52 Ancestors Week 4: Close to Home

+11 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:

Close to Home

From Amy Johnson Crow:

Coming soon!

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in The Tree House by Eowyn Langholf G2G Astronaut (1.5m points)

51 Answers

+15 votes

As a Navy brat, home always moved and i never really put roots down in one spot. Jacob Hansen https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Hansen-12723 was a young man when he left his home town and then moved a few times in his life. But when i discovered his birth place i found a location where generations of my family had stayed in the same place. It was amazing to see parents and grand parents and on back all from the same town, sometimes even the same farm. I was incredibly lucky to have a town in Norway that has an amazing bygdebok so that filling out 8 or 9 generations in a fan chart wasn't hard. I'm excited to meet Jacob one day in the future.

by David Grawrock G2G6 (9.5k points)
+12 votes

I have a photo of my great grandmother, Bertha (Damerell) Ball, about as close to home as she could be...in the doorway!

Bertha was born in the nearby village of Charleton, in Devon, England, the eldest of six children.  At the time of her marriage, she and her family were in Southampton, Hampshire, where her father was a 'marine store dealer'. Her first three children were born there (she had 10 in total).

Bertha lived through several inventions and discoveries: the telephone, the phonograph, the electric lamp, the car, the gramophone, the electric oven, the zip, the motor-driven vacuum cleaner, aspirin, the aeroplane, teabags, cornflakes, and colour photography (although the one I have is in black and white).  I wonder how many of these she had in her house and life?

She also lived through the Boer Wars (two of her sons died in WWI in France), but doutbless enjoyed Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, when she was 40.

Bertha died in 1909, aged 52, of acute lobar pneumonia.

by Ros Haywood G2G6 Pilot (844k points)
edited by Ros Haywood
I am confused.  If she died in 1909, she did NOT live through WW I and WW II.
Oops, my bad.  The two sons who died in WWI had her named on their memorial stones, but of course she had predeceased them.  Thanks for pointing it out! :)
I had family in Southampton in 1881 working in maritime trades they may have known each other.
Cool! :)
+14 votes

Umpty Great Grandfather, Alexander Carswell, came to Georgia in the late 1700's with his wife and children.  Many of his descendants are still living near where he is buried in Burke.

by Dorothy Truslow G2G6 Mach 1 (10.4k points)
+13 votes
The last several generations of my ancestors live in central Illinois.  There was a house built about 1900 by my great grandparents in one of the small farming communities ... Since several generations lived in the home, it became affectionately named ... "The Family "Home".

I believe that it was in 1958 that a tornado came thru the township ... in fact the houses on both sides of The Family Home were destroyed ... but the Family Home stood untouched ...

The story spread among the family is that I actually slept thru almost all the excitement ... I would have been 17 years old at the time.

That maybe what some one would call a little "Close to home!"
by Bill Sims G2G6 Mach 5 (50.9k points)
+19 votes

During the 1840's Signature and Friendship Quilts were a very popular way to make someone possibly moving away to feel "close to home." Their family and neighbors would get together and make them a quilt. This is one of those quilts with my 2nd great grandmother, Adaline McIntire's signature on it. This one was made in Pennsylvania in 1847.

by Alexis Nelson G2G6 Pilot (136k points)
Thank you, Alexis, for posting this photo. It's a beautiful quilt! I have made a couple of quilts but nothing so beautiful or intricate and I know how much work goes into one. A perfect way to show love and remind someone of "home".
Thank you Robin for your sweet comment. These quilts must have meant a great deal to folks away from home. I have seen a few memory quilts made lately.
How FABULOUS! Beautifully done and is inspiring me to make one.

Oh my, what a treasure!

In 1805 my 4th great-grandmother Marjry (DeGraff) Miller (1792-1872) wove a coverlet.  It survived all of these years and is owned by one of my cousins.

I used the coverlet as the background for her profile.  You can see it at her name linked above.

I can't claim to own anything so old but after the birth of our first son, my mother presented me with my baby blanket that was made by my grandmother over a half century ago.  It is still in very good shape and we used it until he started to toddle around.  I can't seem to find a pic of it - I will post if I can find it.

edit to add: looking again, that really is a beautiful quilt - I do think you should take a photo of it straight on and use it as the background for her profile!

SJ, the quilt in these photos is actually owned by a quilt collector. She contacted me though the Internet; she wanted to know about my family names on it. The other quilt on Adaline’s profile belongs to me, and has many of the same names. She told me I was welcome to use her photos, and I secretly wanted to ask her what she paid for it. I had recently looked at Marjry‘s profile, and I had wondered about the background, but I did not read her biography. I was an art major, and I have always been interested in weaving. What a treasure to still be in your family. Marjry making it at age 13 makes it extra special.
Jeanette, thank you for your comment. Glad you are inspired. Hope you will share some of your work with us.
What a beautiful quilt. Thank you for sharing!!
+12 votes
I was born in Connecticut, USA and so was my daughter, Sara. She married Kristopher Lisauskas who was born and raised in Amesbury, Massachusetts. It turns out my grandparents, Owen and Mary Higgins, established, their first home in Amesbury.

Sara and Kristopher established their first home in Newburyport,  Massachusetts, the town next to Amesbury. Since we visit often, I have spent time in the Amesbury town hall getting copies of marriage and birth records.I have also visited two cemeteries in Amesbury and have taken pictures of the graves of my Grandfather’s sisters. Also, I have taken pictures of the houses where my grandparents and great aunts lives. I would never have done this if Amesburymwas not so close to my daughter’s home.
by Rosemary Dill G2G6 (9.7k points)
+15 votes

One of the furthest back ancestors I have been able to trace through parish records is Richard Durram or Durham who lived in the parish of Tredington, Worcestershire (now in Warwickshire) in the North Cotswolds during the early 1700s.
I only live about 15 miles from Tredington but I had no idea I had ancestors from the area when I moved to Worcestershire a few years ago.
It does give me a sense of home knowing my ancestors have lived in the area for over 300 years.

by Ray Hawkes G2G6 Mach 3 (38.3k points)
Great move!
+14 votes

I suppose it was inevitable that my childhood memories of the rocky coast and the scent of pine forests would eventually entice me to return to Maine, the land of my forebears. I returned to Hancock County, Maine--where 8 generations of forebears lie buried--almost 4 years ago. This was before I was bitten by the Ancestry bug. 

When I began looking for houses, I was immediately drawn to a particular house on Gross’s point, although none of my relatives in recent memory had lived near Gross’ point. The house was overpriced and otherwise unsuitable, but I was completely enchanted by it, especially the view of the bay from the kitchen window and the brass fittings on the windows. I thus prevailed upon the real estate agent to allow me to visit it several times with several family members on different occasions—all of whom seemed immune to this charming house and urged me to look elsewhere. It was another two years before I would understand that it was not the house which I had found so irresistible, but rather the ancestral ties to the land itself.

THIS WAS THE VERY PLACE settled by my 6th great grandparents Ebenezer Gross (Gross-3700) and Hannah Brown (Brown -80206).Ebenezer and Hannah, together with Ebenezer's brother Joseph and his wife were the first settlers of what would become Orland, Maine.

Perhaps there is some validity to the concept of genetic memory.

by S Mercer G2G6 Mach 1 (13.8k points)
Amazing story!
Thank you. Since I returned to Maine I cannot go very far in any direction without passing a cemetery with ancestors.
Headed to Washington County, myself. I tell my grands "we are probably related to about 75% of the population. Long long time from before Maine was Maine.
+16 votes

 By 1860 my GG grandparents were all farming and ranching near  Sacramento. All but David Strauch came to California to try their hand at getting rich on gold, but all found a decent living farming. This 1885 map shows where E.S. Driver, David Strauch, and William Ekenhead Johnston had their Sacramento County land. James Whitsitt Blanchard's first farm was just over the line in Secret Ravine Placer County. And look how close I ended up! 

by Lyn Sara Gulbransen G2G6 Mach 2 (21.2k points)
I can relate. Perhaps it isn't coincidence at all but the pull of ancestral memories.
None of my direct ancestors left forever. Sure, A Grandpa went to Manton to raise goats, A grandma went to San Francisco once, my Dad went to war, my mom went to University, I worked overseas, but still ended up here! :)
+15 votes

My 6x great grandfather Pierre Teller was born in Westchester County, New York in a place that was called Teller's Point (now called Croton Point).  His family lived in that one location for many generations.  His grandfather was an elder at Sleepy Hollow Church.  Pierre was a patriot in the American Revolution and was captured and died at one of the sugar house prisons in New York City late in the war.

by Caryl Ruckert G2G6 Pilot (178k points)
Magnificent church and an interesting story!  I would love to take a long vacation and visit all the places of my ancestors.
+11 votes
I've had a small amount of DNA success already (with many potential successes on the way once I tease them out).  One of my brick walls, Christian Schwartz, apparently came to this country with a brother...and I'm stunned I didn't notice before that his neighbor, always next door or practically next door according to the census, turned out to be his brother.
by K. Anonymous G2G6 Mach 9 (91.7k points)
Won't it be something when the DNA match for your 3rd cousin from that brother is living next door to you!
I actually wouldn't be surprised...I'm finding a lot of more distant cousins on both sides that moved to my state about a hundred years ago.
+14 votes

I'm going to go the opposite of Close to Home and say that my ancestors and myself, all seem to have the travel bug and they and I all chose to NOT stay Close To Home!!

Many of my ancestors sailed and moved from the UK all the way around the world to little old New Zealand!!

My mother and sister still live close to home - in New Zealand.

As for me - I moved all the way across a very large ocean and a very big continent. Now I can only be Close to Home on Fridays when I have my weekly skype chat with my mother and sister.

by Robynne Lozier G2G6 Pilot (701k points)
+11 votes

Eliza Richmond and her husband William Wheat, never left the county they were born in — Delaware, New York. Many of their siblings ventured westward, but the two of them were content to remain residents of a land their parents had cleared and labored. Likewise, Eliza and William's three children lived and died in Delaware county.

by C Ryder G2G6 Mach 5 (55.9k points)
+13 votes

This is my 2GG mother - Catharina Egresich, born in 1859.  She and almost all of her ancestors going back at least to the early 1700s stayed close to home.  They were part of a small Croatian minority that lived in Kópháza, a little village in what is now Hungary, not far from Vienna.  Thankfully, the Roman Catholic Church in Kópháza kept meticulous  baptism and marriage records, so they are not forgotten....

by Scott McClain G2G5 (5.9k points)
Very lucky indeed.  Most of Russia's archives did not escape the marxists.
+10 votes

I am completely spoiled for choice this week, as my ancestors fall into two groups: those that stayed close to home and a much smaller group who decided they wanted to travel to the farthest-flung corners of the globe.

The profile I'm picking is very close to home for me, my paternal granny, Jessie Hall.  The farmhouse I grew up in was her family home for most of her married life.  Her husband, my grandfather, was the original farmer and then it passed to my father.  The reason it is so close to home is that so many of my granny's children - my aunts and uncles - and their families lived practically on our doorstep.  One was literally our next door neighbour, another three doors down from that, and several more within five miles.  Even my aunt and uncle who lived farthest away (a whole fifteen miles) moved to a house built on our farmland when they retired.  I really did grow up with all my paternal side of the family very close to home!

by Linda Hawkes G2G6 Mach 3 (33.4k points)
+9 votes
My family had lived in the milwaukee, Wisconsin general area for generations. There are still many people still living in that area to this day.
by Jennifer Robins G2G6 Mach 2 (24.8k points)
+9 votes

Was surprised to find a great aunt buried in a cemetery less than an hour away. I didn’t grow up in this area. 


She immigrated from Scotland to Illinois then later moved to Iowa. 

by Joelle Colville-Hanson G2G6 Mach 7 (70.3k points)
+6 votes

Just why do I have a connection to Haverhill, Mass? Well....


by Chris Ferraiolo G2G6 Pilot (285k points)
+9 votes
Before computer genealogy on the internet, the sources we had available to us were the ones close to home.   Before Findagrave, for example,  I knew about our family cemeteries, which my family would go to faithfully every Memorial Day, with flowers, remembering the ancestors.  I have a happy memory of the last time I did so with my parents.  We went on a road trip throughout Vermont, hitting as many cemeteries as we could.  Most of the cemeteries we knew about were close to the homes they knew of their grandparents and great grandparents.  This Memorial Day tradition was a way of keeping the ancestors within our oral history.  We could walk from one row to another, and someone would repeat what we knew about the family.   Since Findagrave, we have a new tool to find the ones who didn't stay close to home.  Now, we can find the ancestors who left with their children, or the distant uncles and aunts with whom we had lost touch.  Somewhere in Illinois, or Michigan, or Kansas, names can be found that give a clue to what happened to family members who left Vermont  and became pioneers so far away from home.   I enjoy connecting them back into our family tree on Wikitree, bringing them all back home.
by Carolyn Adams G2G6 Mach 2 (26.9k points)
Great story. Thanks for sharing it.
+12 votes

This is my grandmother and I on my first visit to Indiana from Seattle. Her home passed to my mother, and then to my sister. It is right around the corner from my home.

by Shirley Davis G2G6 Mach 2 (21.1k points)

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