Tag Archives: Jesse McCammon

Momento Mori

This month our family lost one of its oldest surviving members. My father’s oldest cousin. The first grandchild of James E. Foster and Emma (Lawhead) Foster, my great grandparents.

Indiana birth certificate, 1914, “Waneta” Geneva McCammon (Image courtesy Ancestry.com)

Born in 1914, Juanita lived a long life! It was a life filled with tragedy early on. Her mother died when she was not yet five. Her only full sibling, Wesley, died in a car accident on his way to school, aged 11. Her father remarried and produced a large family with his second wife. Jesse McCammon survived until his 101st year, but his daughter surpassed him by celebrating her 103rd birthday last November.

I never met Juanita in person. I corresponded with her a few times after I discovered who she was. I even helped, in a small way, to bridge an introduction between Juanita and another first cousin whose branch of the family had disappeared for 50 years. Juanita shared some lovely stories of my grandmother and my great grandmother Emma. After Juanita’s mother died, she spent parts of her childhood living between her two sets of grandparents.

Gladys Foster with Juanita and Wesley, 1918 (Image author’s private collection)

My grandmother, Gladys, was only ten years older than her niece so they were close when they were younger. When my uncles John and Mark were young, Juanita came to stay for a while to help take care of the boys, while Gladys ran her beauty parlour and Roscoe attended medical school.

I am most grateful to Juanita because she left me a legacy, beyond her letters and stories. Her DNA. Several years ago, unbeknownst to me, her family asked her to do an autosomal DNA test. I use this data on a regular basis. Most likely, without really knowing it, Juanita has helped me to solve several family mysteries over the last few years. I will be forever grateful for Juanita’s willingness to take a DNA test. Rest in peace, dear cousin!

©2018 copyright Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found: https://genealogylady.net/2018/01/20/momento-mori/

Friday’s Faces of the Past – Family Funeral?

The three above pictures appear to have been taken on the same day. The two single portraits were clearly taken at the same location. The group photo shows Gladys and the older woman wearing the same clothing as their individual pictures. Everyone appears to be wearing black or dark colors. Hence my assumption that the photograph was taken around the time of a family funeral. I date the picture circa1925. Gladys was born in 1905 so she would have been 15 in 1920 and 20 in 1925. Gladys’ haircut is straighter and less wavy than it was later in the decade. Her skirt length is short which moves the date further from 1920.   The older woman is wearing a dress styled from the late teens. It was quite common for older people at that time to wear clothes that were more “old fashioned.” Even today the trend continues.

McCammon, Lydia & Jesse with Minerva Metcalf

Minerva (seated) likely 1916

Many years ago I sent a copy of the picture of the older woman to my father’s cousin. She identified the woman as Minerva, Emma’s twin sister. Since the cousin knew Minerva, I generally take her word for it. However, I still say “the older woman,” because I am not 100% sure that she was Minerva (Lawhead) Metcalf.  I have only seen two pictures of Minerva and they are of a somewhat younger woman. The earlier photograph was taken about 1908 and Minerva was plumper and would have been about 36 when the picture was taken. The second photograph was taken about 7-10 years later between 1915-1919. Again the picture shows Minerva with a fuller figure.  Minerva would have been in her early to mid 40s at this point.

Which brings us back to the pictures at the beginning of the post. Do you think that the older woman is Minerva? She seems to have aged too much to be in her 50s. But times were different then. For someone who did hard manual farm labor, they could have aged more harshly. I know she is related to the Foster/Lawhead family. She bears a striking resemblance to Jim Foster (Gladys’ brother). When my grandmother was near her end and Alzheimer’s had robbed her memory, she thought the picture was of her brother Jim. So what do you think?

©2013 copyright owned and written by Deborah Sweeney
Post originally found at: https://genealogylady.net/2013/11/29/fridays-faces-…family-funeral/

Protected: Wednesday’s Child – Wesley Foster McCammon (1916-1927)

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