My great-grandmother Josephine, whom we called Feenie, is almost unknown to me except as the sweet silver-haired woman who welcomed us into her house with a great big smile whenever we stopped by on our frequent trips to Algoma to see my grandma Lil and grandpa Leo, the folks on my father’s side of the family.
Feenie was my mother’s grandma but for many of my young years this fact somehow escaped me. For the longest time I was under the impression that she was just a nice little old lady my parents happened to know, who liked to sit me on her lap and read to me.
Not too long ago I came into possession of a big stack of old photo albums, several of which are more than a hundred years old and chock full of photos of people who are presumably related to me, but I have only the faintest notion how. I was flipping through one the other night, wondering who all those people could be, when it slowly dawned on me that this one in particular must have been Feenie’s.
This photo provided the clincher:
Josephine is the dark-eyed beauty on the far right. She’s written “Me” on her shoulder. Somebody else has added: “Jo,” so this album must have fallen into the hands of another member of my family who tried to figure out who all these distant relatives were.
Maud, the woman standing beside Feenie, and Luella, sitting in front of her, were sisters. Maud and Luella, whom everyone called Lulu, had a sister named Cora, who is very probably the woman on the far left, and a brother, Rolland Chester Bach. Rolland was my great-grandfather, and everyone called him Rollie. He married Josephine in 1904.Monday, August 22nd, 2011 at 8:46 pm CDT
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