This coming Sunday is Mother’s Day which, for genealogists should perhaps more properly be called Mothers’ Day because we have all found so many mothers in our families.
I am very lucky because I have photos of many mothers going back several generations. So what a treat it is today to share them.
This is my mother, for whom – for me at least – Mother’s Day was invented. She has not been with us for a very long time but she lives still in my heart and in my memories.
Norma Mable (Miller) Shepheard 1917-1974.
I knew both of my grandmothers though did not appreciate who they were and what they had accomplished in their lives until they were gone and I was researching my ancestors. Both were born in the US but chose to come to Canada – fortunately for me as my parents got to meet each other.
Grandmothers: left – Martha Alwilda Jane (McDaniel) Miller 1875-1956; right – Carrie Jane (Thompson) Shepheard 1889-1959
This photo of my two grandmothers was actually taken on Mother’s Day, 1940. It is a very unique and special remembrance of them.
A lady who became a mother to me, especially after the loss of my own mother, was the mother of my wife, Linda. She was someone very special to our whole family.
Jessie Walker (Cooper) McKay 1908-1998
I never met any of my great-grandmothers. They were all gone by the time I was born. But I do have photos of three of the ladies, so I can see, at least, what they looked like.
Great-grandmothers, left to right: Mary Elizabeth (Pearson) Shepheard 1866-1891, my paternal grandfather’s mother; Margaret Mary (Anderson) Thompson 1857-1919, my paternal grandmother’s mother; Alice Jane (Keith) Miller 1846-1914, my maternal grandfather’s mother
Learning about the families of my 2nd great-grandmothers has been fascinating. I am lucky to have photos of some of them that have survived the years.
Great-Great-Grandmothers, left to right: Mary Crispin (Carpenter) Shepheard 1830-1890, a great-grandfather’s mother; Hannah Tunsal (Mayfield) Miller 1815-1909, another great-grandfather’s mother; Susan (Phillipo) Anderson 1836-1905, a great-grandmother’s mother; Sarah Jane (Baker) Keith 1823-1919, another great-grandmother’s mother
And then, of course there is the mother of my children. My mother loved her almost as much as I do. She has been there for me, in thick and thin, truly! She is my partner, my love and my best friend.
Linda (with Keltie)
Last, but not least are the mothers of my grandchildren. They are very important people in my life and in the family as they continue the roles of “Mother”.
Alice and Tamara
Among my family memorabilia are a number of cards and letters that go back several years. This one was sent to my grandmother, Carrie Jane Shepheard, by her daughter, Ethel Mae, in 1952, just a year before she, herself, became a mother.
To all the mothers, past and present, HAPPY MOTHERS’ DAY!
Wayne Shepheard is a volunteer with the Online Parish Clerk program in England, handling four parishes in Devon, England. He has published a number of articles about various aspects of genealogy and is a past Editor of Chinook, the quarterly journal of the Alberta Family Histories Society. Wayne also provides genealogical consulting services through his business, Family History Facilitated