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.
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.
Tom Forrest sent me a few remarkable family history items tonight.
First, here is a photo that seems to be of my father at about one year old. I’ve sent it to him to verify it, but it sure looks like my father to me:
Likely Fred Thomas III at about a year old.
The next photo is quite mystifying to me. He said that it’s Lulu Cairns (it is) with her first husband John “Jack” Forrest. However, Lulu was only 4 years younger than John Forrest her husband, and I have a photo of him (I believe) that looks nothing like this man who seems to be much older than her. I don’t believe it’s John Forrest her father-in-law, because even in his later years he had more hair than this. Lulu looks about 30 here which means Jack Forrest would have been about 34. This man looks to be at least 50 if not 55. I’m wondering if it could it possibly be her father Samuel Cairns?
Update: Tom has confirmed that this is, indeed, Samuel Cairns! This is the first photo of him that I have seen!
Lulu Cairns and her father, Samuel Cairns (1856-1941) about 1920.
This last item is equally remarkable. It’s a telegram from Archie Forrest (b 1875) to my great-grandfather John “Jack” Forrest informing him of the death of their father (who was also named John Forrest). It was sent on June 23rd, 1920, the day John Forrest the elder died. It also mentions their brother George Forrest (b 1878) and John’s employment at the Remington Typewriter Company in Newark, New Jersey. George was working for the same company in New York at the time.
I got an email tonight out of the blue from Tom Forrest. He lives in Danbury, Connecticut, and is the grandson of my grandmother Mildred Jean Forrest Thomas’s younger brother John Prescott Forrest (1923-2004). He sent me a short email saying he’d gotten a message from me on Ancestry.com. He asked how my dad was doing and whether or not I remembered my great-grandmother Lulu Cairns Forrest. I don’t. Although I visited Vermont (where my father’s family lived) when I was very young, I only remember visiting there twice. Once when I was about 11 and once when I was about 13. Although they were very memorable trips in many ways, I don’t recall meeting any of my father’s family apart from his parents, his brothers, and their kids. If I ever met Lulu or any of my grandmother’s sisters I don’t remember it.
Tom also enclosed some fantastic photos of the Forrest family and one of my dad’s family. I’m really looking forward to talking to him and getting additional pieces of information about the Forrests.
Fred Thomas III, Dave Thomas, Fred Thomas Jr., Mildred Jean Forrest Thomas, and Dick Thomas. My father and his family about 1959.