Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Honoring One's Ancestors

Years ago, my sis did our family genealogy–and was generous enough to make a book for all of us which included copies of old photos. While reading about the family line, immediately questions popped up. On my father’s side, my great-great grandfather John Crabtree at 17 married a 12 year-old-girl. This was after the Battle of New Orleans. From that time on they moved from one state to another, and having children in each one.

Finally they left Brownsville TX, and with several children aged 7 to 18, crossed the Rio Grande and from Monterrey they traveled across Mexico to Mazatlan. There they caught a steamship that took them up the coast to Monterey, CA. Because of a small pox outbreak on board ship, no one was allowed to go ashore, so in the middle of the night, the Crabtree family jumped overboard and swam ashore.

They lived in Monterey for two years, then they traveled across the San Joaquin Valley and finally settled where Springville is today. In the late 1800s they were awarded a 640 acre land grant from President Grant. I wrote an historical family saga about the family called Two Ways West which has sold wonderfully well, especially here in Springville.

Eventually, they ended up selling most of the land, thanks to being unable to pay their taxes–and the town of Springville came about.

The town park was recently redesigned and renovated by volunteers and Friday night a dedication ceremony was held. The idea was to have a Native American hand over the deed to me and my family (representing the Crabtrees)–unfortunately the Indian was there, but left when the ceremony didn’t take place on time, so the whole thing began with me. I then handed it over to the next family who actually owned the parcel the park is on today, and then to the next person who owned it, and so on, until finally the deed was given to the town.

I managed to convince different members of my family to show up for the occasion and stand up with me, my next oldest daughter, her oldest daughter and her daughter (four generations of us) and my son’s daughter along with my youngest daughter’s son who now lives with us. It only took a few minutes, but I was pretty proud of my family.

There was a huge crowd (for Springville) because they had a concert in the park immediately afterward with dancing. It was the first time anyone was allowed on the newly planted grass. Folks brought folding chairs, picnic suppers, etc. and made an evening of it.

That’s the kind of excitement that goes on in the little town I live in. Saturday night, hubby and I took tickets for Cellars and Chefs another outdoor event held in the parking lot of the local inn. Seven wineries and about the same number of restaurants were on hand with samples. Most people managed to make their evening meal out of the offerings. It’s an annual fund raiser for the Chamber of Commerce. I belong but don’t do a whole lot, so this was my contribution. Hubby just got roped in like he does for most everything--but had a good time anyway.

Marilyn
http://fictionforyou.com

1 comment:

  1. What an interesting personal history! Thanks for sharing.

    Rhonda
    aka The Southern Half of
    Evelyn David

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