12 November 2007

Day 12

Little mom-mom's parents, what I know of them, is pretty cool. Her father, my great-great grandfather is the only relative of that generation to have been born in the US. He was from an old New England Scottish family, and the rumor goes their family came over on the boat after the Mayflower. That side is also somehow related to John Paul Jones, the founder of the modern navy. I don't know much else about him.

My great-great grandmother, however, has a pretty interesting story. She was born in Calder Castle (yes, same as in MacBeth), the oldest of SEVENTEEN children. Unfortunately, her father was a younger brother and therefore didn't inherit the title of Earl or the castle. He was in the wool business and his ships were burned in the New Orleans harbor during the civil war. Bummer. Somewhere along the line, my great-great grandmother, Beatrice, came to New York like so many others of my relatives. There she met her soon-to-be husband, and they were married on December 24th, 1894. I know this because I've been wearing her wedding ring since I was pregnant and my fingers got too fat to wear my rings. I love her ring - it's a wide yellow gold band, simple, with flowers engraved on the outside and the inside says "GFS to BCC 12/22/94" - that's 113 years ago this December. Amazing.

6 years later my great grandmother was born, and they had a few other children, but they were all dead (I think) before I came around. My grandmother (dad's mom and little mom-mom's daughter) has a silver ladle with the Calder family crest that she got from an uncle on her mom's side. This is special because things like this aren't supposed to be pased down through the girls - supposedly one of Beatrice's brothers lived with her (and her husband? I don't know) later in life and he had the soup ladle which went to her when he died, then to little mom-mom, and then to grandma (and not her brothers, I don't know why there either). Someday it will be mine and I love this little piece of history and the story behind it. We don't have great heirlooms in our family, but instead a soup ladle. Still pretty cool.

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