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Archive for the ‘Clifford’ Category

celtic tree of life heart

I love old family photographs. The ones I love best are the ones taken of people in unguarded moments, when the camera was able to capture their personality so completely, that you need only look at the photograph to know exactly what kind of person they were, heart and soul.

The following photographs are among my favorites for that very reason. Some of these people I knew while they yet lived, others I did not, and some are still living. Sometimes I’d have a picture first, and then, as I researched them, or came to know them personally, and the details of their lives, the things I discovered about them only confirmed what I’d already known from looking at their picture. Other times I’d know their story first, fall in love with them, wish I knew what they’d looked like, and then later, come upon a picture. Each time the latter occurred was a very emotional experience for me. Sort of an, “Ohhhh…there you are…I just knew you’d look like that…sniffle*, tears streaming down my face”, kind of a moment.

These first two photos are of my “Uncle” Brett. He was actually my mother’s first husband, and the father of my two oldest brothers, but that’s what the rest of us called him. In truth, he was like a father to us all. I have many fond memories of him from my childhood. One of my earliest and favorite memories of him is of him coming to our house early one Christmas morning, cooking breakfast for us, all the while singing and dancing around the kitchen with a shiny red Christmas bow taped to his forehead. I actually have a picture of that somewhere.

This picture of Uncle Brett was taken in Japan, in 1945, while he was serving in the military. Note the flower tucked into his hat, the mischievous look on his face, and the stance. I can pretty much guarantee that he was dancing a jig right before this picture was taken.

Uncle Brett Korea 1951Bretton Gilbert Smith, Japan, 1945

Uncle Brett loved the ladies and was an incorrigible flirt. This studio picture was taken just before he left for Japan. It is currently framed and hanging on the wall in the entryway of our home. I remember telling him once how much I loved his eyes and smile in this picture. He proceeded to explain that the photographer was a very attractive blond, and that he’d had a great time chatting with her during the photo session. Figures. =)

Bretton Gilbert SmithBretton Gilbert Smith, 1945

The next photo is of my cousin, George Bosmajian, myself, and his wife Shirley, at a Coons/Bosmajian family reunion in 2006. I had the opportunity to work with both of them on some of our mutual family history. We met for the first time at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 2004. He was highly intelligent (he was literally a rocket scientist) and absolutely charming, as was his wife. George had a progressively degenerative spinal disease that made it extremely painful for him to stand in an upright position, which is evident in the photo.

Fresno Family ReunionGeorge Bosmajian Jr., Me & Shirley Bosmajian

I went to visit George and Shirley at their home for a week back in 2008 to help George organize boxes of family photos, stories, and memorabilia. George generously allowed me to scan all of the pictures he had of my ancestors that he had in his possession. Almost every photograph I have of my grandmother Edith Coons’ side of the family came as a result of that effort.

This picture of George was taken around 1941 in, I believe, Fresno, California. I love this picture of him because, for me, it absolutely captures the side of his personality I knew best. George passed away in June of 2011. Whenever I think of George now, this is how I see him in my mind’s eye.

George Bosmajian Jr.George Bosmajian Jr. 1941

In one of my previous blogs, I explained that all of my research began with my great grandfather, Harry McWhirter. His parents were Almira Blake (1837-1871) and Samuel McWhirter (1836-1874). Samuel had six siblings that I know of, the oldest being Agnes McWhirter Clifford (1827-1898). About a year ago, I was contacted by one of Agnes’ descendants, Charles Thomas, regarding some McWhirter family information I’d posted online. This was the first time I’d ever had any contact with someone from my McWhirter side of the family, and I’d never seen pictures of any of them. At that point in time, Charles didn’t have any either. But over the next few months some cousins he had contacted in Vermont sent him a few, which he then shared with me. Thanks Charles. =)

This picture is of Anna Thomas McBride (1876-1971), granddaughter of Agnes McWhirter and Robert Clifford (1821-1891), and her husband, William E. McBride (1868-1957).

You know that saying about someone having a “twinkle” in their eye? The woman is seriously twinkling…..

Anna & Bill McBrideAnna Thomas McBride & William E. McBride

Ok, last two photos. This picture is of my 4th cousin, Fred Thomas, father of the aforementioned Charles Thomas, and 2nd great grandson of Agnes McWhirter and Robert Clifford. Such a sweet face. If I were to give this picture a title I would name it “Heart of the Boy” because you can see his so clearly, right there in his eyes.

Fred Thomas c 1941Fred Thomas c 1946

I had the opportunity to meet both Charles and Fred last May while I was visiting my brother Rick in Chicago. They were both quite charming, and were wonderful hosts. I had such a great time. Thanks guys. =)

Fred & Charles Thomas 20 May 2012Fred & Charles Thomas, 2012

I went to Chicago again in March of 2013 for my brother Ricks birthday. Fred and his wife Jeanne met with us to help celebrate.

Jeanne & Fred Thomas, Jeannie Halversen March 2013 Chicago, IllinoisJeanne & Fred Thomas, Jeannie Halversen
Chicago, Illinois, March 2013

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Hearts of the Fathers

Prepare thyself to search their fathers....shall not they teach thee, and tell thee, and utter words out of their hearts? Job 8:8-10

Aileen Rose

Prepare thyself to search their fathers....shall not they teach thee, and tell thee, and utter words out of their hearts? Job 8:8-10