Tom Forrest sent me this photo of my grandmother, Mildred Jean Forrest (1915-2006). She always went by “Jean” and I didn’t know until I started doing family research that she had been named for her aunt Mildred Nason Cairns. My father said that she hated the nickname “Millie”, so she went by Jean.
As I’ve said before, I don’t have many memories of my father’s parents. They came down to Wisconsin to visit on a couple of occasions (once for my High School graduation) and my sister and I went up to Saint Albans, Vermont to spend a week or two with them during summer vacation on at least two occasions. They also came down for my father’s second wedding. I remember my grandmother as a somewhat strict but warm woman. She seemed tall (to me) with white hair. She used to make us “Fluffernutter” sandwiches if we were good (peanut butter and marshmallow fluff on white bread). She always seemed to be doing housework or cooking in the kitchen. She was always smiling and laughing at whatever we kids were doing. If you got hurt, she could handle it. I have memories of her and my grandfather watching baseball on the living-room TV while they sipped hard-liquor out of glasses on their TV trays. She always wore house-dresses and sort of orthopedic-style shoes.
I know she was a nurse for the county or state school system for many years and that’s how she met my grandfather. He owned a service station and she brought the car she was given to drive for her job in to his station to be maintained. He invited her to go horseback riding. The rest is history. She and my grandfather lived at 3 Calo Court in Saint Albans basically from sometime in the 40’s until the day they died. Despite being relatively healthy, my grandfather died only a few months after his wife did.
Here’s the photo. She looks to be about 16 years old to me.
The photograph of Lulu Cairns and her sister Mildred made me look more at them in the family tree. I realized that I had accidentally overlooked a baptism document from the American Presbyterian Church in Montreal, Quebec, Canada when Mildred and Lulu were baptized in April of 1912. Lulu was 24 and Mildred was 20. This is a great document because Lulu, Mildred and Samuel all signed it:
But it got me thinking. I had an anecdotal note on my tree that Lulu and Midred’s mother Helen Nason may have died in 1912. I could envision either that the girls were baptized in conjunction with her funeral or that Helen died and Samuel could finally get his wish and have his girls baptized (assuming Helen might have been a different religion). So I went looking in the same book for a burial record for Helen. At first I didn’t find it, but it was in the index in the back and I was able to locate it. She died about 20 days after the girls were baptized, so I’m thinking that they went in and got baptized as part of some process of the family getting ready for Helen to pass when she was very ill. The burial record is interesting because it gives the place where the family was living (Westmount, Quebec, Candada) and also says that Samuel was working as an “Inspector”. The record says Helen was 49, but she was 48 according to my records. The place of Helen’s burial is also given (Ormstown, Quebec, Candada). Ormstown was where the Webb and Cairns families lived for many years.
The J.A. Webb who signed as a witness I’m guessing is a cousin of Samuel Cairns. His mother was Sarah Webb, so I’m guessing this is a son of his mother’s brother William Webb.
At the end of this same book is the marriage record for Lulu marrying my great-grandfather John Prescott “Jack” Forrest on December 4, 1912. Busy year for the Cairns Family! Note that they describe my 24-year-old great-grandmother as a “spinster”.
More jaw-dropping photos from Tom Forrest tonight. The first is my great-great-grandfather Samuel Robert Cairns (1865-1941) taken about 1890. What a dapper young man!
The next is a photo of his two girls: my great-grandmother Lulu Maria Cairns (1888-1975, left) and her sister Mildred Nason Cairns (1891-1961, right) taken about 1897. They are both like little dolls. I love this photo, and it totally took my breath away when I first saw it.