family history

aceofalmonds  asked:

Hello! I read (and enjoyed!) the story you posted of your grandpa and his tree disposal methods, and so was looking for the story you mentioned of your other grandpa menacing a peach tree with a baseball bat, but can't seem to find it. Halp?

That would be because I haven’t posted it yet!  Many people have requested the story mentioned in the tags “Grandpa Menaces a Peach Tree With A Baseball Bat”, So here it is, with a side of “Grandpa Menaces The Iowa Relatives With Giant Corn”


For the Full Context of this tale, you have to understand how my dad’s side of the family got to America in the first place.  Prior to 1917, they were all farmers of limited success that migrated from county to county, trying not to starve, until a covey of the Fitzpatricks heard that they could be shoveling shit in Grand Americay, far away from the people they owed money to, so they all fucked off to Iowa and somehow made a fortune in the real-estate business in the middle of the depression.  Despite now being comfortably middle-class, they never actually gave up farming, and having a pair of glowing green thumbs was a point of pride in the family.

So, when Grandpa moved out to California, specifically to the Salinas Valley, which is where an absurd percentage of the country’s food is grown because it’s full of probably the world’s most stupidly good soil,  Grandpa had to continue the tradition and set up a garden in the backyard, planted various crops and flowers in January because fuck you this is coastal California, I can start stuff in the middle of winter, and invited his sister Leone and her growing brood of (at the time, 5, later 9 children) out to visit.

They came out in July, to escape the Midwest humidity and Butter fetish for a time, when the corn is typically getting to be around knee-height if things are going well.  Grandpa spent a long time asking how things were back on the farm, plying them with ice tea and grandma’s lethal Angel Food cake, before politely inviting Leone and her Husband Scotty out back to see how his patch was doing, oh its not much really, just a bit of fun for me and the children-

Scotty and Leone stared at the nine-foot-tall goddamn corn which was already setting fruit because it had been going since January.  At the watermelon plant that had taken over the side-yard, and at the other oversize and thriving crops that had taken over grandpa’s yard.  There was a few moments of awed silence.

“Well fuck you Edwin.” Scotty eventually said, before Leone whopped him over the head and the rest of the visit was a pleasant diversion.

the following spring though, Grandpa received a package from Iowa, specifically a small peach tree with a note saying “With Love, Scotty.”

Leone knew better than to engage in such shenanigans, because this is irish-agrarian passive-aggressive Bullshittery at its absolute finest.  “Sure, yeah, you can do corn.  Any asshole can do corn.  TRY THIS FUSSY-ASS PEACH VARIETAL INSTEAD, YOU ASS”  is perhaps a more accurate translation.

Grandpa, not about to be intimidated by a mere tree, planted that sucker in the front yard and proceeded to pamper it- bone meal fertilizer, a brand-new irrigation system, the works.  Hell, he would go out some times and talk to the darn thing.  It flowered, and he borrowed a behive from one of the local farmers to make DARN SURE that it got pollinated, because he was going to mail peaches to Scotty for Christmas, that asshole.

The tree. Did not. fruit.

That fall, grandpa reccived a letter from Scotty, asking after a couple paragraphs of circumlocutions, how that tree he sent was doing?

Grandpa got up, made himself a martini, picked up Dad’s baseball bat, and walked out to the front yard to have a discussion with the Peach tree.  

“I’ve just received a letter.”  he explained, waving the paper at the tree. “Asking when you’re going to fruit.  Now, I think I’ve held up my responsibilities to you as your caretaker, so it’s time for you to start providing.  Do you understand?  This spring, you better start fruiting or I will personally take this bat to you and turn you to into kindling.”

He stepped close to the tree, sticking his face in the branches as though whispering into it’s hypothetical ear. “Do not test me, you little shit.”

The next week, the tree bloomed out of season, and by February, it had set an obscene amount of fruit, which grandpa gleefully turned into preserves and mailed back to Iowa.

A platoon of US Marines poses with their Springfield M1903 rifles, Parris Island, 1932.

The Marine at the far left end of the top row is my great uncle Frank (short for Francesco).  Born in Italy he emigrated to the United States while an infant with my great grandparents in 1900.  In 1917 he enlisted in the US Army and fought in World War I.  He continued his career in the military as a peacetime soldier until he was honorably discharged in 1928.  In 1932 he enlisted in the US Marine Corps and served on the battleship USS Arkansas. In 1936 he finally retired from the military.  He passed away in the early 1990’s, living to a very old age.

Collection of letters, photographs and family items from the correspondence of AJ Micheaux and Lillie Smith Robinson, circa 1890-1899. Photo courtesy of Janice L. Cotton, 2016. 

These letters are my most cherished possessions.  They are well over 100 years old and have survived a massive flood and a house fire.  My great-grandfather was the uncle of the pioneer black author and filmmaker Oscar Micheaux.  My great-grandmother was Oscar’s mother’s first cousin.  These letters document correspondence between AJ Micheaux and Lillie Smith Robinson; and eventually include a proposal of marriage on Valentine’s Day 1898.

Story from Janice L. Cotton 

After Teddy’s year as Head Boy, at his Hogwart’s graduation, Harry fulfills tradition by giving him a new badge, this one smaller and saying “Past Head Boy” instead of announcing his Hogwarts title. 

It didn’t have Teddy’s name on it, though. Harry had found it in a tiny wooden box inscribed with James Potter and Lily Evans in his parents’ Gringrotts vault, nestled in alongside a “Past Head Girl” badge. It felt right, destiny even, to give this one to his godson. 


“Magdalena, Portland 1962”

Back in February, Edward and I took a trip to Portland and as much as him and I were excited to go and check it out for the first time, I had slightly different intentions.

When my family came to the US from Mazatlán, México, they lived briefly for a year in Portland before moving to San Francisco. I’ve always seen the photos of them there but, unfortunately, no one could remember the address, just bits of the neighborhood–my mother has absolutely no memory of Portland at all. I promised myself that I would find the house but I never knew how.

With just the photos as a visual guide, I ended up at the Oregon Historical Society in downtown Portland. After speaking to one of the historians there, he referred me to the city’s address listing. I was so dumbfounded because I never once thought of referencing the directory. After a few minutes of searching, there it was, my grandparents’ address.

The next day, in the Sunnyside neighborhood, I found the house. The older photo is of my grandmother, on the right, holding my mother. The other woman, I assume, was her Spanish speaking comadre. I stood on the lawn of where the original photo was taken and, roughly, recreated the shot. I was so proud of myself.

After years of wondering where this house was, I was finally able to find it. I did this to pay homage to my grandmother, a woman very near and dear to me and though she has been passed on for a few years now, finding the home and standing where she sat, made me realize that she’ll always be in my heart and I have these photos and memories to keep her close.

I did this for Nena.


Redmayne family history

A nice find by historian Luci Gosling (@lucigosling on Twitter) of a 1937 newspaper clipping of Eddie Redmayne’s paternal grandparents, Audrey and John Redmayne, on their honeymoon in Monte Carlo in 1937.

That reminded us of the 1938 photo of Audrey Redmayne with Eddie’s father, Richard, at his 1938 christening at Brompton Oratory (a Catholic Church in Knightsbridge) in London.

A real Throwback Thursday!

Auschwitz was hell on Earth. Bald, skeleton thin men in prison garbs took us off the train, roughly herded us to places, took away all our belongings. Then we stood in line before a German officer (later I found that it was Mengele) who separated people as they came before him. I was holding my little brother’s hand, my grandmother held his other hand. Mengele asked me: “Mutter?” and I answered the truth without having any idea what this will mean: “Nein, Schwester.” They were sent to the left, I was sent to the right and I never saw them again. How many times I wished afterwards that I said Mutter.
—  my grandmother, speaking about her arrival at Auschwitz after being deported from Győr, Hungary
THIS is the Cool Thing I Wanted to Share with Y’all

I have always been lucky having traceable family lineage, which a lot of black families do not have. From all the research both sides of my family did, it turns out that my mom’s side has a lot of history from the area in which I attend college. And a lot of this history seems to be dating back to almost 200 years ago when, of course, my ancestors were slaves on or near this land. 

 Anyhow, yesterday my witchy friends and I decided to go on a local history walking tour through a place called the Forks of Cypress. While we were there my friends and I decided to get a feel from the ruins of the mansion within Forks of Cypress. It’s rich with history and all that remained of the mansion was 23 out of 24 pillars and all the power radiating from it. The fire appears to have taken everything but there is so much more than the fondation and 3 pillars.

So, here we are standing in the middle of these ruins trying to get a feel for all the energy there. At first it’s a bitch for me because we are surrounded by old white people and the crowd makes it hard for me to tell the difference between old white people and other energies. I eventually get a feel for it; I wanted to tell my friends that I felt power, fear, pain, but I mostly felt relief and unconditional love. At this point, my friends already stated they felt fear and power from the location and the tour had started. It would be hard to try and tell them what I felt of the land. I love them but they can’t hear worth shit sometimes.

During the tour guide’s whole presentation, I’m a little put off. I’m bothered by the fact that the Forks of Cypress was the Forks of Cypress Plantation and this man mentions slaves and their work on the columns in passing. And usually I’d get over it but he really grazes over all this information about how successful these white people were with these damn thoroughbred horses without mentioning who actually took care of the horses. I’m not going to rant about how I think that slavery was dismissed because white people feel guilty about slavery thus they never want to hear about it. I don’t have the energy.

I might have displayed my disappointment a little more if I wasn’t distracted by the sense of connection I was feeling to the location. Something that I couldn’t see was relieved to see me there. I figured that it was probably the spirit of a slave shocked to see a black person standing in a sea of old white people. This assumption came from the fact that I can’t shake an image of a black woman with her hair up and with her a dress out of my mind (I have like 0 ability to see entities so this is probably just my mind wondering.).

Anyhow, I couldn’t get over this feeling of unconditional love. Like it pained me and probably whoever was there to see me leave. I nearly invited whatever was there to follow me (probably a good idea that I didn’t). Anyhow, I was so struck by that experience and the white-centric tour that I decided to look up the history of the slaves on the Forks of Cypress Plantation.

What I (and my mom) found next shocks me.

Through Google, I find that my ancestor, Alex Haley (the dude who wrote the book Roots that History Channel made a series of) has ancestors that worked on the plantation. I was a little disappointed for a bit because I’m related to Alex Haley on the side that isn’t famous. Roots was about tracing his mother’s side all the way back to Africa; given that were was ready information on Alex Haley’s family and the Forks of Cypress, I assumed it wa his mom’s side. I was wrong.

My mom did the real digging and I love her. We found out through Alex Haley that my great great great great great grandmother Sabrina was born a slave in Cherokee, Alabama (1816) and later gave birth to my great great great great grandfather on the Forks of Cypress Plantation.

[I was going to have a picture here but I’m honestly too lazy to pull it off my phone.]

SOOOOO I actually felt a familial connection at the Forks of Cypress. That attachment was probably because my energy was familiar to the spirits there. I’m looking at probably doing magic involving my ancestors. I’m overjoyed. I have a chance to learn something so many others don’t know.

In other words:

I “met” one of my ancestors yesterday.

FINALLY found him!

I have been wracking my brain for months trying to figure out who the perfect face claim for Thiodron Ver’Sarn should be. Finally realized, after MUCH thought, that it had to be Hugo Weaving. No other would do him the justice he deserves.

Originally posted by palespring

Why Hugo?

Well, for starters, I wasn’t thinking of Elrond, although getting to use Elrond gifs for the War of the Ancients and the Troll Wars is gonna be cool. I actually had a very singular, very important thought in my head.

Thiodron is modeled after my great-grandfather, and he was the kind of man, the kind of ancestor, who ends up living a life and leaving behind a story that you grow up hearing about. He’s the hero that inspires you. He’s the legacy that you want to live up to.

So I had to think to myself, “Who, in all of music or movies, do I think of as heroic?” First thing that popped into my head was V, twirling his daggers in V for Vendetta.

Originally posted by minty-nutella

And from there, the proverbial lightbulb went on, the angel chorus sounded, and everything fell into place.

anonymous asked:

Hey i think I might be autistic but I'm not sure. I tend to get obsessed with certain things for months or weeks and overshare about them a lot, certain foods just have terrible textures that I cannot handle, I flap my arms when excited, it's hard for me to relate to others, I've had meltdowns where I just cry and cry and cry for no apparent reason, and I have certain comfort items that I refuse to leave the house without. Are these things that people with autism do or am I just really weird?

(Same anon wondering if they’re autistic) I think I’m scepiltical of calling myself autistic is because my cousin has autism and I don’t want to seem like I’m trying to be special. Also, I hate water being splashed on me and will literally just start crying and freaking out because it feels absolutely gross

From what you’ve described, it sounds like there is definitely a chance that you are autistic. I would suggest doing further research into autism to see if you fit the diagnostic criteria. Our resources page has a lot of self-diagnosis resources. 

As for your cousin being autistic, that actually makes it more likely that you are autistic. While we haven’t found the specific genes that lead to autism, we’re pretty positive that autism is genetic and thus having family members who are autistic would make it more likely that you are autistic. 

Finally, weird is a term that has been used to bully and invalidate many autistic people. When it comes to people, weird is really just another ableist term used to separate out those who are different (usually autistic and other neurodivergent people) so it is our stance that no one is just weird. 


Ford Mansion in Richmond Hill, Georgia, built in 1936. Originally established in 1747 as Dublin plantation; my 7th great uncle John Harn planted the live oak avenue in the shape of an “H” that same year. It then passed to Thomas Savage Clay in the early 19th century and was renamed Richmond-on-Ogeechee. The Clay family plantation house was burned in December of 1864 during Sherman’s March to the Sea. It was later acquired by Henry Ford, who named his winter residence Richmond Hill.


Fashion 0370-02 by Steve Given

<br /><i>Via Flickr:</i>
<br />Please go here to see more images from &quot;What's That You're Wearing&quot;

Produced from the original negative in my collection.