No More Guilt

Week 23: #52 Ancestors – Mistake

By Eilene Lyon

I have just returned home from a three-week road trip to the west coast. It incorporated the National Genealogical Society Conference in Sacramento; visits with cousins; visits with friends; and a trip to the Portland area to see Mom and my Aunt B. I will share some things from the trip in weeks to come.

You may recall a recent post about my great-grandmother, Clara Ransom Davis, where I shared some of her watercolors. In a conversation with my aunt, she mentioned a love seat that her mother, Clare Davis Smith, had reupholstered.

I showed her Clara’s painting that has just half a loveseat and asked if it was the same one. It was! And she informed me that her mother had given it away. This is the same woman who insisted I keep the beaver lap robe. Aha! I no longer need to feel guilty.

“My fireplace” by Clara P. Ransom Davis. (I suspect the half-chair was a not-so-subtle statement about the status of Clara’s marriage.)

My aunt also gave me Lila’s quilt while I was there. I’ve brought it home and have spread it out on the bed in my office to air out. According to the embroidery, my great-grandmother, (Mary) Lila Reams Smith, made the quilt top in February 1905.

Her two youngest children, Laurence and Loren, had not yet been born. Not surprisingly, Loren’s name does not appear on the quilt. I think Lila may have completed the quilt after May 1908, when my grandfather, Laurence, was born, because his name DOES appear on the quilt.

Lila’s 1905 crazy quilt with all the family names, except Loren.

What is odd is the way the name is spelled: LAWRANCE. That is erroneous in two ways: the W, and the second A instead of an E. Grandpa always spelled his name LAURENCE. A Washington State birth index spells it that way, but I do not have a certificate issued at the time of birth. There is a delayed registration birth certificate filed in 1940, and it also spells his name as “Laurence.”

How curious that Grandpa’s mom spelled his name wrong. It is also the only name on the quilt that does not include the last name, Smith.

43 thoughts on “No More Guilt

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      1. Yes, I’ve often thought it would be fun to collect from family members a favourite article of clothing that is worn out and include a piece in a family quilt. I wonder if that was the case here.

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  1. What a lovely quilt and another mystery to go with it! I’m also glad you can finally release the guilt over that fur!

    Your trip sounds productive and fun. It’s always nice to mix business with pleasure and to explore a bit along the way.

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  2. Like you, I have just returned from my West Coast road trip. I was gone 4 weeks and attended the NGS conference. Wish I could have said Hi! I didn’t really know anyone at the conference. I visited Vegas, Reno, friends, family, the beach, and the Salt Lake library.

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    1. Yes, it’s too bad we didn’t connect there. I gave a talk about family history blogging. I did meet up with the GeneaBloggers group, which was fun. Also made a stop in SLC. Maybe next year!

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    1. I know one of her daughters quilted – I have one she made that I’ve loved and used since childhood – and perhaps Lila let her do the embroidery and she didn’t think to ask how to spell baby brother’s name? Maybe that was a fun inside joke later in life.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know how that goes Eilene. Even simple tasks/chores take a backseat to walking, taking pictures, blogging and working – trying to fit in reading, or much of anything else does not happen these days.

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