Many of my family photographs appearing on the Orphan George blog – especially those displayed in the Josie Jones and Samuel Hodson album galleries – came to me by way of Floyd Hodson.
Recently, via email, I’ve received a lode of additional photos, this time by way of Michael Hodson, and sifting through them is renewing some of my puzzle-solving attempts. Both Floyd and Michael descend from Joshua Hodson’s first wife, Josephine (Josie) Jones, and many of the newly acquired images duplicate those in her gallery, with a few, as I’m finding, accompanied by actual identifications. One thing we can assume from Josie’s set is that all were taken before her death in 1891. (Hence the predominance of tintypes.)
In contrast, I descend from Joshua’s second wife, Alice McSherry, and since many of the portraits in the “new” pictures come from a collection preserved at the time of his death in 1930, I’m curious about how many of them possibly reflect Alice’s side of the family.
One approach has me trying to match up any duplicate photos, especially those from Josie’s own album, and then look more closely at the remainders. The result just might broaden my McSherry family picture.
One thing that’s fascinated me in considering religion as part of a family history is what happens when an individual – that is, a generation – departs from the earlier denomination. When it’s something as disciplined as historic Friends or Brethren tradition, the break can be something as slight as marrying into a somewhat similar stream, say into the Methodist or United Brethren of the time, or something drastic that reflects an outward rejection of everything that came earlier.
I’m interested in seeing what values continue and which ones are lost. In both the Friends and Brethren circles, for instance, divorce was out of the question, yet in one of my related Brethren lines, I was surprised by the prevalence of broken marriages among those no longer part of the faith. Not uncommon, as I’ve been told. Military service or joining secretive fraternal societies are other markers.
Not all of the values need be religion-based, either. For instance, I can now trace my great-grandmother Alice McSherry’s dutiful reading of the daily newspapers (likely deriving from her father, Amos) though my grandfather’s collecting all of the Dayton papers during World War II (“They’ll be valuable someday”) to my father’s youthful desire to be a sportswriter to my own journalism career – not that I knew of Dad’s dream until after his funeral.
As for being frugal or tightfisted or even stingy? I could trace that a number of ways from both Mom and Dad’s lines. (Well, I could just as easily have gone the other way in reaction. As I was saying about rejecting a tradition?)
There are many other values to look at. Racism, for one, or attitudes toward education and learning.
Where does this fit into your own family past and present? What would you add to the list?
A genealogy regarding Piedmont Quaker pioneer George Hodgson and his lines