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  • Writer's pictureTheFormidableGenealogist

Four Generations

In the past when I've looked at this four-generation photo, I would think that it could also be the same man at four different ages. There were some strong genes in that pool, and all the men had very similar features.

four generations of men
Four-generation photo, 1947

That baby grew into a man who passed away recently, at the age of 75, and today is the first time I've seen this photo since then. So I had different thoughts.

And then later, I put down the tissues. I picked up my genealogist hat and reviewed some facts.

  • Charles, the great-grandfather, was the father of 12 children. He was born in 1863 in Massachusetts and moved westward with his parents when he was a boy. He was already the 8th generation of his family born in North America; the first was born in Barnstable, Massachusetts, in 1647.

  • George, the grandfather, lived within a 28-mile radius his whole life. His grandchildren called him "Pappy." [I have another photo of Pappy, with his two eldest grandsons riding him like a horse in the living room. They all looked like they were having fun...but Pappy looked like he was having the most fun of all.]

  • Lloyd, the father, served as an aviation metalsmith in the Navy and at Pearl Harbor. (And he met his wife when she was working in a factory building B-17 bombers!) Many years ago, he told me he was only going to live to be 66, because that's as old as his father got to be. He ultimately got 22 years more than he predicted.

  • Richard, the last son, leaves only daughters to carry on his legacy, but not the family name. He served in the Army during Vietnam and continued to serve other veterans and his community for the rest of his life. Surely by coincidence, Richard shared a name with his 9th-great-grandfather, who was born in 1608 and was the first in that family like to emigrate to the New World.

All four men were farmers. Between them, they lived a combined 314 years. There was a span of 139 years between the great-grandfather's birth in 1863 and Richard's death in 2022.

This four-generation snapshot is just that--a snapshot of the 14 documented generations of this family. And theirs is just one of the innumerable and unique family stories that we genealogists love to find, love to tell, and hope are not forgotten.


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