Friday, November 28, 2008

Are you sure we're not cloning relatives?

Having a few days off between dental difficulties and holidays, I've been putting some family photos on disc as part of the "Family Tree" preservation project. You know the one. That tome I'll finish when I'm 100 years old and the young nephew is closing in on grandpa status. Maybe with a good pair of glasses, he'll still be able to read it.

Mom always joked that I wasn't born, I was cloned. I'm like her in many ways, with features favoring her paternal side. Well, except for height. I tend to be closer to Memaw on that one. In fact, she was the only relative over the age of 10 that I was ever taller than as she was a towering 4'11". Her maternal side is where the Irish genes come in, but that's another story.

No, today's story is about Grandma's "paternal" side. I've realized in looking at photos this week, she favored her mother, with a nose that seems to illustrate those maternal French Huguenot roots. But it was the men in her life that caught my attention. Except for the style of dress, her paternal grandfather, father and brother look like the same man.

The first man is her Grandfather, Thomas and the second is her Father, Joseph

And this is her brother, Claude.

Even as they age, these men still all look alike! In photo after photo, the mustache stays, as does a head filled with thick, white hair. [Darn, didn't get THAT gene!] From what I've learned they shared the same temperament as well; calm, soft spoken yet tough as nails when needed.

I tease my cousin Claude Jr. that there's really no need to take pictures of him. In fact I have one right now that will show him exactly what he'll look like when he's 75.

Technically this our Great Grandfather, Joseph
but for my Cuz, in a few years it'll be just like looking in a mirror.


Poetikat said...

How amazing! I love those old black and white photos (except perhaps for the Victorian, after-death shots - just too creepy)!

It's great that you have those pictures and I know what you mean about having projects that you feel hopelessly inadequate to accomplish. I have a big bag of letters that my dad wrote to various persons throughout his life. I'd love to get them into some sort of manuscript.
He had a plan for peace in Northern Ireland and even wrote to the Prime Minister - complete with a mock-up for a new Irish flag!

It is incredible to look at photos of those from whom we descend and also strange how we can meet relatives we've never seen before and still see a true resemblance. Back in '77, my folks took us to the UK to meet some of my dad's family. I encountered a first-cousin who could have been my twin brother!


Susan said...

Isn't it true?

In our family we're like Lady and the Tramp: the girls both look like me and the boy looks EXACTLY like his Daddy. It makes looking at old photos especially fun.

the broken down barman said...

love the pics. think u might be related to the actor sam elliot as well. he looks an awfy lot like your male relatives.
p.s. have u tried eurythmol toothpaste? really helps numb the pain lol

hope said...

Yep Poetikat, if I find any of those after death shots, I'll "lose" them. That was a creepy form of remembrance. Let me know if you get around to putting your Dad's stuff into a manuscript...I love stuff like that!

Susan, I do wonder if I keep looking through photos on the "Irish side" if I'll find a photo of you? :) Any Faires or Torrences in your past?

Barman, I never thought about that before but the last photo does kinda resemble him. You have a good eye!

Dave King said...

Yes, it's a fascinating occupation - but it can have it's pitfalls. Not in your case, though. Great post. Something that will interest most folk.

Dominic Rivron said...

It's a generalisation, but I think as we get older we realise just how like our parents we are. It certainly makes one think about one's sense of human individuality.

hope said...

Welcome Dominic! I was always fascinated by the stories! I grew up in a time when little girls had to help dry dishes in the kitchen after holiday meals. It was okay, but I wasn't interested in birthing babies and the like at age 10.

So I would sneak into the living room where all the MEN were gathered, telling lies....I mean creative stories. ;) I'd try to be quiet so they wouldn't kick me out but I'd always ask questions! I never lost that, which has someone placed me in the role of unofficial family historian at times.