a bit spoiled very fortunate to have photographs of nearly all 16 of my second great-grandparents.
I say nearly all because I'm missing one. Just one. That's William B. Upton who lived until February 1904 - well into the age of photography.
But let's not dwell on his inability to sit for a portrait and provide me my sought-after Kodak moment.
Grandma's Casting Call
A couple recent discoveries have distracted me from the disappointment of no snapshot of my 2X Great-Grandpa Upton.
I've recently obtained digitized copies of several grainy film reels depicting various family outings over the past six decades. The silent movies include brief appearances by two of my second great-grandmothers. Yes, not one, but two distant ancestors!
|Minnie Lumpkins Barber - 2nd Great-Grandmother|
The first leading lady is Eva (Lamb) Stevens Fagan. She's from my paternal line. She was born December 21, 1885 in Vermont to parents Francis and Phoebe (Jarvis) Lamb. She married my second great-grandfather William Stevens in 1904. He died in 1916 and she remarried several years later to Thomas Fagan.
In the footage, the camera pans to Eva and a baby (my paternal uncle). She reaches for a bottle and takes a dramatic thirst-quenching gulp. Based on the age of my uncle, I believe the film was recorded in about 1957 in Colorado's Rocky Mountains.
Eva (Lamb) Stevens Fagan - about 1957
The second starlet is Minnie (Hawks) Lumpkins Barber. She's from my maternal line. She was born April 21, 1881 in Kansas to parents Edmond and Iva (Haworth) Hawks. She married my second great-grandfather John Lumpkins in 1897. He died in 1910 and she remarried in 1914 to Joseph Barber.
In her big scene, Minnie struts across the yard - begrudgingly - towards the camera. The film quickly cuts to her birthday at a lake, perhaps Plainville lake or Webster reservoir in Kansas, where she is seen cutting a two-tiered birthday cake. I'm unsure of the exact year, but probably in the 1950s or 1960s.
Minnie (Hawks) Lumpkins Barber - 1950s or 1960s
A Thousand Words
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But what's the value of a film?
These are exceptionally short clips with no audio, yet they still give me an inkling for these women's personalities. Eva comes across as nurturing, graceful and thirsty. Minnie portrays a sense of humor that's never seen in her frowning photographs.
The worth of these film clips cannot be quantified. They're immeasurably valuable to this family historian.
Do you have old family film reels? What's the most distant ancestor you have recorded in motion?