a mystery solved + family history

It has always been a mystery as to who Silas looks like.   Aside from Mike’s blue eyes and blood type, Poppy is my little clone.  I thought for sure Silas had Mike’s lips, nose and eye colour, but something nagged at us still.  He seems to remind everyone of a beloved family member.  Mike’s mom sees her father, Mike’s father’s father, and Mike’s brother, my aunt sees my Aunt Laura who passed away at the age of 19, some say he looks like me, others say he is all Mike.  And then there is that little playful twinkle in his eye and a crooked little grin that reminded me of my own grandfather when he was teasing you.

When we were visiting my dad and step mom this past weekend, dad brought out an album Gramma had started making before she passed away in 2009.  It began with pictures of my dad as a baby; their first born.  I had never seen baby pictures of my dad before, but it took only a second to solve the mystery of who Silas looks like.  Uncanny really.  My mind has been blown.  How is it possible that Mike and I made the same baby as my grandparents did back in 1953?  Genetics are wild and wonderful things aren’t they?

I love looking at old photos of our families and hearing the tales of triumph and hardship.  I love this picture of my grandparents with my very young father.  I wonder where they were or where they were going.  A wedding perhaps.  I wonder what that park with the large anchor in it looks like today.  Gramma was very likely pregnant with my Aunt; perhaps she didn’t even know yet.  They are so young and dapper, though they remained quite dapper all the way through their lives.

They were so unaware of the hardships and joys that were coming their way.  They had just come to Canada from Croatia after the second world war and likely thought the worst was behind them, and the best in front of them.  Isn’t it interesting to see these influential people frozen in time at the same season of your own life?  I cant’t help but wonder how our own little lives will unfold and what joys and hardships it will hold.  I think it is better not knowing, but to honour the perspective this photo gives me and hold that close to my heart as we dig deeper into our families’ histories.

Do you have a favourite family tale?  Have you had much luck with looking into your own family history?

go gently + be wonderful


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  1. Posted February 8, 2012 at 11:38 pm by Ana | Permalink

    I love – LOVE – looking at old photos, especially black and white ones, whether they’re of my family or someone else’s or even just of places. It makes me feel like I’m seeing some great secret I’m not supposed to see. I think we take photographs for granted nowadays, its easy not to be astonished by them. But when I see really old ones I still am… its fascinating to be able to look into the past like that, with knowledge of what’s coming ahead. It’s eerie in some ways too. Feels like times crossing.

    • Posted February 9, 2012 at 9:13 am by erin | Permalink

      YES! Well said “…like time crossing…”
      That is the perfect description!

  2. Posted February 9, 2012 at 6:45 am by Greer | Permalink

    That is spooky! They are so alike.

  3. Posted February 9, 2012 at 10:54 am by Karen Wirth | Permalink

    The resemblance is uncanny! I had posted some very old photos to my siblings awhile back. One included an aunt of my fathers named Violet, about three years of age at the time. My brother thought it was me! Now I know why I don’t look like my siblings who more resemble my mothers side. Looking back is so much fun!

  4. Posted February 9, 2012 at 4:13 pm by KC | Permalink

    That’s so neat! Crazy enough both my daughters are clones of my husband and I. My first daughter looks exactly like me a child you could put a yellow filter over her pictures and she might as well have been me. Then my second daughter looks just like my husband did as a baby. Just crazy.

    We found our history on my mom’s side all the way back to 1650! Our family owned a pub/inn in Germany.

    • Posted February 9, 2012 at 9:04 pm by erin | Permalink

      Oh wow! So neat.
      Looking forward to learning more too

  5. Posted February 11, 2012 at 10:29 pm by Kyce | Permalink

    Very cool. It is an amazing thing watching genetics unfold in each new generation. To think that our faces aren’t just our own–I look just like my maternal grandmother, who my mother doesn’t take after at all. My second daughter also has “the look,” but with a hapsburg jaw from my husband’s side of the family. His siblings both have it, but he doesn’t. Such a trip. How did we keep it all straight before photos came along?

  6. Posted February 13, 2012 at 4:17 pm by Ginny | Permalink

    Erin that is insane–I mean based on photos alone, he looks identical. We’re still trying to figure out who Beatrix looks like….

    • Posted February 14, 2012 at 10:50 am by erin | Permalink

      I know right! I don’t even know that the photos do it justice!
      Beatrix reminds me a lot of my Poppy. I thought it was funny that Bea likes to greet people with “Merry Christmas” as Poppy love to exclaim that out of nowhere.
      And that picture of her feet in the playdough. My goodness.
      We had a craft day with a friend and her little girl and they were playing with glitter and glue. I left the room for a few minutes and when I came back Poppy was up on the table smearing glitter and glue on the large windows and was covered herself while the other little girl sat peacefully decorating her designated ornament.
      Oh, our little makers of messes!

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