Friday, May 15, 2009

Favorite Family Foto Friday

It's time once again for Favorite Family Foto Friday.
Please drop in at Pictures, Pots, Pens and
check out Mr. Linky to see other participants.

Today's submission is a very old foto of my Great, Great Grandfather, David James Atkinson. He was my paternal grandmother's maternal grandfather. So, are you totally confused now?!

Maw McDonald had wonderful memories of her Grandpa and loved to tell us stories about him. He sounded like a fun loving, yet very firm individual. He was a Methodist Episcopalian circuit preacher until the day of his death. You will notice his arms and one hand are crippled. This happened at a cotton mill during the later years of his life.

David James Atkinson was born on 9 May, 1845 in Wayne County, TN, the son of John M. Atkinson, also of Wayne County, TN and Zilpha Martin of Eastern TN. He was one of ten known children of the couple. He, like many of his neighbors, served in the Union Army during the Civil War, although he resided in Wayne Co., TN at the time. He vehemently disagreed with slavery and was extremely vocal about his disapproval.

In January, 1868, he married Elizabeth Rachel (Jane) Smith in Tippah or Alcorn County, MS. The couple produced eight offspring, with only the latter four having survived to be aged 30 or older. After his marriage, Dave surrendered to the gospel ministry in the Methodist Episcopalian church and became a circuit preacher, preaching throughout Hardeman and McNairy Counties in TN, and Tippah and Alcorn Counties in MS, as well as various other locations.

I am blessed to have become the owner of his old hymnal. It was passed on to me by Maw McDonald and was in such a bad condition that I had it rebound and sheltered in a lobster claw box. The internal pages are those of the hymnal.

You can easily see the discoloration from years of having been carried in a saddle bag from place to place. The tunes and words to many, if not most, of the songs are unfamiliar to me, but I still love the hymnal because I know when I hold it in my hands, it was once held with so much love and pride by my great, great grandfather as he led his congregations in worship.

Although this is not a great picture, I hope you can see that my grandmother also treasured her grandfather's hymnal. In the earliest years of her marriage, she had no family Bible, so recorded the births in their new little family in the back of her grandfather's hymnal.

Grandpa Dave lived to the good old age of 83, having outlived all but two of his children and his precious Rebecca Jane. He died on 17 August, 1928 at the home of his daughter, Susie, and his son-in-law, Joe Morphis, near the small Hardeman County, TN town of Pocahontas.

He was a dear man, loved by many and buried among over one hundred mourners on a hot August day. Mourners walked, rode horses and mules, wagons and buckboards and a couple even had one of the new fangled automobiles to drive to the funeral and burial. My grandmother had just married in March, 1928 and was driven in the wagon by my Paw McDonald to be with her family as they mourned Grandpa Dave's passing.

Thank you for stopping by today.

Be sure to stop in at Pictures, Pot, Pens to see other participants

in Favorite Family Foto Friday.

Be blessed!


Crown of Beauty said...

My dear Diane,
What an amazing post with all those details. Such a heart-stirring story of love, devotion and faithfulness. I couldn't help but shed a tear at seeing that hymnal. Oh, I can understand that it is such a treasure to you.

What a life, what a man, what a glory he gives to God.

Thank you for sharing.

bj said...

What a family treasure, indeed...
You can pass it on and it will be there for future generations.

Constance said...

You had to know that I would definitely appreciate your post today! My Great grandmother, Granny Lizzie died at 93 and was buried with her grandfather's bible. I would have loved for that Bible to be passed down to family members (my father is an ordained Assemblies of God Minister and his cousin is an ordained Southern Baptist Minister). We did as Granny requested but we first retrieved what family information was inside.

Lizzie's husband Homer (my Great Grandfather) was also a Circuit Preacher! Small world huh? He was a coal miner and farmer.

What I find sad is going to antique stores and seeing old family Bibles or photographs for sale! It just breaks my heart given how I feel about the importance of recording family history!

Thanks for sharing with us today, I truly enjoyed it!

Theresa @ Take A Sentimental Journey said...

What a treasure you have in the old hymnal . Great story Diane.

Pam said...

That's great that you know so much about the history of your family. I wish my family had told more stories of their ancestors.
We do know the story of the family member who had lunch w/Jessie James. : )

Anonymous said...

AMAZING geneology you have there, very very very cool! my hubbys side of the family has a lot of Atkinsons.. um....

Sherrie said...

That's a wonderful piece of family history to pass down to your family! Thanks for sharing. Have a great day!!


Sue said...

I love when family's have old photos such as yours and know the history, the stories behind them. It makes them even more special.

Busy Grandma Elsie said...

what a heritage you have ..
I made my great grandmothers 100th birthday cake when I was 18 years old. She was born August 3,1859 and died November 1959 .I wish I had asked her questions but I didn't know I would some day care. I remember her rocking and singing , We are going down the Valley One by One, as she did embroidery or " A beautriful Life. Old old songs.
My father was an ordained minister in the Church of God and he died July 22 ,1964 ,a day after his 52th birthday . I teach in an Assemblies of God where I attend church now.
I enjoyed this so much.
Have a blessed week end.
Elsie <><

Moonlight Hollow Musings said...

Wonderful photo, great memories and cherished family artifacts!


Pat said...

I loved reading this and seeing the pictures. What a wonderful heritage you have to share, and what precious care you've taken of the family treasures.
One day, when we all get to heaven, as the song says...what a day of rejoicing that will be!

jeanne said...

Diane,what a moving and incredible story of your family history. A wonderful story to tell. I hope your dad is improving. My prayers for healing go out to him.


Montee said...

What a man and what a story! Thank you for sharing this old photo and his story. I love hearing about the history.

Heidi Pocketbook said...

How very cool! You are blessed to have the picture, history and hymnal. I'll bet he was an interesting guy.

How's your dad getting along?

Keetha said...

Thank you so much for coming to my blog, leaving a lovely comment, AND becoming my 40th follower today!!!! You MADE my day.

Mrs. Mac said...

Dear Diane,

What a great post and such detailed information you have of your great-great grandfather! I have been digging up my paternal heritage and have gotten to great-great ... and possibly great-great-great from Ireland. None of our family was here during the Civil War era ... later 1800's.

I hope your father is home and resting (you too).

Your post of your trip to No. Calif. was a nice read. I bet the family albums are a blessing!

Thanks for sharing some of your life.

Samantha said...

Such a precious family hymnal, and a lovely post. You always bless my heart, and I enjoy your family posts, so special.
Hope you are Van are both doing well, you are both in our thoughts and prayers, if you need anything, let us know.
We love you !

Trish said...

What a blessing to know where we come from...I love this!
When I was home last month, Mama gave me a booklet "Erin Area of Houston County Pre-1880...Volume 1. About 15 years ago a group of men,whose purpose was to collect and preserve information about Erin, Tennessee. (my birthplace) Miss Nina, took notes for the group and now has written a series of these booklets. Published by Houston County Printing where my baby brother works. I enjoy these Posts Diane and am looking forward to many more!
When I get the rest of the booklets, I'm thinking the pictures and stories will be things I want to share with you!!!

Angela said...

Dear Diane,

Incredible! I just loved your post. It is so great to have a picture of family members from that era. And to have his hymnal is just awesome! I have my great grand fathers Bible that he carried around in his pocket. Unfortunately my 5 yr old boy found it last week in the cedar box with the Last Supper on it. I later found two pages torn from it. It is really old and not in nearly as good shape as your hymnal.

I agree with Connie about how sad it is to see old pictures of loved ones for sale at antique stores. Just last week I was at some antique stores and there were lots of pictures of someone's loved ones. It breaks my heart.

Thanks for sharing such a great story!


Denise said...

Wow, I missed this on Friday. What a wonderful picture & story.

I wish I knew more about my family history & Hubby's family.