Some of Those Who Built Me

These are images that I have of my ancestors. Without these, I would not know their features. I do not know their voices or their facial expressions. I don’t know their body movements or how they smelled. How they sang. What they ate. If they were cold or affectionate. Sick or healthy. Had chronic pain or were free of it.

These are images that I have of my ancestors. If one is when young, would I know him older? If one is when old, would I know her as a girl?

I don’t know these people.

Yet, they built me.

Their characteristics came down through their children to me, and I passed them to my son. My favorite photos are of the women – as the special kinship I feel toward them, particularly up my direct maternal line, is strong.

I know my mother and my father, my mother the most. But the rest – they were gone before me.

It is true that, in part, I am who I am because of them. Not just because of them, of course. We all contribute to our own personalities.  But I started with what they gave me – what they sent down.

The men – they shaped my relationship with myself and other men. The women – they shaped my relationship with myself and other women.

Here are photos of some of those who built me.

collage2

From Left to Right, beginning at the top:

  1. Elizabeth (CORMACK) RENFRO, 1809-1901, 3rd great-grandmother
  2. John Marion RENFRO, 1846-1916, 2nd great-grandfather
  3. Isaac VAN DUYN, 1822-1903, 3rd great-grandfather
  4. Martha J. (BLUE) VIRKLER CLUCAS, 1848-1921, 2nd great-grandmother
  5. Carrie D. (VIRKLER) TROUTMAN PHILP, 1873-1969, great-grandmother
  6. Henry Pat ANTON, 1872-1943, great-grandfather
  7. Marion Ann (RENFRO) ANTON, 1874-1934, great-grandmother
  8. Adele Marie (ANTON) TRAUTMAN MILLAR, 1893-1976, paternal grandmother
  9. James Joseph TRAUTMAN/WILSON, 1929-1985, father
  10. Isaac Andrew WILSON, 1848-1931, great-grandfather
  11. George KUHN, 1830-1901, 2nd great-grandfather
  12. Obe Dallas VAN DUYN, 1875-1946, great-grandfather
  13. Roy U. WILSON, 1894-1939, maternal grandfather
  14. Henry Bascom WILSON, Sr., 1824-1913, 2nd great-grandfather
  15. Barbara Ellen (HAAS) WILSON, 1854-1933, great-grandmother
  16. Sarah (JOHNSON) KUHN, 1833-1917, 2nd great-grandmother
  17. Minnie Magdalene (KUHN) VAN DUYN, 1877-1949, great-grandmother
  18. Carol Vernice (VAN DUYN) WILSON, 1902-1959, maternal grandmother
  19. Margaret Ellen WILSON, 1931-2005, mother
  20. Some little girl on a bouncy horse, Summer 1967.

Thank you to Lisa Y. Henderson of Scuffalong: Genealogy for this idea.

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2 Responses to Some of Those Who Built Me

  1. Sheryl says:

    How true – There is so much we don’t know about our ancestors, yet we are who we are because of them.

    Liked by 1 person

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