Sunday, April 08, 2007

Family Roots

It has been about 9 months or so since my grandmother passed away. Years before she died she started divvying up her things amongst the family members - most of it given away when she moved from her house to an apartment, a little more when she moved to an assisted-living facility, a little more when she went into the nursing home. I received the things that meant the most to me - her spoons collected from all her vacation destinations, the twin spindle beds that Bubba and I would sleep in when we went to visit her, the gumdrop tree she would always put out at Christmas, her Blue Danube dishes. Last weekend my parents took a visit to see my aunt - Dad's sister - and they took some time to sort thru more of Maw Maw's things (she never threw anything away!). It was mostly knick-knacks, old letters, and some great old pictures. To me they brought the most precious treasure of all -the family geneology, and memories hand-written by Maw Maw of her childhood and young adult life. I have pored over all of these papers for hours tonight. I am fascinated. From me, it is seven generations back that my family was in Ireland. I learned that from Ireland the family mostly settled in Mississippi and Tennessee before coming to Texas. There are fascinating stories within all these papers, and the OCD in me is coming out, wanting to organize it all and document everything in an orderly fashion. I want to do more research. It's a project I look forward to getting into!

But the most precious stories are the ones such as these, written in my grandmother's hand....

"I remember one time that Papa sent Jane and Clarice (Maw Maw's sisters) to bring some cows home to milk. They let me go along. Papa had told us not to ride the cows, but I am sure I begged to ride so they put me on one. We were going down the lane when the cow saw an open gate and bolted through the gate and I fell off. I was afraid Papa was going to whip me so I made a big deal of hurting and crying. I got by with it that time."

8 comments:

Eddie said...

Oooh, I like those dishes!

Bubba said...

Yo, share that love with me. I want to do the Barron's on a paternal side, you know, Drew Bear, Bubba, Daddy Don, Paw Paw, ...

Bubba's Sis said...

Bubba, I've got it all the way back to Ireland, 1722, when the FitzGeralds took on the surname Barron. Fascinating info. The direct line from Drew Bear goes like this:

Drew Bear (b. 2007, NY)
Bubba (b. 1976, TX)
Daddy Don (b. 1941, TX)
Paw Paw (b. 1905, TX)
Albert Van Buren Barron (b. 1861, MS)
Thomas Barron (b. 1826, MS)
Davis Barron (b. 1794, GA)
Samuel Madison Barron (b. 1767, GA)
Samuel Barron (b. 1749, Ireland)
James FitzGerald Barron (b. 1722, Ireland)

Pretty cool, huh? I'm getting it all organized.

Bubba's Mom said...

I knew you were going to love all that stuff we brought you from Aunt Nancy. It definitely is very cool to know where you came from. Your children and Bubba's will be so glad to have all this information of their heritage. Keep digging!!

cjh said...

That's super cool. I'd love to have those things. And I like your grandmother's story. Any reason for the surname change?

Bubba's Sis said...

From GoIreland.com:

"The Fitzgeralds of Ireland, who are now very numerous, are said to be all descended from the famous Maurice, son of Gerald, who accompanied Strongbow in the Anglo-Norman invasion. Gerald was constable of Pembroke in Wales and was married to Nesta, Princess of Wales. Fitzgerald simply means son of Gerald - Fitz (French - Fils) becoming Mac in Irish, hence the use of MacGearailt as the Gaelic form the name.....Some of the Fitzgeralds in Co. Waterford, whose ancestor was baron of Burnchurch, Co. Kilkenny, assumed the surname Barron. That name is well known to-day in that part of Ireland."

Now as to WHY they took on Barron as a surname, I have no idea. I'm still researching that part!

Bubba's Sis said...

Wait! I did find something on that...

"The last branch of the Fitzgeralds, who were Barons of Burnchurch, retained for several years a station of rank, and influence, but, involved in the troubles which marked the early part of the 17th century, they were forced to abandon their native County, and settle in the bordering County of Waterford, to escape the rancor of persecution and to elude its vigilance, they assumed, instead of their family name of Fitzgerald, the surname of BARRON only."

cjh said...

That is all super cool... (I know, I said that before, but it is.)