A Long Line of Strong Women

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This is a photo of my lovely Nan, Pamela. It was taken in 1954.

She doesn’t like this photo of herself as it was taken when she wasn’t very well and was going through a very tough time in her life. She had just lost her baby boy from a heart condition he was born with.

Although this photo makes me think of the pain she was in at the time, I also love it because it shows what a strong, resilient and amazing woman she was — and still is.

She is still smiling and being a wonderful mother to her eldest boy (pictured at the front) and looks truly beautiful. She went on to have five more children, the youngest being my mother, who is another inspirational woman!

My Nan didn’t always have it easy, but she always carried on and did her very best. When I look at this photo, it reminds me that I come from a family of strong women, and I hope I carry on the tradition. ~shared by @ZOEASTY

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Memories from a Family Farm in Ireland

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This is my grandmother (right) Anne “Nancy” Prendergast with her sister and two of their farm dogs on their family farm in Accony, Ireland.

The family home still exists and I had the opportunity to visit it in 2010 with one of my father’s brothers.

The Prendergast’s were able to see their minuscule schoolhouse from their front door, though it would’ve been about a 10-minute walk. The schoolhouse has since been converted into a family home. The original sign still stands out front.

My grandmother was a beautiful woman, with an uncanny resemblance to my father and sister. I loved her very much, though she passed in 1998 when I was only 5 years old, of breast cancer.
I think about her every day and I would give anything to visit their home again in the future. This photo helps her memory live on. ~shared by @kimtuohy

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Before their Names were “Grandma” and “Grandpa”

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This gorgeous couple is my Grandma and Grandpa, before their names were “Grandma and Grandpa.” Here, they were just starting their life together. Three beautiful girls and a boy would be born later.
When they met, he dreamed of being a crooner and worshipped Sinatra, and she was a renowned dancer who went for four-mile swims in the Atlantic Ocean.

They were gentle, kind people, with a dash of feisty to keep things fun. She used to love to teach me old time dances. ~shared by @hellomarisaviola

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A Girl Named “Smile”

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This is my grandmother, my “Nain,” in North Wales around 1928.

Her name was Gwendoline but she hated it so went as Gwen, which appropriately means ‘smile’ in Welsh. My sister shares her name.

She loved knitting, cooking, dressmaking, and sharing smiles.

And she loved her husband more than anything. They’d walk 10 miles to see each other and meet at a wooden gate.

She was in the Land Army in World War II, where she farmed frozen cabbages and drank coffee with frothy butter with Italian POWs.

She died last Christmas at 89 years old, weirdly and romantically on the same day as her husband. She was young at heart, but had a weak old heart.

She was like a Mum to me and inspired my company, Welsh Egg Designs.

I’ll treasure these memories, her thimble, her war medal, and this photo. It’s my favorite of her as a little girl. ~shared by @welshegg

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Listen to Old Photos, They Tell Tales of Hope

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“Look at the people in very old photographs. They are gone forever, but they still can give us messages with their eyes, they still can touch our hearts with their looks and they still can give us courage.” – Mehmet Murat Ildan”

This is my favorite photo of my maternal grandparents, Lila and Arnold Connelly.

I just recently discovered this photo and it’s fun for me to think of them as they must have been back in the 1940s, since my perception of them is very, very different.

When I was very little, I used to call them “Grandma & Grandpa Pinecone” because when I visited them, I got to climb the pine trees behind their house.

Here, they were a young, gorgeous couple, just starting their life together. ~shared by @markbschlemmer

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We’re all Ghosts

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We’re all ghosts. We all carry, inside us, people who came before us. – Liam Callanan

This is my grandfather, Jim Sexton, as a young man.

My grandfather would grow up to be part of the amazing crew that built the massive “Big Walker Tunnel” in the Appalachian Mountains of Southwest Virginia. The tunnel made history in the early 1970s as the most expensive single project undertaken on a Virginia interstate system. Driving through it takes you inside the mountain, nearby an Appalachian Trail segment.

He was ambidextrous, loved playing the guitar and was a father of eight children.

Sadly, I was the last grandchild he got to meet as he passed away a few weeks after I was born.

My father filled my heart with memories of my grandfather.

And I’m ambidextrous just like him. 🙂 ~ shared by @tssex

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Finding Family History in an Old Scrapbook

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The more you know of your history, the more liberated you are. – Maya Angelou

My Grandfather played baseball all over the South. He played for the Negro Leagues, for the Army when he was enlisted, and for many Minor League teams. If there was a team, he was on it.

He has a big scrapbook of all his baseball achievements, including newspapers and photos. I’ve known about this book since I was a teenager and even took one of his recruitment letters from when he tried out for the Brooklyn Dodgers to show-and-tell as a kid.

Recently, I asked him for the book so I could digitize everything in it and he happily obliged. There were many photos I had never seen before, including this one. ~shared by @meintrinsically

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Home Means More than a Place

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“Home” means more than a place. Home houses our family stories.

My grandparent’s house is high on my list of places I love to be. As I was digging through some old photo albums under the bed, I found this.
This portrait of my grandmother dates back to 1941, when she was in her twenties.

She has never been a very sentimental person, so it is difficult to come across good pictures of her, which is why I was so excited when I found this one.
She stands at only 4’10. Have you ever heard the expression, “dynamite comes in small packages?” It’s definitely true when it comes to my MaMaw! You know it as soon as you meet her.

She always wears a broach and her diamond ring, but she also always has the phrase “you dirty buzzard” at the tip of her tongue, ready to toss out whenever someone does something she doesn’t like.

She taught me to be strong and independent, as well as beautiful.

She was named “most beautiful” in her graduating class at her small town Louisiana high school. You sure can tell from this picture. ~shared by @kuhlair

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Your Story Started Before You

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Your story started before you.

My grandmother Nina and her friend Sybil, circa 1920.

The young lady on the right is my grandmother, Nina Mae Reinecke. She was born in Pomona, Illinois in 1902. Her father was a German immigrant, and she was the oldest of three girls. She met and married my grandfather (after he returned from WWI) on Christmas Eve of 1924.

They had three children, who were raised in Murphysboro, Illinois. Their oldest son (my uncle) was a German POW during WWII, after his B-17 was shot down (he returned home safely). Nina passed away in 1984, when I was only 11 years-old. Even though I only saw her about twice a year growing up, I have fond memories of her home in Jacksonville, Florida, the town where she and her sisters spent their retirement years.

I remember how tiny she felt when I hugged her, her 1950s dinette set, the smell of cigarettes, the play-dough she kept in a dresser drawer for me and my sister to play with on our visits.

Even though it was for a relatively short time, I’m glad I got to spend time with my “granny”, who was a very special lady, indeed! ~shared by @retronan

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Our Family Legacy Breathes Life into our Future

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Our family legacy breathes life into our future.

This is my Grandma, Anne, jumping her horse “Red Spinner.” This is one of my most cherished photos of my Gran. She is an experienced horse woman with lots of stories to tell.
She often recounts the horror and excitement of her time hunting on Dartmoor, an area of moorland in South Devon, England. Protected by National Park status, this beautiful area covers 954 square kilometers. Dartmoor abounds with myths and legends. It is reputedly the haunt of pixies, a headless horseman, and a mysterious pack of “spectral hounds.” It has inspired artists and writers, from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to Agatha Christie.

To me and my family, riding and hunting on Dartmoor is one of the best ways to get to know the moor, and to learn to ride with respect.
My Gran taught me almost everything I know about horses and the peaks and valleys of the horse world – from hunting, to running and jumping. ~shared by @elliott_th

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