As the kids & I strolled through the Ohio Historical Society today (Keith had a meeting there today so we tagged along), we came across an old carriage in the transportation section. It was the area where they show how transportation has changed in Ohio through the years – from wagons to trains to canals to planes. Anyway, that got me thinking about one of the best stories in our family tree. I shared it with the kids in front of that wagon, but doubt if they caught it all or will remember it, so I write it down.
My mother’s mother’s mother’s father, Grandma Jean’s Grandpa Guy, was a carriage maker in merry old England. In fact, as the story goes, he was so good, he was commissioned by the queen at one point! Since he was so good at this trade of his, he decided to come to come to America to start a business in the land of opportunity. He told his wife & three young children he’d send for them when he got settled. The children were Jack, Margaret, & William; Margaret being my great-grandmother.
A few years went by with no word from dear Mr. Guy. So, Grandma packed up the kids & belongings & headed off for America to find him. If he wouldn’t send for her, she’d come a knockin’! She found him. And they lived the rest of their lives in Ohio together. Nothing else was said about that. I find that whole thing very interesting.
Anyway, Grandma Margaret was in high school I believe when she came to America. She grew up to be a teacher & fell in love with Grandpa Paul. They had my grandma soon after. Two years later, they had twins & Grandma Margaret died due to surgical complications. Grandma Jean never really knew her mother. Her dad remarried a few years later & two more boys were added to the family.
When Grandma graduated from high school, her grandfather, the carriage maker from England, offered her a choice as a graduation gift. He would either giver her some college money, or take her on a trip back to mother England to meet the family there. She opted for number two. It was a six week trip if I remember correctly. (I told the kids they need to ask Grandma all about this next time they see her.) There are post cards floating somewhere around the family possessions that Grandma had sent to Grandpa Royal while she was on that trip – cute! They were dating at the time.
Some of Grandma’s memories of Grandpa Guy include his long white beard & tea time. Being the Englishman that he was, every day, was it at four o’clock?, he had a spot of tea. He smelled of peppermints because of the candies he kept in his pocket for the children. It is so strange to think my grandma’s mother spoke with an English accent! All this is why Grandma fancies herself quite close to the royal family. She does look like them. She has a special affinity to Queen Elizabeth.
Another good family story is the one about the Civil War vet ( I forget who he was in the family tree) who was in charge of the whiskey wagon. He was chosen for that duty because he was a t-totaler & they felt they could trust him to not get into the goods. We’re all quite proud of that one. Upstanding, top-quality blood in our line!!