Like hitting the jackpot!


New Member
Anyone who knows me in real life knows that my family history is very important to me. I have been into genealogy since a very young age and I won't bore you with the details.

Anyway, Mom came up for Easter dinner yesterday and she had a CD with her. Mind you, she doesn't even know what a CD is. My dear aunt Agnes passed away last May, one day before her 90th birthday. I think I posted this link when it happened. Over the summer, her daughter scanned a lot of old family photos into her computer and made a slide show of her Mom's life.

My grandparents had 17 kids, 15 of which made it to adulthood. Too bad it wasn't 2009, because they would have had their own reality show. They were kind of famous in their day. My dad had a few yellowed newspaper articles showing the kids all lined up. Grandma Welsh passed away from a brain tumor when she was only 51, and I never got to know her. But there were some neat old pictures of her on the CD. By the time I was born, Grandad Welsh was mostly senile, so I never got to know him either. But there were a few interesting pictures of him as well. And childhood pix of my dad, who has been gone since a boating accident 1991.

They lived in a plain old farmhouse on 4 acres of land, which has been sold to a big church and all the buildings torn down. But Grandad was innovative. He built a box around the outside of a kitchen window which served as a makeshift fridge in the winter. When the family unexpectedly welcomed twins, one had to sleep in a dresser drawer until he could build another cradle.

The first pic is of my great-grandad, born in Liverpool. The second pic is of grandad, with him on the far right. This would have been about 1905. He looks incredibly like my Justis. There is a pic of their house, and a pic of some of the boys out by their barn. My dad is the baby. In the 4th pic Daddy is the one with his mouth open. He never did take a good photograph.
In the picture at the table, he is in the front. This is before all the kids were born, and looks to be at a birthday party with other friends present.
But they did all eat dinner every night at this huge table. And once Daddy got beat for throwing a piece of meat under the table to a dog, hitting his dad on the leg. Food was not to be wasted!
The lady in the car is Grandma Welsh, who by that time had already had 11 children.
The next group pic is of my mom and dad, about 1958, before their last two kids were born.
The soldier pic is of my uncle Bud, killed in the service when he was 18. I never met him but it's nice to see what he looked like.
The newspaper clipping is of Grandad and my cousin Jeanne, about 1966. By the time he passed away, I believe there were 99 grandchildren.
The last pic is of their house.

Sorry for boring anyone with this, but it sure excited me!


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Just Me
That's terrific Jill... I'm the keeper of the artifacts and photos in my family. My daughter Tia is the genealogy buff.. she took over when Grandma Ann passed away (she had been working on our family history for years).

Very cool stuff when you get to your roots like that.


New Member
it's wonderful that you have such a good knowledge of who the people are in those old photos and will pass that info along so that they and their stories will never be forgotten. It to am big into knowing family history so I understand how much all this means to you. I am lucky that in the 40's a relative did extensive reach on my mom's family and published a book with photos. they traced us back into the 1600's and I have extensive records on the family when they moved to Vermont in the early 1700's. my book ends with my grandfather so I've added in the info from there.

Tim Aucoin

New Member
Amazing history Jill... thanks for posting this! I don't know a lot about my own family history... it is so broken. Over the years, I've learned that you guys down there in the U.S. are so much more into family history than us up here in Canada. I don't know why that is, but I think it's very admirable that you take such pride in the past! Being a photographer, I love seeing old pictures. They are a treasure to look at and I especially love the stories behind them. There are so many families that have so few pictures from their past... that's one reason I love photography. We can never have too many pics of our present, as they will some day be shared as history as you are sharing yours! Thanks Jill! :thumb:

Arlo Kalon 2.0

New Member
How cool... especially that ya know who everyone is. I've got tons of old family photos with no clue who most of 'em are anymore. In tracing my family back, I learned we used to have a large farm that bordered the Lincoln family's farm in Kentucky, as in Abe Lincoln. Really cool to know your ancestors were most likely known to Abe.


Nice to hear how close you are to your family. I have 9 children, 5 boys and 4 girls, and am blessed to have 3 of the boys working here full time and my 15 year old part time. Don't know how I ended up with 9 kids, but I am sure someday I will understand. 53 years old and also have 10 grandchildren. Getting them together for a family picture is difficult. You did hit the lottery. Never been on welfare, food stamps or assistance, just worked my *** of my entire life. Youngest is turning 16, Time to Retire in Two Years!


New Member
That's cool Jill. I've been scanning boxes of old family photos and plan to give DVDs full of them to all my siblings for Christmas gifts this year. I'm the youngest of seven!

Sign-Man Signs

I know you're happy. Great present from the past. What a treasure. Enjoy. You deserve it.


New Member
What a great post Jill. I made a cd of our two girls and gave them copies about 6 years ago. Both say they look at them often. Were most of the pictures taken in PA.?


New Member
All were taken in PA but the one of the old grandfather, which I think was taken in Florida, and the picture of Grandad Welsh, which was taken in Stark County Ohio. I have the bottom half of a dutch door from their barn that my dad salvaged. Grandad carved his initials into it.
Here are a few more.
The first one is the house, which is mistakenly labeled "Fla." This is after many additions.
The one with the baseball team is marked "Dad" twice, and was probably given to my aunt from an Ohio relative. The "dad" on the right is Grandad.
The lady is my great-aunt Genevieve, who went to the convent to be a nun, but had to leave in order to care for her elderly parents. She was a twin. I got to know her pretty well when I was a kid, and she is the one who told me about our family.
The baby in the car is my aunt Mary, who had 10 kids in 9 years and died of a brain anyuerism a few years ago. The couple is my aunt Agnes and her husband Andy. They had 15 kids.
The pic of the men in ties was from Grandad Welsh's job. He was an estimating engineer for a Pittsburgh steel company.
The guy in the sailor suit is a great-uncle from Ohio. I think he was the one who lost an eye in a farming accident, when I was a kid and we'd go out to visit I was terrified of him because he did not wear an eyepatch.
The last pic is of Raymond, John Pat (Stevo and I hosted a Letterhead meet at his camp in 2005) and Richard.
Raymond is still alive. His twin, Richard, was killed in a car accident when he was 18. John Pat is still alive too.
Glad people enjoyed these pix. I know I am.
It is important to ask older relatives, while you still can, to label the people in old family photos. Try not to write directly on the pictures. Use a non-marring pen to label the backs in a discreet location.
That is why I know who is who, I asked a lot of questions.
Apparently Ag's daughter did too, and I am so glad she did.


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New Member
My Dad will be 97 in August. The grandchildren are all taking turns interviewing him and recording everything they can. My mother-in-law (87 years old), is writing her history at the urging of the great grandchildren. It's very interesting to not only hear what they have to say but to listen to the young ones talk about it.


New Member
Well I hit the jackpot again.
My mom sent to California for copies of Grandma Welsh's diaries.
The years are incomplete because some of the relatives lost a few.
But I spent the past weekend reading them from 1920, then 1932-42, then a 1947.
They are full of her dry sense of humor, and detailing the hard work everyone had to do at that time just to get by. She never complains really. A typical entry might read "Washed. Wringer broken so rubbed 3 lines by hand. Cold out so nothing dried. Baked 18 loaves of bread in outdoor oven. Vegetable soup and cornbread for supper. Got sick about 12PM and Dr. Carmen came out. Our new baby girl born at 2AM"
At one point she had 7 children home with Chicken Pox at Christmas time.
She went to town on the bus whenever possible, liked to buy name-brand stuff.
One trip was made to see someone's new Frigidaire, they also liked to go to "the show" to see Shirley Temple movies. Sometimes they walked back home, about 7 miles. She often talks of taking "Shank's mare" (meaning walking)
And sometimes they would go to the morgue to see bodies! (this was a popular activity, my other grandma did it too)
Sometimes her older son would give her a ride on his bicycle.
In later years, she snuck and bought a fur coat and didn't tell Grandad until a few months later.
It has been really interesting for me to read about their life.
Here's something I found on Google about them.
13 kids
And in the next week or so, I plan to repaint Grandad's name on the window down at their church, it has been missing for years. So if anyone has any tips about flattening sign paint I'm interested.
And here's a pic of Jus, I really think he looks like Grandad Welsh in the pic in the first post.


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Arlo Kalon 2.0

New Member
How cool... especially that ya know who everyone is. I've got tons of old family photos with no clue who most of 'em are anymore. In tracing my family back, I learned we used to have a large farm that bordered the Lincoln family's farm in Kentucky, as in Abe Lincoln. Really cool to know your ancestors were most likely known to Abe.

SInce I posted this, a distant relative I met on Facebook mailed me a book published by her father on my family's geneology, which traces us back to England all the way to 1036. I learned there was a genius in my lineage - Sir Isaac Newton (take that bob!). Also learned more about our connection to Abe Lincoln with the adjoining farms. Read about several relatives in the Revolutionary war and Civil War too. I also met a cousin online who was Dick Cheney's press secretary during Bush's presidency. Coolest thing I learned about was a place called Kelham Hall which I Googled. It was a huge estate owned by my family for 400 years in England. Wish I was last heir to that place. Congrats on the treasure trove of family history - it definitely isn't boring!