52 Ancestors Week 49: Craft

+12 votes

Time for the next 52 Ancestors challenge!

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


From Amy Johnson Crow:

The theme for Week 49 is "Craft." Do you have an ancestor who was a craftsman? How about a tradition of crafting in your family? (I come from a line of crafters and I have always enjoyed doing crafts of all kinds. I've also started quilting, a craft that both my grandmother and my aunt spent countless hours doing.) Do you have a handmade craft that's been passed down?

Share below!

Participants who share every week can earn badges. If this is your first time participating and you don't have the participation badge, or if you pass a milestone (13 in 13, 26 in 26, 52 in 52) let us know hereClick here for more about the challenge. 

in The Tree House by Eowyn Langholf G2G Astronaut (1.5m points)
3 weeks to go!  Who's 49 for 49!?
I am!
I am too!
I made it!
Me. I made it 49 for 49.
I am also 49/49.
Made it to 49; ready for the last 3 no matter how much of a stretch.
this will make 49 for 49 for me ..Bill Sims
49th Week!

4th G Grandfather, John Wesley Truslow (https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Truslow-102) was a silversmith in Virginia and Tennessee in the first part of the 19th Century.  At least one of his pieces is in  the Virginia Museum of History & Culture.

I am as well, though the counter I see on my profile say only 2!
I am all in for 49 weeks. Can't wait for the rest of them.

33 Answers

+18 votes

My 8th great grandfather Peter Blinn was a skilled craftsmen, and one of his sunflower chests is in the Metropolitan Museum in New York. This is a photo of me admiring his work.

by Alexis Nelson G2G6 Pilot (113k points)
Cool photo Alexis.  What a beautiful chest he built.
That chest must have taken many hours of careful work to make. What a lovely treasure to share.
Caryl, I was so thrilled to see this. If I had never been involved in genealogy, I would not have had a clue about this chest.
Thank you Judith, it really was lovely, and the idea that I could be related to the person that made it was so interesting.
Wow!  How cool is that!  I'd love to find my ancestor's things in a museum!
SJ, thank you. You always have wonderful comments.
Alexis what a piece of art I just admire this furniture

Thank You for sharing
+16 votes

My 7x great grandfather James Starr was a Quaker who came to Pennsylvania in 1712.  He built this house in 1732 in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania.  It was built 287 years ago. 

by Caryl Ruckert G2G6 Pilot (162k points)
Caryl, thank you for sharing this fabulous house and how wonderful it is for you to know that your 7x great grandfather built it. I hope you will write more about the house on other questions. I love the rock work!
They sure built things to last, yes?  Wonderful - have you ever gone in?
What a magnificent home Caryl I just love this house
+14 votes

I am fond of kntting and needlework, like many of the women in my family. My great grandmother Margaret Cummings (Bown) Thomson did beautiful embroidery on fine linens and added embroidered monograms to her more common linens. I am privileged to have some still in good condition though she died 100 years ago.

by Judith Chidlow G2G6 Mach 3 (37k points)
Wow!  I like to do needlework too.  How special that you have her work.
Judith, how wonderful that you are taking such good care of your great grandmother’s things that she spent so much time working on. Thank you for sharing her with us.
+14 votes

I consider myself "crafty" I always enjoy learning a new craft and have tried many out. Then I come from a long line of woodcrafters, but I've already featured them so....

My grandmother Polly Crofut Bishop made afghans, lots of afghans. She took up crocheting fairly late in life, to help keep her aging fingers nimble.

She made this one for my children.

by Anne B G2G Astronaut (1.1m points)
Beautiful!  Things made in the family hold such a special place.  And you get enjoyment from them for so many years and they bring such great memories.

I have two just like this made by my sister-in-law and by my great-aunt (they made them together).  One is brown and white and the other green, brown and white.  I just used one last week when it was cold.

Last year my mother presented as a gift, my baby blanket that was made by her mother for me.  She gave it to our first son and he used it for his first year.  Very robust and still good looking after all these decades.  Will be passing it to the next son this coming spring.
Your grandma and my grandma would have definitely got along. =)
+13 votes

My Grandmother Leola Cox was a quilter. She made quilts for all of her grandchildren (4 of us) as wedding presents. Although she eventually gave up on my cousin Jeff and simply gave his to him! I found out later, she also made quilts for all of her great-grandchildren (6 of them) as wedding presents, most of them given out after her death. 

One of my prized possessions is the small quilt she made for my doll bed which in a way means more than the full-size one she gave me for my wedding. 

Her mother and aunts were also quilters and one of my favorites was made by one of her father's sisters with names of all the family members at the time. It is a simple quilt, but even as a child it was a favorite. 

by Emily Holmberg G2G6 Mach 6 (63.9k points)
+15 votes

My ancestor Henry Luke Knowles was a confectioner so I am sure he did a lot of sugar craft. His father, also named Henry Luke Knowles (who is one of my brick walls), was a Shipwright so I am sure he crafted a few craft.

by Ray Hawkes G2G6 Mach 3 (32.6k points)
+11 votes

Most all of my ancestors in the last two centuries were farmers up until the Depression.  I have not found many "craftsmen" in my tree but I did remember William Silas George (1786 - 1844) was a wagon maker.  According to the town history of Elmwood, Illinois, he was the owner of the town's first wagon shop.

I would love to find one of his wagons or a photo of one.

by SJ Baty G2G6 Pilot (705k points)
+12 votes

My paternal great grandfather, John Christian Rathgeber-166, was born in Germany in 1858. He came to the U.S. in 1876 and settled in Hankinson, ND.He was a 'boss carpenter' and was considered one of the most Rathgeber-166-1.jpgskilled workmen at his trade in the region. He obtained a patent (#364670) for a curtain/shade modification from the U.S.Patent Office on June 14, 1883.

by Carol Baldwin G2G6 Pilot (127k points)
edited by Carol Baldwin
+12 votes

So many people in my family crafted many things. This week, I discuss my grandmother Natalie Felker's work: https://allroadhaverhill.blogspot.com/2019/12/52-ancestors-week-49-craft.html

Some of these pics may go on her profile. Hint. Hint. =D

by Chris Ferraiolo G2G6 Pilot (270k points)
+13 votes
I have a chest which family lore says my great-grandfather made, although it is a worse for the wear and has obviously been repaired over time; the drawer pulls are obviously not original and the lid been repaired with wood that is not original. My maternal grandmother did excellent crochet; I think my sister has some of her work. I have a quilt my paternal grandmother made.

(Week three for me)
by Richard Rosenberger G2G3 (3.3k points)
+13 votes

Most of the relatives I knew of were farmers.  However, as I've moved back in time it turns out there were other professions represented in the family tree.  My third great grandmother, Louisa Bly, was the only girl in the family and had five brothers.  Of these five, Norman was a bank teller, but the others were all apparently skilled woodworkers.  Hiram was in the business of carriage and wagon making, William was a carpenter-joiner and pattern maker,  Edwin was a cabinetmaker and the youngest Benjamin Franklin Bly was a stair builder.

Their father William Bly's will was the subject of the prompt for 2018 Week 9 "Where there's a will".  Benjamin was only 15 when his father died in 1837 and the will offers him a financial carrot if he will learn a trade.  And, apparently he did as a stair builder which is a specialty craft within carpentry.  

About 1844 Benjamin had moved to Syracuse, Onondaga, New York according to the 1855 New York Census which gave his occupation as carpenter.  There he stayed for almost all the rest of his life.  Beginning with the 1860 U.S. Census, his occupation is given as stair builder.  The same occupation appears on the 1865 NY and 1870 US Census.

by Jill Perry G2G6 Mach 3 (37.2k points)
+12 votes
I seem to find a lot of carpenters and blacksmiths, going way back.  One of my Rhode Island lines, West, seem to have been excellent carpenters early on, and this knowledge or ability must have been in the genes.  My grandfather's brother, a West descendant, Elmer E Adams, was a master finish carpenter, who should have had a patent on a window design.  The story goes that his employer took the design from him.  Blacksmithing also seemed to run on the other side of the family.
by Carolyn Adams G2G6 Mach 2 (21.6k points)
+11 votes
Many women on both sides of my family are crafters. My mother is a knitter, my maternal grandmother a quilter, and my great-aunt an embroiderer and member of a national embroiderers guild. All of these women are still alive, so unfortunately I cannot link their profiles.
by Amy Utting G2G6 Pilot (158k points)
+10 votes

There were a lot of crafters in both my husband's family and in mine.  The Shaules men seem to be especially talented with their hands.  My husband was a life-long surfer until a few years ago and he always built his own surfboards from start to finish.  His father, Andrew Shaules, enjoyed building and flying radio controlled model airplanes.  These were larger airplanes with 4-5 foot wingspans.

On my side of the family both the women and the men were handy.  The women did knitting and crocheting along with other needle crafts.  I've picked up the joy of knitting and doing cross stitch.  I almost always have at least two projects going.

My paternal grandfather, Arthur Dodge, was a dairy farmer most of his working years, but after retirement he really enjoyed disappearing into his workshop and emerging with some lovely "work of art", usually made out of wood.  Today I am privileged to have two of his pieces -- delicate knick knack shelves which hang in my dining room and living room.

by Robin Shaules G2G6 Pilot (537k points)
+13 votes

My grandmother, Myrtle Pountney, and my gr. grandmother, Betsy Mayoh, were both Dressmakers. When I was growing up, I can always remember my grandmother spending a lot of time at her Singer sewing machine and her collection of buttons, threads and thimbles.

by David Urquhart G2G6 Pilot (103k points)
What a fantastic old singer thank You David for sharing
This machine is exact machine my Mom used to whip up all of my dresses, skirts, and blouses from the time I was 4 years old through highschool. Loved your picture! Thanks for the memories.
Hey David!

I actually owned one of those years ago. I gave it to my sister-in-law because I detest sewing. I can still appreciate the elegance of that old Singer, though!
+10 votes
Mine is my mom's sister brother William Carrol Leonard and his profile is https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Leonard-5586. He would make jewelry boxes to keep jewelry, letter openers, dogwood flowers, and dulcimers as an hobby and when he was confined at home with COPD and couldn't get out when he was sick which was a lot. He would give and sell them and make money.
by Linda Barnett G2G6 Pilot (447k points)
+12 votes

Great great grandfather Michael O'Connor is credited with being the "contractor who built Central High School", completed in 1893 in Sioux City, Iowa. The building has since been listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

Sioux City History

Born in Ireland, Michael emigrated to the U.S. around 1850. He was a carpenter by trade.  From Pennsylvania he and his family migrated west to Illinois, before finally settling in Iowa. Two of Michael's sons were also carpenters.

by C Ryder G2G6 Mach 4 (48.2k points)
+10 votes

My 7th great-grandfather Edward Willett was born in Cirencester, Gloucestershire in 1656; at about the age of 18, he went to London to apprentice as a pewterer, and after several years of apprenticeship under more than one master he was given leave to strike his touch mark on the master touch plate of registered pewterers' marks in the guildhall of the Worshipful Company of Pewterers (there is an image of his touch mark on his profile); he emigrated to Maryland sometime before 1692, married, and had seven children; his son William Willett Sr (my 6th great-grandfather) took over his father's pewter trade (William advertised his services in the Maryland Gazette in the 1750's, and in his will left his pewterer's tools to his son Edward with the stipulation that Edward make for his siblings such pewterware as they might require).

by C Handy G2G6 Mach 6 (66.6k points)
+11 votes
One of my relatives (b. 1692) was a bell founder. The latest he (maybe already his father) founded a company. That company is still running and still in ownership of my family. In the 1800s his company expanded within Germany, but also a son founded a branch in the USA. The bell that melted away when the Chicago Fire station burned in the beginning of the 1900s was of the company of my relatives.
by Jelena Eckstädt G2G6 Pilot (299k points)
+12 votes
My grandmother in-law Betsy Ovidia Johannesen was an amazing quilter. She had an unfinished bonnet girl quilt when she passed away. Her daughter in-law Ruth had the squares framed and had enough to give one to every grandchild! Look at those stitches!

by Lyn Sara Gulbransen G2G6 Mach 1 (14k points)

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