Friday, 28 February 2014

A Special Gift.

I’d been trying to come up with a topic all month but wasn’t having any luck until a couple of days ago. I was catching up on a TV show when inspiration struck – My Great Great Grandmother Novie.

In January, my family and I went on holidays to Hawaii for two weeks. My Maternal Grandparents – Mum’s Dad & Step-Mother – managed to fly over from Texas and spend a week with us in Hawaii. Grandad is now 83 and my Grandmother is in her early 70’s. They’ve both had some health issues the past few years so we were very lucky they were able to make the trip. Before the holidays, we knew that they were looking to move out of their house and into a retirement village. Their house is quite big and was getting hard to manage with just the two of them living there…and 3 very active little dogs as well. They also wanted to make the decision about moving into a retirement village while they still could, and not have someone else make the decision for them. A couple of weeks after our holiday, they actually found a house in the retirement village they want to live in and are signing the papers today.

Anyway, the night my Grandparents arrived in Honolulu, my Grandad gave me something very special. His Grandmother, my Great Great Grandmother Novie’s sugar bowl and butter dish. I had never seen these before, nor was I expecting anything at all, so I was very surprised and very honoured to be given them. He actually said “out of all the grandchildren, you’ll probably appreciate them the most” and I sure will!

Butter Dish

Sugar Bowl

So, who was my Great Great Grandmother Novie?

Novie Leona Swindell
Approx. 1901, Texas, USA.
Novie Leona Swindell was born in 1874, in Morgan County, Alabama to parents James Webb Swindell & Elizabeth Roberts. Currently I only know of one sibling that she had; a brother, Erbie Milton Swindell born in 1880. In 1894, Novie married Charles Rufus Thompson. They had six children together – Ethel, Pearl, Roy, Claude, Velma & Robert. Ethel was my Great Grandmother. Between 1897 and 1901, after having two children they moved to Texas. 

Thompson's: Charles, Ethel, Roy, Novie & Pearl.
Approx. 1901, Texas, USA.
Something that I hadn’t known about Novie & Charles until my Grandad told me that week was that at some point they separated. My Grandad doesn’t remember having much to do with Charles who moved to New Mexico. Novie lived with Ethel & her family when my Grandad was little to help with the cooking and cleaning. Novie died on the 19th of March, 1949 in Corsicana, Texas.

I wonder what Novie would think if she knew her butter dish and sugar bowl had made it all the way to Brisbane, Australia? I will treasure them with all my heart, and when I have children, I hope they will too.

Until next time genea-friends.

13 comments:

  1. What a super surprise for a young family historian. Thank you for sharing your joy.

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  2. Lovely! Enjoy! Smile when you use them, of course, we know you will.

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  3. I love this - the butter dish and sugar bowl are beyond price, a real family heirloom. Your Grandad knew you'd value them!

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  4. What a wonderful story Helen. Many thanks.

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  5. Wonderful. I have a similar gift from my mother - a little china elephant that we used as children for milk at breakfast. We would always ask Mr Elephant if he would give us some milk please, and of course he always agreed. It was one of my dearest memories and she was pleased I valued it so much - which is another reason it is now so important to me.
    Kathleen

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  6. What a great gift! Wouldn't it be wonderful if they could tell their life story!

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  7. Absolutely wonderful to see the pics. I remember your excited FB post the night you received these precious heirlooms. ��

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  8. What a lovely gift and a lovely blog post. You re lucky too to have the photographs of your great great grandmother to link with the gift and so you can picture her using the sugar bowl and butter dish.

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  9. A beautiful gift and what a wonderful story to tell future generations.

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  10. Aww, thank you everyone! :D

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  11. How lovely! What special family heirlooms!

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  12. Love the heirlooms. Neat story. If you ever want flowers put on her grave, I pass by the area at least once or twice a year. Thanks for sharing a neat story.

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