What better way to follow up my precious baby cousin, Ahnnalie...than with a tale that involves her Gaga and her Great Auntie... aka The Wonder Twins? For the last year, my Auntie Georgia (Gaga) and I have been researching our family history. Fortunately, we have been blessed with a treasure trove of pictures. It has been so exciting to put together the puzzle pieces...attach names to faces and solve one mystery after another. But..for the longest time, one man's photo refused to be found. We could not put a face with his name. "I know there was a picture of him standing in front of a tree..." my auntie said. But we couldn't find it....
Who was this man? His name was William Henry and he was my maternal grandpa's sweet daddy.
My maternal grandparents
Hugh & Marie
And then...one day...just a few weeks ago...I happened upon this...
"IT'S HIM!" I thought, "I know it has to be Will Henry!" For one thing, he's wearing overalls. In all of the family pictures...the only man I ever saw wearing overalls was my grandpa. (When my grandpa passed away in 1998, I asked for his overalls)
He also looked...
I thought he looked enough like my grandpa to be my long-lost great grandfather. (My grandpa looked just like his mother)
I called up my Auntie Georgia in Minnesota and emailed the photograph to her immediately. "Hmmm...." she said, "It sure looks like Don's nose! It could be him."
My auntie was born after Will Henry passed away...and my mama was too little to remember him...but my Uncle Don, who is two years older than my mom...remembers.... So, I emailed the picture to him too.
In the meantime, I saw my mom that night. "Looks like Don's nose!" she instantly said. But...it wasn't just Don's nose that looked familiar in that picture. As soon as I saw my mom that night I gasped. The answer to the mystery of Will Henry's appearance was with me all along... My mother looks EXACTLY LIKE HIM!!!!
Uncle Don called me last night. "Did you ever get that picture I sent of the man standing in front of the tree?" I asked. "Oh, yeah...I did." He responded. "Do you know if that is your grandpa?" I couldn't wait to hear his answer. "Yeah...that's him...." and then my uncle went on telling me sweet stories about his grandpa.
Could this be William Henry...1879-1943?
ps My auntie has been doing a tremendous amount of research through our Nebraska cousins...and one of them...one of them just might have a picture of Will Henry's daddy...William Henry... : )
~ Update ~
12 February 2010
Several weeks ago, my Auntie Georgia showed this picture to her eldest paternal cousin, Gloria. Gloria instantly said, "That is not my grandpa." And, "my grandpa would never have worn overalls!" We then showed the picture to my grandma for a second time and she said that it was Sylvester, her paternal grandpa's cousin. She then went on to say that he came over and taught my great grandpa how to make sorghum. Isn't it incredible how the gene pool can bounce? I still can't look at my mama without seeing Cousin Sylvester!