52 Ancestors Week 47: Good Deeds

+13 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:

Good Deeds

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 (1.8m points)

22 Answers

+12 votes

My mother's parents owned a large general store in Sweeden, Kentucky, which was just a blip on a map. Driving through you could miss it if you blinked. Nonetheless, their general store, Lane's Store, was an important part of the community. Many residents depended on finding whatever they needed there, from fresh produce and ordinary groceries to washing machines and televisions. They had everything.

My grandmother, Clorene (Musick) Lane was the heart and soul of the store. She was often there from the time it opened until the time it closed, taking almost no rest for herself. She loved being there and ran the store with a firm hand. Heaven help you if you tried to cheat Ms. Clorene, because she had a watchful, eagle eye.

I was helping out in the store one summer, as I sometimes did, when a woman left her bag of groceries on the counter to look for something she had missed. That's when I saw my grandmother take a canned ham from the shelf and place it in the bottom of the woman's bag. She looked at me with a mischievous grin and put her finger to her lips, quietly saying, "ssshh." After the woman left, my grandmother explained to me that the woman's family was going through a tough time and didn't have a lot of money. She knew the woman would accept the ham as a gift, but she didn't want to cause her any embarrassment in the store.

Recently my cousin was going through years of canceled checks that my grandmother had saved during her lifetime. My cousin was amazed at how much money they had contributed to a multitude of charities over the many years. Until that moment we were never aware of just how philanthropic my grandparents had been. They personally had not only given a Helping Hand to great number of people in their own community, but had reached out to help others all over the United States and around the world.

My grandparents never lived a luxurious lifestyle. Their home and their clothing were certainly modest. Their model of giving and helping is one which I can never hope to match. 

by Bill Vincent G2G6 Pilot (143k points)
edited by Bill Vincent
Thank you Bill for sharing your wonderful story about your grandparents store. I loved the part about you being able to see your grandmother put the ham in the sack. Glad you were able to know about the good deeds they did for others.
+12 votes

Eva Florence Lacroix is my great uncle Leland's sister-in-law.  Her biography is short, though her life was long. She had twelve brothers and sisters. Her mother died young. She worked as a beautician. She lived for a time with an uncle, for a time with a sister, for a time at a boarding house. 

In 1949 she applied for a headstone for her brother's grave. Francis had been killed in action during the second world war. That was the good, tender deed that made me fond of her. 

by C Ryder G2G6 Mach 8 (81.9k points)
+13 votes

My grandmother Pearl Lovelace was one of those remarkable people that could make the best of any situation. Her younger brother that she had raised after her mother's death was killed in WWI. Then my father, her only child, was killed in WWII. She was able to make her tragedies into a way to do good deeds for others. She was the long time President of Gold Star Mothers of Oklahoma City. She was wonderful at helping grieving families. She is pictured in 1956 in the center in a dark suit holding a bow. All these ladies have lost sons or daughters in WWII or the Korean War.  

by Alexis Nelson G2G6 Pilot (444k points)
Another gorgeous photo sweet Alexis, you must have a room full of amazing photos, my dear friends I always enjoy looking at your photos, and are always stunt how very clear they are.

Thank you for sharing this wonderful photo
Thank you Susan for your sweet comment. I know you have wonderful photos. I am hoping to be able to find some names for many of the people I have photos of. My dear grandmother in this photo saved photos, but she did not put names on them.
+13 votes

My late mother, Barbara Morgan Adams, was a teacher, writer, librarian and historian.  She was also an 8th generation Vermonter.  After retirement, my mother read voraciously, and learned that Ira Allen, the founder of the state of Vermont and UVM, our university, was buried insignificantly in a pauper's grave near where my parents then lived, in Audubon Pennsylvania.  My mother realized that this was an important fact, at least to Vermonters, so she wrote in our Alumni magazine that Ira's grave was unmarked in the Wetherill cemetery.  Her comments were read, and two organizations within the university community raised the money to mark the grave.  A Vermont historic road marker was also created, and was placed in Audubon PA.  At the time it was the only Vermont road marker outside of the state of Vermont.  This recognition of one of our founding heroes was a good deed that my mom did for Ira's memory, and Vermont history.  One of many good deeds that she did in her life.  https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Morgan-10629 

by Carolyn Adams G2G6 Mach 7 (75.4k points)
edited by Carolyn Adams
+12 votes
During the depression my great grandmother and her family was living on the farm in wisconsin. They helped the family members who lived in the city by helping with food.
by Jennifer Robins G2G6 Pilot (109k points)
+11 votes

G Aunt Kathleen  was born in 1889 on the family farm just west of Ripley, GA.  Upon her graduation from school, she attended and graduated from Lucy Cobb Institute in Athens, GA. She taught in the public schools of Jeffersonville. GA until her marriage. Widowed at young age, she supported herself and her two sons first with a millinery shop and later with a boarding house, and a farm which she bought and operated. She also worked as Home Demonstration Agent. The Home Demonstration Clubs were meant to help improve the lives of women living in rural areas. People who were considered experts in various topics were brought into the clubs to teach and were called Home Demonstration Agents. Topics covered included domestic skills, issues relating to family life, home economics and information about new technologies and goods of interest to rural women. Part of the purpose of the clubs was to make the same kind of information found at colleges and universities available to rural women. Clubs also helped raise the standards of living for members of the group. Clubs also helped women have a sense of community with others and pride in their own work. Some clubs worked together to raise money to help improve their communities. Many women enjoyed the leadership opportunities the home demonstration clubs provided them. She was also very involved with the John Twiggs chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and with her church.  Kathleen passed away in 1985.

by Dorothy O'Hare G2G6 Mach 5 (55.1k points)
+9 votes

The second-most famous good deed in the history of Thanksgiving occurred in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, not far from my home. On Thanksgiving Day 1965, Arlo Guthrie (my 12th cousin) decided to help out his friends by taking a load of trash to the city dump, only to find the dump  closed for Thanksgiving. This led to a series of adventures, culminating in his rejection by the draft board. All this is chronicled in Arlo's song Alice's Restaurant. If you have 18 minutes, you can listen to that song right here. Or on Thanksgiving Day, you may hear it on the radio.

by Joyce Vander Bogart G2G6 Pilot (118k points)
+9 votes
My mother was adopted at age 3 years old, and she had absolutely no desire to find out who her biological family were. She felt she had been thrown away and did not want to know who the family were or why they had thrown her away at age 3. .

When I discovered that she was adopted (this was in the 1980s and I was a teenager at the time) I suddenly lost half of my identity.  Several years later NZ passed their adult adoption act which allowed an adult adoptee to apply for their original birth certificate.

It took me some 12 years of "nagging" my mother before she finally gave in and applied for her original birth certificate.

She hated the idea of having to speak to a "counselor" about why she wanted it.

I told her to just tell them the truth."Tell them that you dont want it. But your daughter needs it for genealogical purposes because she is desperate to know where she comes from."

I finally got my hands on my mothers original birth certificate in 1999. It took another, almost, 20 years for my mother to agree to do a DNA test!!

That was my mothers good deed.
by Robynne Lozier G2G6 Pilot (945k points)
Robynne thank you for sharing the story about your mother and her original birth certificate. My daughter is a state uncontested adoption attorney. I feel so sad for your mother that she felt thrown away, glad she has an understanding daughter like you.
+9 votes
I'm holding out for a hero in this blog about good deeds https://allroadhaverhill.blogspot.com/2020/11/52-ancestors-week-47-good-deeds.html

And now that Bonnie Tyler song is in your head! MWAHAHAHA!
by Chris Ferraiolo G2G6 Pilot (465k points)
+10 votes

My step great-grandfather Creswell Bannister was one of the kindest men you would have ever had the pleasure of meeting. He was over six feet tall and to be honest he looked quite scary, but the truth was that he would've given you the shirt off his back if you needed it. He was such a gentleman, never hesitating to help get an odd job done or fix something for you. I still have several of the things he gave me when I was a child, including a little globe and a fish shaped puzzle box. It's coming up on the ninth anniversary of his passing, and I still miss him dearly!

by Raven Martin G2G6 (9.7k points)
+9 votes

My mother, Ruth Ann Rammel-Sims (1918-2006), grew up in a family of teachers and librarians.

After her marriage, the family moved from Illinois to the South Valley of Albuquerque, NM.  She soon discovered that there was no library in that section of town.  Mom then began to lobby the Sate Library System.

 She was finally given a small room in a local Community Center.  She then began to search for books.  She got several donations from residents.  And finally the State Library gave her about 600 books.

When she finally opened that library she was very pleased at the number of kids who came to check-out books.

She was the librarian for about 25.  And most of the early years were without pay.  About the time of her retirement, the State built a nice new library building not too far from the original site.

Below is an article about her adventure ... that was definitely a "Good Deed".

by Bill Sims G2G6 Pilot (117k points)
+8 votes
by T J G2G2 (2.7k points)
What a magnificent old photo thank you for sharing
+9 votes

Sarah Jane Hildreth Smith (1834-1876)


took care of her father, Joseph Pierson Hildreth, Sr., b. 1807 on his farm at Red Creek, Southampton Township, Suffolk County, New York State, USA. Sarah's death was sad because it resulted in her intention to do good. Her father developed pneumonia and Sarah, who was living in Brooklyn, New York, at the time, went back to Red Creek to comfort and care for him. Joseph died on 3 March 1876. Unfortunately, Sarah died nine days later on 12 March also of pneumonia.

by Marion Ceruti G2G6 Pilot (152k points)
Thank you Marion for sharing this photo of Jane she is a gorgeous beautiful lady
+9 votes
Week 47 - Good Deeds, This week I'm highlighting my gg grandfather, Thomas Russell-3908, who according to local papers, was active in petitioning the local council for improvements in the area, several times petitioning for safer roads in the Kinglake area near his orchard. There was also a couple of horticultural competitions, where Thomas provided a prize for the winners.
by Ben Molesworth G2G6 Pilot (131k points)
+9 votes

I can't do anyone other than my mother here. Rosalie Maffett Bogue , who married my father in 1962, taught school for a few years to pay the bills while he went to seminary and then studied for his doctorate, until I came along in 1967. When he became pastor of a small church in Ohio, she poured herself into it. My earliest memories were of living in the manse, with her hosting ladies' Bible studies, teaching the Jr/Sr High Sunday School and working with the youth group. She visited the elderly and sick, and all the church ladies became like a crowd of extra grandmothers and aunts to me. She was always an advocate for my brother, who has a learning disability, and for all of her four children. She was instrumental in helping set up a small Christian school and did extra tutoring for my brother in reading and math, and coached him very patiently when it was time for him to learn to drive. That he is living independently and holding down a job is a testimony to her patience.

When her father developed dementia and could no longer be cared for at his home, my parents built a house that had an attached in-law wing, and she cared for her parents there; it was an amazing house to grow up in, surrounded by undeveloped woods and with a big garden my dad found to be "good therapy". Just about every Sunday we had a crowd around the big dining room table with any church visitors who showed up. There was a guest bedroom always ready... sometimes someone in a difficult situation or between jobs might be staying over. Sometimes they stayed for a few months. I remember a few times when my mom would rush off to counsel and pray with someone in crisis, leaving me to babysit. 

Later, the other set of grandparents moved in, with an addition built on the other side. My mom's father had died by then but her mother still lived on one side of the house, and my father's parents on the other side. I was gone by that time; Mom took them to all their appointments and helped them shop. 

She was an amazing woman, but one good deed she neglected; she never had a mammogram until the cancer was far advanced. The next nearly 5 years were filled with more good deeds, and a brave fight against breast cancer and all its side effects. She was able to see 5 of her 8 grandchildren. One of the 3 she didn't see was named after her.

by Katherine Chapman G2G6 Mach 3 (35.1k points)
+8 votes

My 3rd Great Grand Uncle, Lyman Clark, built the first Inn in Baraboo, WI. It was said that he was a very generous man, and that he would let people stay, no matter how much money they had.

by Chandra Garrow G2G6 Mach 5 (55.6k points)
+7 votes
I've selected Israel Holden, my 5th great grandfather, for this weeks Good Deeds theme. Israel was born in 1720 in Leicester, Massachusetts. He moved to Petersham and was there at the time of the town's incorporation in 1754. He was a prominent citizen and among his Good Deeds, served as the town moderator, selectman, assessor, constable and various other capacities. His greatest deed was to deal with the deaths of three of his four sons killed during the Revolution, two from wounds at Bunker Hill and one at the Battle of Monmouth. His fourth son went on to fight in nearly every major battle in the Revolution.
by Carol Baldwin G2G6 Pilot (542k points)
+7 votes
This prompt reminded me of a story I heard about my dad, and his philosophy, passed on that day, helped me make peace with something that happened to me.  https://rhymeschemesanddaydreams.wordpress.com/2020/11/20/52ancestors-in-52-weeks-good-deed/

Bill Hahn: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Hahn-1534
by Auriette Lindsey G2G6 Mach 2 (27.8k points)
+5 votes

In 1933 my great great grand aunt Edith Isabella Clements won the lottery and threw a ball for the surrounding towns. Here is a newspaper article about it. 


Big Function at Towamba

Towamba hall, was on Friday night of last week, the mecca of the largest gathering of people Towamba has seen for many years. The occasion being the big invitation ball tended to us by Mrs. Ambrose Parker to the public of the surrounding district and to friends from further afield to mark her winning of first prize, 5000 pounds in the 146th State lottery.

Upward of thirty cars were parked in the street adjacent to the hall and two hundred guests were seated at the supper tables. Mr. J. W. Dickie in welcoming the guests on behalf of Mrs. Parker and declaring the ball open, said that everyone knew she had won 5000 pounds but, though under no obligation to give it away, she was giving the ball to the public, which had supported her in business and to friends from other centres, and it was her one wish that all present would enjoy every moment of it, which they did.

The hall which was recently renovated, newly lined throughout, new seats and stage appointments has a wonderful floor, perhaps the best in the district. Suspended from the ceiling in the centre of the ballroom was a model aeroplane ten feet in length, inside which was a battery driven contrivance which gave at intervals the noise of a plane taking off. The plane built by Mr. Ira Parker was coloured red and white, and was complete even to the pilot and on both sides was painted 'Lift Me Up', the name of Mrs. Parker's lottery ticket. The number of the ticket, 72822 and it's initials, UNA which, by the way, form the name of one of Mrs. Parker's nieces who was present at the ball.

The stage decorations, the work of Miss T. Hartneady, were floral and were very attractive. Ten miniature aeroplanes adorned the walls around the stage. Mr. I. A. Lee as master of ceremonies was in his element with the old-time dances, barn dance, waltzes, mazurka, etc., Miss R. Greer on piano and Mr. Jack McLeod with drums provided delightful music and were ably assisted by Misses B. McMahon and T. Hartneady, Mesdames Hampden Beasley and Byers.

Dancing commenced early and continued until 3 am. Towards the ball's conclusion, Mr. A. L. Mitchell, on behalf of the gathering thanked Mrs. Parker for her hospitality and remarked that although he had attended most dances in the district had not heard any music to come up to that to which he had danced that night. Following a few words of reply by Mrs. Parker, the gathering joined hands in a circle around her and sang, 'For she's a jolly good fellow.' This brought a night of nights' enjoyment to a close.

Not a hitch occurred to mar the enjoyment of the function, and the hostess, smiling, happy and popularity, itself was congratulated on all sides on her good fortune and success attending the ball which her generosity had inspired.

Supper arrangements, which were in the hands of Mrs. Walter Parker, left nothing to be desired. The best ever, said everyone who sat down to supper. Mrs. Parker and her band of helpers had a long tiring task as the first supper table filled at eleventh thirty and queues were still awaiting their turn when the writer left at 1.10 am. Iceland poppies furnished the very effective table decorations carried out by Miss T. Hartneady.

Although the ball was styled a dry party to counteract the rumour that drink would be supplied, it very nearly proved a wet one. Threatening looking clouds yielding showers during the afternoon preceded the function. Fortunately however, the falls were not heavy and as young and old alike hopped in for their cut, to use the vernacular, there was created a very friendly atmosphere that showery weather conditions could not damp. The big gathering, to which, by the way, the bright frocking of the ladies lent an added note of gaiety, included three car loads of Eden guests, a car load from Candelo and visitors from Kiah, Nethercote and Nullica supplemented the big throng from Towamba, Pericoe, Burragate and Wyndham. Mrs. Parker expressed gratitude for assistance given in connection with the function and particularly to Miss T. Hartneady and Mrs. W. Parker.

by Elizabeth W G2G6 Mach 1 (17.4k points)
+3 votes

Mable Hurd Walker Herrick, https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Walker-34314 maternal 1st cousin of the wife of my great-uncle was very active in the community. She particularly contributed much in the way of time and money to Rockford College, which began as a Ladies college. In 1893 she was the first to be awarded a Masters degree from there. She was on their Board of Regents for 50 years. 

by Joelle Colville-Hanson G2G6 Pilot (120k points)

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