These ideas for genealogy blog entries come from “Jump Start Your Genealogy Blog. 52 ideas. 52 weeks” by Amy Coffin at We Tree (http://wetree.blogspot.com), via the Genea-Bloggers group on Facebook. This week’s assignment (well, technically last week – due Saturday) was to “upload your favorite picture and talk about it on your blog. Answer the who/what/when/where/why of the subject matter and explain why it is your favorite.” I will actually be using two photos.
This first picture is a five generation photo taken in 1977. The baby is me, a little under a year old. My father, Michael Grant Hait Sr. (holding me) is about 23 years old. My grandfather, Myron Grant Hait Jr. (next to my father) was 50 years old. He was just about to begin a battle with cancer (lymphoma) that would go into remission for over 20 years. It finally came back in 2000, and unfortunately would be too much the next year. He died July 14, 2001, a week following his 74th birthday (July 7) and two weeks after my grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary (June 30). Next to him is my great-grandmother Gladys Mabel (Burnham) Hait. I remember visiting her in Ballston Spa, New York when I was younger – she had shelves of home-made jams and preserves in the cellar. Very delicious! She died in June 1994, the same month I graduated high school, and I am glad to have been able to have known her. I still have a letter from her from 1986, when I was just 9 years old, telling me the story of her great-aunt, “Silent Becky” Jones – a local celebrity in Ballston Spa in the decades around the Civil War. This letter was part of my introduction to genealogy, and I have not looked back since! Next to her is my great-great-grandmother, Mabel Lucille (Feulner) Burnham Thompson. Born in 1887, she survived until the age of 1990 at the age of 103!
This second photo is also five generations: In this one, the baby is my grandfather, Myron Hait (above). The photo was taken ca. 1928-1930, judging by his age. He is being held by his mother, Gladys (above). In the front right is my great-great-grandmother Mabel, here about 40 or so. In the front left is her mother Minnie (James) Feulner, wife of Philip Feulner, who immigrated with his family from Germany to New York (through Castle Garden) when he was 9 years old. In the front center is my 4 x great-grandmother, Emma (Benjamin) James, wife of George James, a Civil War veteran who enlisted once, was injured and sent home, then re-enlisted and served until the end of the war.
The reason I chose these photos is that they illustrate my love for genealogy. In these two photos, you can see a total of seven generations. For those who think genealogy or history is irrelevant, or too remote to be important, I can look at these two photos and see just how real this is. From myself to the Civil War is just six other people, four of whom I knew and loved. Genealogy brings history to life; it makes it real.