Ancestry Wall

We are fortunate to have a pretty good collection of old photos of both Bryan’s family and mine. A couple years ago, I was trying to think of a great way to share the pictures – and the life stories – with our kids and decided a gallery wall might do the trick! I rounded up so many photos that we’ll need a photo book, too, to bring it all together – so the “ancestry wall” as I am calling it, will feature mostly childhood photos of Leah and Michael’s grandparents, great grandparents, great-great and yes even great-great-great grandparents! I hope it helps Leah and Michael feel a deeper connection to the generations who came before them.

This is my my dad’s dad/my grandfather Harold and his little brothers. He was born in Georgia in 1900 and went to work in a cotton mill at age 9 part time – before this photo was taken! He was working full time by age 12 to help take care of his parents and younger siblings – or simply to ensure his mother continued to enjoy a certain social position. (See photo.) Harold worked 12 hours a day, six days a week until he was 55 and was fired because he had become ‘too slow’. No severance, no pension, and no Social Security until 62. He was a very, very old man at 55 and died 11 years later. He lived a hard life in many ways but a beautiful one, too. Harold was a star player on the mill village baseball team and was a devoted husband to my Gran Gran. Together, they raised four boys and two girls who all grew up to be such good people.

These are the stories that I want Leah and Michael to know.

3 thoughts on “Ancestry Wall

    • Thanks for the nice post on my Dad, Kim. The Federal labor laws finally passed in the 1930s established the eight hour workday and forty hour workweek for all U.S. workers.Thankfully, Dad worked that schedule for the last two decades of his work life. The work environment of a cotton mill was horrible. I worked a few weeks there during my high school days. The pace of work was exhausting. The noise was so deafening I could not hear anyone speaking to me. The lint in the air was suffocating, and the high humidity had everyone soaked in sweat.Federal workplace laws now provide a much safer and more humane work environment.

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      • Thanks, Dad – it’s hard for me to get past children working in a mill, much less working in an
        environment like that. So many improvements via our labor laws.

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