Tuesday, March 1, 2011
THE THREE MUSES - ANCESTRY
The young man on the left of this image is my maternal grandfather. He was accompanied by his elder brother on a voyage that brought them from Iceland to their new home, Canada, in the late 1800's. This cabinet card photo was taken at the Lyceum Studios in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They settled, like many Icelanders, along the Icelandic River. My grandfather married and his wife died in childbirth. They had been blessed with 1 daughter and a set of twin boys. When she died in childbirth she had given birth to another set of twins, girls. Unable to look after 5 children himself, the newborn twin girls were given to childless married friends who raised the girls to adulthood. They lived in a small community so my grandfather was able to see the twins grow to adulthood. My grandfather, having been from Iceland, sent for a housekeeper/nanny for the family he was raising. That lady became his wife two years later and the following year my mother was born. My grandmother (In Icelandic grandmothers are called "Amma", while grandfathers are called "Afi"). They had 4 more children after my mom, 3 more girls and the youngest a son. I was only a few years old when my grandfather died at an elderly age. I still remember Afi as a gentle, kind man who never raised his voice. He had a full head of beautiful white hair, and my mom said he had lovely black curly hair as she remembered, as she was growing up. My fondest memory was going to visit Amma and Afi each day as they only lived about a block from my childhood home. The visits were wonderful, and I must admit as a child they were also self-serving as Afi always had a small paper bag with Scotch mints that he kept atop the rafters in a wee room under the stairs to the upper floor. The memories are few, but still cherished.