Tag Archives: Families

A final formal portrait

Here’s a studio shot of Grandpa shortly before his death. He looks more relaxed and accepting than anything we see in his earlier pictures. Tomorrow would have been his 120th birthday.


DNA could clear up two big questions

For those of us working the genealogy of Orphan George Hodgson, the two biggest questions center on his parentage – and both cases could be determined by DNA test results if we obtain samples from those two other lines.

The first would require a male descendant from Robert Hodgson (born 1666 in Lamplugh, Cumbria, and married Sarah Nicholson in 1701 in Lurgan, Ireland). I believe his brother, George, born in 1668, is Orphan George’s father, but my case is circumstantial. Thus, if our DNA matches up with the other line, we have support for this connection. A mismatch, though, would undermine my contention. And mismatches are possible if there were any extramarital affairs.

The second DNA search would require a male descendant from Robert Hodgson and Sarah Borden of Pleasant Garden, Pennsylvania. In this case, we would finally know if we have a blood connection to that line. So far, contrary to claims by many, I’ve found no evidence of kinship, yet there are tantalizing bits suggesting some kind of influence.

Ideally, we would need at least two DNA donors for each case, simply because there is no guarantee a surname actually matches the true father, if we can believe historians.

Anyone want to locate descendants from these other lines and then extend our request/invitation?

Christmas Day 1960

My, how dated this looks!

I remember that Grandpa and Grandma had colored Christmas tree lights featuring long thin tubes of bubbling liquid, but those went into storage or maybe away altogether when they switched from a real tree to this then glaringly novel alternative. Yes, the aluminum Christmas tree — the one that presented a mortal hazard if one of those strands of lights sprung a short.

This tree was instead illuminated by the revolving filter and floodlight in the foreground.

We thought it was so hip, and since this was our grandparents’, a bit disconcerting, too. I am surprised by how small the tree is. I remember it as much larger …


Grandma in a swing

Here’s another shot from the Oklahoma visit.

My memory of Grandma has her being largely quiet, even reserved or lost in her own thoughts, but I wouldn’t expect a moment of playfulness like this.

Also, she seems to have taken on a grandmother look at an early age. She’s barely in her forties here, yet appears to me to be much older.

I keep feeling I’m overlooking something central.