Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Hope Trunk


For the 100th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy, I decided to write about a family heirloom, my grandmother’s trunk.

Second great grandmother Alice Demyers Overton Usher raised many of her grandchildren including my grandmother, Gertrude Overton Durr. A forced sexual encounter resulted in pregnancy for Grandma Gert and if the family stories are true, Grandma Gert probably suffered with depression after the birth of her first child with no husband. Grandma Alice told her she couldn’t stay shut up in the house and that the first man to come along who wanted her, she would marry him.

Grandma Alice presented her granddaughter Gertrude with this trunk. It was a hope trunk, a hope in marriage. I never knew what was in my grandmother’s trunk when she married my Grandfather Mike Durr in September 1919. I would guess there was a quilt, bible, flour sack towels, pretty embroider pillow cases, a cup or two, and whatever they could gather for a new household.

When Grandma Gert died in 1967, her daughters decided that her oldest granddaughter would receive her trunk, that granddaughter was me. I hope to someday pass it on to a granddaughter

8 comments:

  1. This post was inspirational because you have given me an idea - we don't have a trunk passed down through the generations like this one, but that doesn't mean I can't start a tradition with my daughters. I could put "starter items" in them, as well as a copy of our family history!

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  2. It is a lovely trunk. I have one that is similar, but, I had to purchase mine, therefore, no family history connected to it.

    Yours is truly lovely!

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  3. That is a beautiful trunk. I hope your grandmother found happiness in there.

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  4. Greta, I like the idea of including a copy of the family history with an old or new family treasure.

    Carol, I enjoy the trunk and hope future generations will take pleasure in grandma's hope trunk.

    Kristin, Grandma enjoyed motherhood. Marriage, oh well, a different story.

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  5. Loved this story! I had a hope chest, and my daughter now has one. She's started collecting some china and things, and is making a quilt. I love the idea of putting a copy of the family history in there. She'll roll her eyes now, but someday she will thank me!

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  6. Your trunk is just gorgeous. It's wonderful that it's stayed in the family. Will you pass it along to a daughter or granddaughter so it will stay in the family? I hope so.

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  7. Nancy, I plan to pass it to a granddaughter. If no granddaughters are in my future, I hope to pass it to one of my daughters.

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  8. What a lovely heirloom. And an equally lovely post!

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