Friday, January 12, 2018

A favorite family photo

Week 2: 52 Ancestors theme—Favorite photo

In 2002, my sister Jennifer and I started working on our Shields family tree. Once we gathered as much information and photos as we could, we planned to put a book together to share with any family member that wanted a copy. Jennifer contacted many extended family members, including some we’d never met. One person was Tommy Shields, a cousin who lived in California. Tommy’s father, William Elmer Shields, was the brother of my Pappy (great-grandfather), James Stewart Shields. Tommy was excited about the project and agreed to send Jennifer some of his photos to include in the book. When the package arrived, it included this photo. Tommy wrote a note to Jennifer telling her he didn’t know who the family was but the woman seated in the middle was his Granny Shields. As it turns out, the family was my family and the woman seated was not only his granny but our granny as well—specifically, our 2nd great-grandmother, Martha Ann Ogle Shields. Neither Jennifer nor I had ever seen the photo.

The baby in the photo is my brother Michael which means the photo was taken in 1958. We lived in Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia and had traveled to Dalton, Whitfield County, Georgia to join the Shields family for a celebration. Martha, who was born on May 10, 1870 in Boogertown, Sevier County, Tennessee, was celebrating her 88th birthday.

We have many photos from my youth but few include us kids with both my mother and father. Even though one sister is missing (she wasn’t born yet), this is one of my favorite family photos. It was exciting to receive this photo and it was a bonus that it included my 2nd great-grandmother.

Pictured in photo: My sister Bonita, my 2nd great-grandmother Martha Ogle Shields, my sister Jennifer, my mama Fay holding me, and my daddy Sam Lankford holding my brother Michael.

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