It Was Right Under My Nose!!You know how sometimes you’re hesitant to tell a story about yourself because you know it makes you look like a goof? Well I thought twice about telling this story but what the heck. Here goes . . .
Recently I’ve seen a couple posts about autograph books. Very cool books indeed and I remembered have my maternal grandmother’s autograph book. My mom gave it to me years and years ago. It’s been safely put away for sometime now. My recent blog readings made me hunt it up.
It took only a few moments to pull out my grandmother’s autograph book. I knew exactly where it was. The cover and pages are in really nice shape, it’s just that the binding is broken. So gently and ever so carefully I turn every page.
My grandmother, Gladys B. Marshall Lowery was born in 1892 in Allen County, Ohio. The earliest message in her book is January 5, 1903. Maybe this album was a Christmas gift. She’d have been 10 years old then and I imagine this was a prized possession.
As I look through the pages some notes are signed “your cousin” with vaguely familiar names.
Nov 29. 1909.
Love your playmates
Love your toys;
But never never love
Later my grandmother wrote Battles after Ida’s last name. Thanks grandma for her married name!!
So I need to check these collateral family members out.
There are a couple verses from teachers. Favorite teachers would be my guess. Gladys even had her sister Freda sign her book and in 1928 her youngest daughter, my mom signed the autograph book.
But the shocker (at least to me) was toward the back. Three fourths of the way through my grandmother’s autograph book is this:
West Cairo, O
Dec. 14 1903
May your pathway through life
be strewed with flowers of the most
brilliant colors and that your days
may be many and joyous are the
best wishes of you Mamma.
I have to tell you my hands flew to my face. Here right before my eyes was the actual handwriting of my great grandmother Mary Ellen Williams Marshall, aka Mollie Marshall. Here in my grandmother’s autograph book that I’ve casually leafed through from time to time was my own great grandmother’s words of love to her daughter.
I’ve seen and read Mary Ellen writing before (see this previous blog post) but in my wildest dreams I didn’t realize I possessed a page lovingly written by Mary Ellen to her daughter. My eyes get a little teary writing about it now.
The moral to this story? Other than I’m a goofus for not looking closer at my grandmother’s autograph book? Take a closer look through your own genealogy research and resources. Whether they are handwritten letters or well documented facts. You may have missed something so obvious it’ll startle you.
Look what happened to me!