Friday, February 14, 2014

A 108-Year-Old Valentine

Well, technically it was a Christmas present, but it was given to a girl by her beau so I wanted to post it for Valentine’s Day.

I traveled down to Western Kentucky recently to stay with some extended family. It was a side trip tacked on to a trip for different purposes to Southern Illinois. I managed to meet up with a few kinfolk, but others I will have to get with on another trip. I tried very hard not to fall into the vernacular of the area and one cousin said I talk more like a Yankee now.

One of the highlights of the trip was getting a chance to see this beauty of a family heirloom:

Iva Watts Diuguid Photo Album


It was Aunt Ivy’s and given to her on Christmas Day 1906 by her future husband, Travis Duigiud. On that day, Aunt Ivy was about a month past her 17th birthday. Uncle Trav was three years her senior. They were married just over five years later on January 17, 1912.

"Presented by Mr. Travis Diuguid to Iva Watts Dec. 25, 1906"


My cousin (once removed) said that she bought it at Aunt Ivy’s estate sale after her death. My cousin actually wound up giving the album to me and it is something I will treasure. You might remember me talking about Granddaddy’s sister, Aunt Ivy, just recently. How her two little children died young and all? (That’s how they’d say it down home). You can find that post here: Sentimental Sunday: A few buttons and some cloth.

Anyway, I was touched to find a small photograph of one of those babies wrapped in tissue paper in the back of the album. It was identified on the back in pencil as Ollie Mae Duiguid. She was the first child that Ivy and Travis had who only lived about a year and a half. I am sure that to see this photograph must have pained Aunt Ivy terrible, especially after losing her second child at an even younger age. But she didn’t want to get rid of the image either, so I can imagine her carefully wrapping this up for safekeeping. I’m not sure when this was taken exactly but little Ollie appeared very healthy at the time. Perhaps it was taken on her first birthday. It actually reminds me of a picture I have of my oldest daughter when she was about a year old.  Such a sweet, innocent little child.

Ollie Mae Diuguid


Many of the photographs in the album are unidentified, but surely must be family and/or friends in the area. The ones that are identified are ones I know already. Some of them were identified by the cousin who ended up with the album. Another project will entail getting all of the photographs scanned for digital copies. I may also try to send copies around to some of the other kin and those who lived in the neighborhood still around who might help identify them.

It is a very pretty little album and I’m happy to share it with you for Valentine’s this year. 

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