Friday, August 30, 2013

Lives Entwined

image {portrait of  my great-great grandmother, Augusta at the time of her marriage, age 16}

She stood on the pier gazing out to the sea.  Soon she would turn her back on her beloved Denmark and would most likely never see it again…


Standing beside her was her new husband—twice her age.  A handsome man, a good man, a man of God.  She felt safe.  She felt secure that the life she had chosen was the right one.

Jesse Nathaniel Smith

{my great-great grandfather, Jesse Nathaniel Smith}

She was unafraid of her future, whatever it would bring.

She was 16 years old.

DSC04068_edited-1 {just happening to have “Danish Blue” seam binding on hand was a wonderful thing!}

Augusta lived a beautiful, full life.  That life would take her across the sea to America—and then across America to the wild, wild West.  She would settle in a small town her husband helped to establish…and would be very, very happy.

Mary Aikens Smith

{my 3rd great-grandmother, Mary Aikens Smith}

Mary was born in an earlier century—in 1797, to be exact.  Her life turned out differently than she imagined it would, as well.

Youth passed her by without providing a husband for her.  She buried herself in her chosen profession—teaching.  She was a gifted teacher, she loved it.  She loved the children.  And so, she was content.

DSC04064_edited-1 {a new “vintage” locket from the Tim Holtz collection—perfect!}

A new job offered.  A new town in New York state to teach in.  A kind widower made her acquaintance.  A gentle man with six children and no wife to care for them…

Two years later, they were married.  Within a few years, three sons were born to Mary and Silas, and she couldn’t contain her joy…

Silas Smith_edited-1 {my 3rd great-grandfather, Silas Smith.  We only have this sketch of him—no photographs}

A new religion found, faith grew, and the family left New York for the west.  Along the way, however, her beloved Silas became ill.  And died.  Buried along the route as she continued along to the town they had determined beforehand to go…...

DSC04074_edited-1 {a new “vintage” locket from the Tim Holtz collection—perfect!}

From then on, she mothered her boys alone.  She never remarried.  Their lives became her life.  Her son Jesse took her into his household till the end of her days…where, in her aged days, she was cared for by her loving, Danish daughter-in-law, Augusta.


Two women—born worlds apart.  Lives forever entwined.


My Character Album is coming along quite nicely.  Looking forward to having it filled with the wonderful women of my heritage.



  1. Thanks for sharing your beautiful character album with us. It's inspiring in so many ways! Have a nice weekend! Twyla

  2. So very interesting and like how you did the journaling, I would love to find out more about my family too, wish I would have asked more of my parents before they passed away

  3. Your album is a true treasure. I think it is amazing that you have these old photos and the history to go with them. Your album will be a heirloom for the younger women in your family and through your thoughtfulness they have a chance to see the strong women that came before them. Thank you for sharing . . . I love that you are doing this :)

  4. What a beautiful treasure Julie! And a wonderful gift to pass on to your daughters.

  5. I love this! I have never thought of putting family history together in a character album like this. We have so few photos from my side of the family but many from my husband's Pratt/Stoddard/Merrill relatives. You've given me some inspiration!