Thursday, March 31, 2011

~ MaMa ~

     My grandmother (MaMa) is the one who piqued my interest in genealogy.  I used to love sitting next to her on the couch and looking at all the old black and white photos which she kept in a shoebox.  I loved to hear stories about the people in those photos and summers spent 'upstate' in Rifton,NY.  I wish I had written all the stories down.  I wish I had written names/dates on the back of those photos because some of those photos are now a mystery to me.  If I had known back then that I'd be doing genealogy today, I'd be better prepared.
     Eleanor was born 2 June to Samuel Davis and Josephine (Duper) Davis.  She was the eldest of five children.  Her death certificate has her year of birth as 1920.  When I looked at the 1930 census, I found her living with her grandmother, Teresa (Devine) Duper and her year of birth listed as 1918.  At first I thought the informant, head of household, Teresa Duper was just a bit confused, maybe unsure of her own granddaughter's date of birth.  I checked the 1920 census and found Eleanor Davis listed as age 2 yrs, 6 months and living with her parents.  I now know for sure that my grandmother was born in 1918.
     I don't know why my grandmother was living with her grandmother in 1930 instead of her parents Or when she moved in.  My grandmother's younger sister, Dorothy died tragically at the age of 3 and the very next day her baby brother, William was born.. Maybe my great-grandmother was under too much stress to care for the three children she already had and a newborn after the death of her youngest?  Maybe that's why the family split up?  I know at some point, the baby William, once school age was sent to a boarding school.  I think his older brothers lived with their father while his sister remained with their grandmother.
     In the early 1950's, my grandmother spent the summers in Rifton,NY with her daughters (my mother and aunt).  My grandfather worked during the week so visited on weekends.
     MaMa was the best grandmother ever!  She made all my Halloween costumes (sewed them with Out a machine), crocheted my hats, scarves, and mittens, was an excellent cook, never missed a Girl Scout function and was there whenever I needed her.

  She died too soon.   3 July 1982  R.I.P.

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