next time I'm riding in a Buick at dusk, I'm going to have them pull over so I can light their headlamps.....I really am.

Here's a Youtube, lighting the headlights in a 1914 Chevrolet.

Thanks, Joyce, for the Youtube......you really got to enjoy the sound of that '14 Chev 490 4 cylinder engine......4 days on the road and 90 days in the garage......had one in my '16 Ford  pickup, but only drove it in the daytime, in parades, as the clown's truck.....the wheels were all fastened off center so it could waddle, like a duck, down the street......after going around a corner, if the wheels lined up, it would hop along the street, like a bunny rabbit.
Thanks for the smile.
+9 votes

Lest we forget ... The only person I know of in our family tree to have been killed in action in wartime was my wife Laurie's great uncle, Capt. Richard Alfred Ireland MD (Ireland-3315). He served in the Canadian Army Medical Corps, attached to the 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles, during the Great War. He was attending to the wounded in the front line at Passchendaele when he was killed by an enemy shell on Oct. 30, 1917.

We remember Uncle Alfred officially every Nov. 11th, but think of him much more often than that. We have a number of his letters to his family back home in Trenton, Ontario, as well as a little diary he kept while serving in Europe; so we have a real feeling for what a thoughtful, humorous and beloved man he was.

by Richard Hill G2G6 Mach 3 (37.3k points)
Thank you Rick for sharing the wonderful story of your wife’s great uncle Richard. So sad that he was killed at the beginning of his career as a doctor, and he was caring for the wounded in WWI and putting them before his own life.
+9 votes
My older aunts remembered their grandmother Amelia Bushnell Morgan very well. My mother was the youngest and didn’t have these recollections.  One day when I was visiting my aunts asking about family history they asked if I knew the camp meeting story.  I did not. Their eyes shone with happiness that they could share this family story with me.

Amelia was the youngest of her family, born in the late 1830s. The following decades, prior to the Civil War, were known for a type of religious revival known as camp meetings. This took place in Bennington or Pownal VT, and I think Amelia was still a child, maybe 10 or 12.  The meeting was going on too long for her taste, so she asked her parents or older siblings if she could walk home.  Yes, but she was to walk straight home, because it would be dark before she got there.   It was a long walk through a wooded area, and every once in a while she would catch a glimpse of something in the woods.  She soon realized it was the glint of an animal’s eyes, and it was following her all the way home.  She hurried her steps, and with relief got home.   Later the family got home and were relieved to find her safe.   A catamount has been spotted in the area.   This is a mountain lion indigenous to Vermont in those days, dangerous enough that it was hunted nearly out of existence by 1900. A catamount had trailed Amelia for more than a mile, and she lived to tell the tale to her granddaughters.  And this is the unforgettable story they handed down to me.
by Carolyn Adams G2G6 Mach 7 (79.6k points)
edited by Carolyn Adams
Carolyn,  Interesting event.....previously the term, catamount, was  unknown to me.  Lucky to have you here to recount the story......just had to read the episode to my wife, as she is an even closer cousin, descended from Thomas Wilder.

I have seen the decorative catamount sculptures in Bennington but of course have never seen a real one. But thanks to Google, I can show you the picture of the last one. I would not want to have those big cat eyes looking at me at night!

I believe that cat is in the Bennington Museum, and it scared me when I was a child.    I understand that catamounts were declared officially extinct only a few years ago, but may in fact still exist. They are closely related to cougars, which exist in large numbers out west.
Carolyn,  Yes, Cougars we have out west and I'm familiar with them, however, in all my time out in the wilderness I have not knowingly encountered one.
+7 votes

My maternal grandmother, May George, is truly unforgettable. She grew up in the 'flapper' era, made 'bathtub gin' was a warm and caring spouse and mother raising 3 children during the depression, and a truly unforgettable grandmother in her love, understanding compassion. She made the best chicken soup with dumplings, pea soup, crab apple jelly and cucumber salad ever! We called her 'Non'. She died 31 years ago, but I still get urges to pick up the phone and call her on my darkest days. Her great grandchildren, who never met her, know her well through her grandchildren. My "unforgettable" Non with cornflower blue eyes and platinum blond hair. 

May (Mariana) Koput-George

by Carol Baldwin G2G6 Pilot (657k points)
Thank you carol for sharing this wonderful photo
You write about her so well - I could see her without the picture. Thank you for sharing about her.
+5 votes

How to make sure your genealogy stuff isn't forgotten. My strategy: https://allroadhaverhill.blogspot.com/2020/08/52-ancestors-week-35-unforgettable.html

Also....major WikiTree references ahoy.

by Chris Ferraiolo G2G6 Pilot (546k points)
Very helpful. Thanks, Chris.
You're welcome! =D
+9 votes
Week 35 - Unforgettable. This week I'm making this a tribute to my grandmother who is still alive, but can't remember any of us anymore, because of dementia.

When grandma was a young child, she was given a toy piano and was overheard one day, playing little tunes on the toy, by a piano teacher. This piano teacher recognised her talent, and gave her free lessons up into her late teens. She became the regular pianist for her school, and was offered a scholarship, and I believe was asked to be the official pianist for Melbourne Councils Town Hall. However she turned this down, because she wanted her skills to be used for glorifying God instead of man.

So she went on to become the musical director for the Keswick conventions at Upway and Belgrave Heights, holding the position for forty years. She also played piano and organ regularly at her own, and other local churches, right up until recently. She also offered free piano lessons to any local children in the neighbourhood. She produced several albums, playing lots of hymns, and later produced some CD's of hymn music, for churches who didn't have musicians. The proceeds from her albums, were all given to missions.

At one stage, a number of years ago now, she came across a fellow who had started to go blind at 18, and set about memorizing massive portions of scripture. He went on to write the lyrics for over 700 hymns. Grandma scored the music for all of them. He sometimes had an idea for a tune, but often just left it up to Grandma.

Grandma once played for the conductor in the London Philamonic Orchestra, and he commented that she was the best accompaniest that he had played with.

Grandma still goes to the piano everyday, in her nursing home. She can't remember us, but the tunes all still go through her head, and she sits down and plays for an audience everyday. She may not remember us, but I'll never forget her genuine love and care for everyone, and her amazing talents on the piano.
by Ben Molesworth G2G6 Pilot (139k points)
edited by Ben Molesworth
Ben,  You gave much insight into your grandmother"s life.....it somewhat baffled me, if I could add to it, until I reread "at a young age"......might I now add "spark of genius".
I went and asked Grandma a lot about her life, before she really stopped remembering most of it. She was playing tunes as a child (Can't remember how old), with a harmony. The piano teacher said she would need a piano, so her father went out and bought what they could afford, a wooden framed piano, which kept going out of tune.

We speculate she was a little High Functioning Asbergers. She played other instruments as well, but not as much.
Ben,  Now I understand......we have a step grand daughter with, probably, the same syndrome.
+6 votes

No one and nothing is completely "unforgettable" unless we who are alive record those memories. That is one of the realizations/fears that drew me to WikiTree. And the fear of people being forgotten is real. 

I never met my great-grandfather William Claud Granger -- he died before I was born. He was a farmer in Mercer Co. Ohio, and lived a fairly quiet life. I remember a few stories my late mother told me about him: he lost his hair as an older man and always wore a hat in pictures. His farmhouse furniture probably came from the Sears Roebuck catalog, and after his death my parents received many of the pieces and my mom worked to refinish them - a dining table and pressed-back chairs, a china cabinet and a secretary desk with curved glass front. I remember the pieces well, because I grew up with them, but I know very little about the man who originally bought them. What was he like, really? I know my grandmother and great aunt and uncle were kind, decent, quiet people. That speaks well of him, but it's hardly what you would call "unforgettable."

My mother is gone, and although I think there are probably old photos of William Granger in my father's collection, they haven't been scanned as far as I know. I have the one picture I have uploaded to his profile... my grandmother kept cameo pins of both her parents on her dresser until the day she died, and I own them now. William was a young man in this picture. He does appear to have hair. Was this the hat he wore on Sunday and for dress occasions? Was it taken near the time of his marriage to Orel Lurillda Burch? It's not really a great quality photo.  But it is the one I have access to. I've struggled in the past with adding photos to profiles and especially sharing them here on G2G. I hope I can overcome that. I feel it is the least I can do in my quest to make all my ancestors unforgettable.

by Katherine Chapman G2G6 Mach 4 (42.5k points)
edited by Katherine Chapman
Katherine,  With your permission, I hope to share in his memory, as I have discovered he married my cousin, your great grandmother.
Yes, of course!
+4 votes

I was only about three years old when my grandfather Hilery Vincent passed away from acute asthma and a subsequent heart attack. He was ill for three days at home before he died. They lived in a remote area not near any hospitals. My grandmother sold the farm within a few years and moved to the nearest town. Even though I was very young, I'll never forget the days I spent with my grandparents on that farm, milking cows, gathering eggs, and picking fruit from the orchard. I don't have lengthy memories, but merely short snippets of events, memorable and unforgettable for me, but by any standard measure completely ordinary and unspectacular.

My father always told me that I was more like Hilery in temperament than anyone else in his family. I guess there will always be a little bit of that farm within me.

by Bill Vincent G2G6 Pilot (151k points)
edited by Bill Vincent
Bill,  I read, with interest, about your grandfather and was noticing the distinguished family he descended from when I recognized a photo of his mother, Mary Jane Meredith. from "Chosen Family"......surprised me.....had to pick myself back up off the floor.  Thankyou for sharing your ancestors......now I can go back and present a comment below her photo.
Thanks for you nice compliment about this family. I'm not sure I'd call them distinguished, but they were certainly hard working and good neighbors. The family lived at the very end of a long dirt and gravel road in the Bee Spring area, which made for a very close-knit community.

Hilery owned the upper farm at the edge of a deep hollow, with the farm of his parents, Jasper and Janie, being located below. In its heyday, Jasper's farm benefited from the rich bottomland of Bear Creek making it much larger and more productive. The dirt road to Jasper's farm "under the hill" frequently washed out and was often nearly inaccessible by car.
+3 votes

In my mother's little eastern Australian country hometown - there was a very high rainfall and there were a lot of floods. People still speak of the 1950 flood. It was one of the biggest on record. 

My mother's family home was 26 miles from the little town (and the nearest hospital) up one of the valleys that snaked up into the mountains of the Great Dividing Range. In the last 6 miles of the road that lead from town to the homestead there were 19 river crossings. 

At the age of 13 as the great floodwaters of 1950 were rising fast, my mother had an appendicitis attack. She had to be transported into were a vehicle could collect her and take her the rest of the way to the local hospital between two horses controlled by her older brothers. They swam the horses and her through all those flood waters and got her to the hospital in time to be operated on successfully. 

Getting home after the operation took a while because the waters continued to rise and she had to stay until they receded. 

She would often tell of how she amused herself during the period of being well enough to get into mischief but not able to leave the hospital. She would eavesdrop/spy on the staff without being noticed. One day she overheard how the staff were preparing for the arrival of 4 babies at once. When she went home she told her family and they though she was still delirious. She was right however and later that year a Mrs Sara had quads in the local hospital. Mum thought she made a good newshound and overall 1950 was rather unforgettable for her. 


by Rosalie Neve G2G6 Pilot (122k points)

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