Saturday, October 24, 2015

Imaginary Ancestors



Evelyn Cameron ~ the Photographer
 
Every time I wear this dress I get the same comment - Little House on the Prairie.
I stitched up this schmatte with black and white gingham fabric and Kwik Sew pattern 3065 from the discount bin at FabricLand.
It's a dress just for knockin' around the house and going to the grocery store. Breezy. Cool. It covers a multitude of sins. I added pockets of course.

All this talk of Prairies reminds me of my Ancestors.
I used my 10 day free trial on Ancestry.com and found out that my great grandfather Henry James Snow left Cornwall, England in the late 1800's. His family had lived in the same region of Cornwall for centuries (if your name is Snow and you live in Cornwall, well, Hey Cousin!)  Henry James left. Who knows why. He made his way to Liverpool then on over to Canada and continued west to the Montana Territories where he married the Canadian born Frances who gave birth to my grandpa Ernest in 1887 and a few years later his brother Louis. I cannot even imagine doing something so brave.
 My idea of hardship is getting assigned a middle seat on the airplane. 
 
There are no photos of my great grandparents as far as I know.  So I like to thumb through Photographing Montana by Donna M. Lucey and pretend that these are my ancestors.
This book tells the honest story of settlers in the Old West. The author Donna Lucey found the photographs and diaries of settler Evelyn Cameron in a rattlesnake infested basement of an old house in eastern Montana in the 1970's. 
 
 
Sheep herder family 1905
 
 


Grandpa????
Class Photo 1907
 
 
Young girls at a July picnic in 1913. Oh those hats!
 
Cowboys have Always been Cute
 
Jetta Grey with tame wolf cubs
 
Taming a suburban cockapoo in 2015
 
Because I can't tell the front from the back of this dress I embroidered a little daisy on the back. Lakshme approved.
 
If you like true tales of strong and brave settlers I can also recommend:
 
And two beautiful films made in the 1970's:
 Heartland, the absolutely heartbreaking story of a young widow in Wyoming
and the gorgeous Days of Heaven starring a very dishy young Richard Gere.
Both movies were filmed in Montana in the United States and Alberta in Canada. This was pretty darn easy for the filmmakers since so much of the landscape around there has not changed much since the early 1900's.
 
 
I believe that this post qualifies me to become one of Bag and a Beret's
That Melanie is such an Advanced Reader that she needs TWO pairs of glasses!!
You should also check out the very Hot Val.
 
I'm also headed to the reunion at Patti's Visible Monday. See you there!
And I'm joyfully taking my embroidered daisy over to Anne's 52-pick-me-up Sunflower/Joy.
 

65 comments:

  1. What a great post, Connie! And I love all your photos. I think you look radiant, and I love your dress! :)

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  2. And I thought it was a just a picture book. Doh! It's a connection to your past. I can't imagine ironing!, washing!, cooking!, sewing!, in those times, nor even today. Hardy, brave people all right, risking it all. I've read lots of books about early settlers, their lives fascinate. But at the time they believed themselves modern as well, a thought that messes with my brain.
    I love your dress and your special ID for front/back. And I love all your photos and READING your writing.
    Thanks for sharing your hotness!! Val is very hot as well. Ulla-Marie joined with an old post too. Now I can keep that "s" on Harridans.

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    1. I KNOW!!! I often think about how primitive we're going to look to future generations..."and they had these rustic things little things called blogs. How quaint."

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  3. Connie, this is truly the most wonderful post. I love hearing about your ancestors. History is one of my most favourite things but anyone's personal family history trumps it, because it makes it so real. We have a jornalist and presenter called Jon Snow over here, and his son Dan Snow who presents history programmes. I wonder, I wonder, I wonder...? I will have to seek out those bits you recommend. Many years ago, I remember reading O Pionners! By Willa Cather and also a book written by a friend of mine, following in the footsteps of the 49ers called After the Gold Rush. He cycled the same route all the way across Amercia. Amazing stories, such bravery. I love you in gingham, you're so darned cute, and what a great idea! I always struggle with homemade trousers to know front and back. I might have to use your patented technique! Xxx

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    1. If you like Willa Cather you would LOVE "My Antonia"

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  4. Pioneers, sp, tut tut. Whatever would Miss Jean Brodie say?

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    1. It's fine. You were simply referring to the French pronunciation.

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  5. Well they are somebody's ancestors … so they may as well be yours ;0)
    LOVE your glasses … super, super cool
    xx

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    1. I bought the glasses at the antique mart and I haven't had a chance to get the lenses changed. They make me so dizzy. Not cool.

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  6. So nice to know about your ancestry! My name is Cornish but alas, I'm not! They are brave to move like that-I know I couldn't!
    I like your dress, so pretty and useful (pockets!!) And the flower is a superb idea!
    Hot Hadrian reading rule!!!x

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  7. You hot harridan, you! Thanks for the recommendations - I'll add them to my ever-growing list of books to read. The photos are so evocative. I can't help but wonder what the rest of their lives were like. I have some of my dad's old books about Danish settlers in Nebraska, but haven't read them. My Antonia does give a taste of that life, though.

    Your dress looks so comfy and cute, too, and I love your little marker! I also love the necklace and your very cool glasses.

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    1. Ah yes. The never ending book list of life.

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  8. I am lucky enough to have some real letters from my great and great great grandmother about when they lived in Germany and when they first came over to settle in Canada. Yikes. Those women were T-O-U-G-H. Like, have the baby and then get up and start cooking and cleaning for the other 10 people and kids living in the one room house in the middle of winter. It's a wonder any of them lived.

    I always wonder about photos like these you've shown. We often come across them in vintage stores or at estate sales. I find them fascinating and creepy at the same time.

    For a hippie chic you look darn sweet in gingham. I'm glad you added the little flower to the back. Keeps the hippie vibe going.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. How lucky you are to have those actual momentos. I'm hoping to creep out future generations with my photos.

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  9. Did we all come from England?? I hope so because then we all must be related!! YAY! Loving your gingham frock and I don't think LHOTP at all. I see gorgeous woman rocking gingham exceptionally well. I adore old photos and have numerous ones of long gone relatives. If we think our times are hard I am not sure the softies of our times would handle what those intrepid travelers and adventures went through. All for a new and better life?

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    1. Some day people will look back on us and think about how tough WE had it. Poor us.

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  10. They did all that AND in all that fabric! Can you imagine how hot it must have been?! Hot harridans pilgriming/adventuring?
    Cutest dress ever! Xo Jazzy Jack

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    1. I often think about how uncomfortable the clothing was in the past. That's why I'm all about muu mus with pockets.

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  11. super cute dress and super cool reading pose! fab glasses!!!!
    have to steel the dress cut for my own house dresses :-)
    since i try to turn the wilderness that is our property and house into something cosy and functioning i can a little bit imagine how hard life has must being (?english?) for our ancestors - anyway if they stayed at home or went pioneering.
    the old photos are magical!!!!
    kisses! <3

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    1. You definitely have the beautiful pioneer spirit, Beate.

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  12. What a brilliant post! I'd love to delve into my ancestry and find out more, too, and the images by Evelyn Cameron are wonderful. You never know, some of them may very well be your ancestors :)

    The gingham dress looks perfect on you. ♥

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    1. Hey. 10 day free trial on Ancestry.com. Worth every penny.

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  13. I have ever more respect for our ancestors! What a hard life, and we live so luxuriously. Looks like a book worth owning. And you look great in gingham!

    -Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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    1. It's a great book. It was a gift from my husband!

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  14. Love looking at old photos of pioneers and the dresses they wore. Your "Prairie" dress with all the necklaces looks anything but . . .I can see having loads of fun with it!

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    1. Old photos are a great resource for clothing inspiration.

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  15. Ancestry, Hindu goddesses and home made dresses, I die!
    That book sounds utterly wonderful. Those women must have been as hard as nails unlike the females of today, sharing a sniffle or a broken fingernail on Facebook.
    A great-aunt traced my maternal grandfather's side of the family back to Oliver Cromwell via Thomas Guy who set up Guy's Hospital in London. Impressive but I'd much prefer some Indian ancestry. As I don't even know what my Dad's mother's name was I'm seriously considering tracing his side of the family. I want an ancestor who joined the East India Company so I've got an excuse to spent months in India. xxx

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    1. Oh yes Vix. Any excuse to go to India!!! I'm packed and ready to go.

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  16. You're definitely a HOT reader :) I popped over to Bag & Beret and I couldn't stop laughing. Oh my goodness, between you and Mel, I have laughed more this morning than I have all week. Thank you so much for your humorous take on blogging. And I agree with you, what we have to endure is absolutely nothing compared to settlers. That middle seat on the airplane is scary as heck, but can you imagine fighting off wild animals. YIKES!

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    1. Isn't Melanie great? One of the Best. Right up there with you.

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  17. neato frito! And your dress is totally adorable!

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  18. Another one bitten by Ancestry's bite. I too am enjoying learning a bit more about more heritage! I've long known your love of Montana via Pinterest, but this information adds another layer.

    You look adorable in those glasses Connie! And the dress...well gingham...HELLO! Too cute!

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    1. Agreed. Gingham is such a good thing.

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  19. Very interesting post and glorious old B & W photos. My mom's family, The Drummonds came from Scotland to Canada, then most of them finally settled in north Montana. I was born in Havre and even though I live in Idaho Montana is still dear to my heart. Another great true Montana homesteader book is called The Scissorbills by Belvina Bertino. I have seen the homestead and buildings and it is fascinating and you are hilarious. I often say our old pioneers had more grit than I do. I whine if I can't fly first class......

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    1. Hey oopsgirl! Thank you so much for stopping by. Drummond. As in the town of Drummond! I was born in Butte and raised in Great Falls. I would love to live in Montana but alas it is not to be. At least Boise is close. Thanks for the book recommendation. It is on my list. Big old Big Sky hug to You!!!

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  20. My son has also done a self discovery jaunt with another company ; ancestry is fascinating, knowing our roots and the sturdy stuff that gave us history and life. I love these photos and am grinning that you decided these are your peeps. Works for me!!
    Love your schematte , I am impressed you can sew. Doubly impressed that you added pockets to make the perfect kick-back dress. My hubby always say that to me, whenever I wear one of my old stand byes.. When i wear pig tails, he starts on a different rant..
    This was a beautiful post, funny and thoughtful. Yes, our ancestors had it tough, but we do as well in less visual ways I think. It feels a bit like the wild west in Manhattan lately.
    You look pretty in your glasses, and you dog is adorable, reminds me of my "long ago" dog, a King charles..sigh.
    Happy week!
    xx, Elle
    http://www.mydailycostume.com

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    1. When I lived in New York I definitely felt like it was survival of the fittest! I would love to see you in pigtails.

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  21. Fascinating stuff. I'm going to get around to researching my family history...ONE DAY!

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  22. You're classy-I'd have just taken an indelible marker and scrawled, "back" inside the collar . It is lovely.

    How fascinating that the author was able to find the diaries and photos to publish. I'm going to look for it at the library, and if they don't have it I'll insist they purchase a copy.

    Years ago (when we still on the farm) I was reading O Pioneers aloud to Danny. We got to some point where she's describing the landscape, and Danny pointed out the picture window and we both laughed; not much had changed in rural Nebraska.

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  23. You're classy-I'd have just taken an indelible marker and scrawled, "back" inside the collar . It is lovely.

    How fascinating that the author was able to find the diaries and photos to publish. I'm going to look for it at the library, and if they don't have it I'll insist they purchase a copy.

    Years ago (when we still on the farm) I was reading O Pioneers aloud to Danny. We got to some point where she's describing the landscape, and Danny pointed out the picture window and we both laughed; not much had changed in rural Nebraska.

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    1. I love those eternal landscapes. Just thankful that we now have electricity, antibiotics and frozen yogurt.

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  24. Connie, you and I definately share the love of black and white gingham, your dress is great, love the daisy. My sister and I have been researching our family history, interesting stuff , many convicts in our past. Life surely must have been so hard both here and in the U.S.. Love those photos.

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    1. I was hoping to find some convicts or something. I would be so disappointed if I found out I'm from a long line of unimaginative rule followers.

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  25. How fascinating to find out who your ancestors are! Gorgeous pictures. Your gingham dress is beautiful, as are you :)

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  26. Another of your lovely posts, Connie! You had a smart idea to embroider the little daisy ... I should do the same on some of my blouses!! The dress is very nice and it looks comfortable ...
    Interesting book with great photos and very interesting also the story of your family!

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    1. I am all about comfort these days.

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  27. It's really nice to know your ancestors especially to see their photos. Your look so pretty in your gingham dress. Your dog is so adorable.

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  28. Yeah, I get that whole thing, being from Oklahoma. Yes, I was born there, as was my father and possibly my grandparents, though we don't know for sure because there were some shady doings back in the day that were hushed up. My father married my Chicago born-and-bred Sicilian mother and all sorts of hilarity ensued. Oklahomans did not mix well with Chicagoans back in the 1950's.

    And Heartland is one of my favorite movies of all-time. I thought I was the only one who knew about it.

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    1. Heartland!! Didn't that movie just kill you? I don't know why it isn't more well known.

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    2. Have you seen Days of Heaven? It begins in turn of the century Chicago.

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  29. You're such a cutie in your gingham ... I want a photo of you at the grocery store with Docs or brashly moto or combat boots, and maybe a knit cap and plaid shirt tied around your waist. I know, not happening, and probably the better part of valor! Your taste is so much better!
    I wrote about Google rabbit-holes this week ... Ancestry.com is the rabbit hole to end all rabbit holes! Good for you, and glad you're having fun. Hope your health continues to improve, darling Snow!

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  30. I would LOVE to do a photo shoot in the grocery store!!! Unfortunately I take my own photos so I'd have to set up my tripod in the aisles. I don't think that would make me very popular with the power shoppers.

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  31. I'm so late commenting, it's embarrassing... But here I am, happy to see you looking beautiful in your gingham dress, and delighted to hear that you are part-Brit! I love hearing tales of people's ancestry, so please tell us more!
    The photos are stunning. So powerful.
    And yes, you are one hot bookworm! xxx

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  32. Dear Connie you look so cozy in that chair that i feel like sitting in your knee and let you read me an oldstyle fairy tail haha :)

    Have a fab week :)

    LOVE Maria Inredning - it's Swedish for decor

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  33. I wish I had the time to read more! I think your dress is very cute and suits your purpose - and you - just fine ;-)

    Alicia
    spashionista.com

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  34. Come on Connie, let's see a lovely new post!!!! And thank you for all your kind comments!!!x

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  35. Thank you for your lovely comments COnnie but when are you going to blog again!?!!?x

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    1. OK Kezzie!!! Kick in the butt received!

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