Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Way We Were Wednesday


Born Mary Louise Broadhurst in Swansea, Wales, she married George Wood, a tunnel digger in London, and immigrated to the United States.  She died in 1977 at age of 89.  She was my father's, mother's mother, my great grandmother.  I took this picture in about 1975 in the dinning room of the old farmhouse on the farm in Michigan. 

For most of the last decade of her life she lived with my grandparents, on the farm in Michigan in the summer, and several winters in their second home in Istachatta, Florida (google it.)   

I didn't know she was Welsh, until 1990, when I was planning my first trip to England and my mother gave me a photocopy of her birth certificate. She had always said she was English, if we were taking her to Canada for lunch or tea, she would tell immigration that she was born in Toledo, Ohio - they always believed her.  I have been to Swansea, been to the place that she was born.  I remember her once, on a dare from my grandmother, speaking Welsh. It would have been nice to know more about her history. 

Spending time with her in my teens shaped who I am today.  Hearing her story of immigration, good times and challenges.  

She was the only one of my great grandparents that I have memories of. Her husband died the year I was born. My paternal great-grandparents died within a couple of years of my birth.  My mother's grandmother died of tuberculosis when my grandmother was an infant.  The other three great grandparents on my mother's side were gone before I was born. 

Did you know any of your great-grandparents? 

8 comments:

  1. no. they were all gone by the time I was born.

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  2. I don't know if they were still living when I was born, since they'd all be in Slovakia. It was my grandparents who emigrated to the US.

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  3. Two of my GGrands died in 1948 and 1956. My paternal GGrandfather died when I was was almost 2 so I obviously didn't "know" him. My maternal GGranddmother was the only one I knew. She visited her quite often and she died when I was 14 at age 84. She was a pretty big influence on me.

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  4. I knew one, my mother's maternal grandma. She was born in 1856 and lived until 1952. I was 7 when she died, we lived together and I remember her well. She was the person who taught me how to read. A very well respected old lady, refined but without much money. It's amazing how long her life was when you think of life in the 1800's. We still have a baby gown she sewed for her children in the 1880's and a book which she had bound in leather which contains a years worth of a ladies' magazine she took. I have two photos of her with me in 1945.

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  5. How blessed you were. I never knew any of my great-grandparents.

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