What goes around…

Feb 3, 2014 | 8 comments

Mary Cleora Stone Richardson (from her memorial booklet)

Mary Cleora Stone Richardson (from her memorial booklet)

 Yesterday brought the discovery of a ‘new’ fourth cousin related to me through my maternal grandmother, Helen Richardson Espy.  Her name is Bonnie Meyer and she introduced herself to me in two different ways – in a comment on my blog and through an email note.  I am thrilled for reasons far beyond the discovery of an additional relative.

For starters, I am delighted that once again my blog attracted unexpected attention out there in cyberspace and that Bonnie initiated contact with me.  At that point, she had no idea that we were connected in any way except through knowledge of a nineteenth century artist, Mary Cleora Stone Richardson (1827-1904).  I had referred to “Aunt Cleora” in a March 2012 blog called “Tween Time.”

In reality, I am in no way related to Aunt Cleora.  She was married to my grandmother’s great uncle which makes her my three times great aunt by marriage.  Pretty distant, even for a “connection.”  But, I feel an affinity toward Aunt Cleora because she was a favorite of my grandmother’s and, more importantly, because we have many of her paintings in our house.

On the other hand, Bonnie is directly descended from Mary Cleora Stone Richardson. She was Bonnie’s grandmother’s grandmother.  Bonnie had done an internet search on Cleora’s name and came up with my blog.  How great is that?

Aunt Cleora's Cart Painting

Aunt Cleora’s “Cart” Painting

After I responded to her, she researched my “connection” and learned that we are directly related through my great-grandfather’s father, Horace Richardson.  I wonder if Bonnie knows that he was a circuit-riding preacher in California and, because he handed out Bibles as her spread “The Word,” he was known as “Bible Richardson.”  I’ll have to mention that to Bonnie and suggest that she read Willard Espy’s Oysterville: Roads to Grandpa’s Village.” Willard, of course, was the genealogist of our family and in that particular book wrote extensively about the Richardsons.  But… I digress.

Rev. Horace and Sarah (Rand) Richardson circa 1860

Rev. Horace and Sarah (Rand) Richardson circa 1860

Bonnie also emailed in more detail about Cleora’s paintings and asked if any of those that I have are signed.  Unbelievable as it seems (even to me), I’ve never thought to look.  For nigh unto eighty years Aunt Cleora’s painting have been so much a part of my life that looking for her signature never occurred to me!  It would be sort of like asking to check out a parent’s DNA – maybe a good idea if you are in doubt, but otherwise superfluous.

I printed out the latest email from Bonnie – all twenty pages of it! – and I believe it’s only the beginning of our conversation.  Meanwhile, I am motivated to do a photographic inventory of Aunt Cleora’s work if, for no other reason than to send the photographs to Bonnie.  No telling what more the two of us will learn as our discussion continues!

8 Comments

  1. Stephanie Frieze

    What fun! I’ve oft commented on how connected the Internet makes us.

    Reply
  2. Rosemary Hickman

    Um, Sydney, “She was married to my grandmother’s great aunt”? Very progressive for the time!

    Reply
    • sydney

      LOL Now you can see why I’m not really into genealogy! Apparently I can’t even keep the genders straight! And, I seriously need a full-time editor! Are you interested? The pay is negligible except for grateful chuckles…

      Reply
  3. Nancy

    Yikes! For an only child of Bill and Dale, you have “gathered” well…I missed the line that Rosemary stated, “married to my grandmother’s great aunt”….my teehee for today.

    Reply
    • sydney

      Mine too!

      Reply
  4. Rosemary Hickman

    I would love to be your editor, for laughs and giggles. Unsure of the comma usage so maybe not.

    Reply
    • sydney

      Oh, then we will be a perfect match! Commas are NOT my friends. I gave up on them long ago and just put them where they feel right. My best advice to you as my editor is to ignore the commas. And the rest of the punctuation. And the sentence fragments!

      Reply

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