There are some things that tie us to our ancestors besides a name. Baking bread, making a pie from scratch, knitting socks are three things I share with my paternal great-greatgrandmother. I know she did these things, because her son kept a little journal the year he was nine. He talks about his mother baking the family's bread from flour he brought home from a mill. He mentions pies on the windowsill, cooling. He paints a picture of the family in mid winter around the fireplace - his father reading aloud to the children while his mother knits socks. The family dog is curled round his mother's feet, under her skirts, warmed by the fire and protected from the drafts.
I have two books that were in my greatgrandfather's childhood home. The family Bible and the family Dictionary. Both are huge old books, the words fading, the paper disintegrating. The books won't last past my son's generation.
There are other things that tie me to these hardy folk from Maine. When my father's uncle died, he inherited a box of deguerreotypes. These early photographs are mirror images of my ancestors. There's one of my Great-greatgrandmother as a child. Here it is. This is Emma when she was a little girl.
I was amazed, but very happy that these old, old images scanned.