Family Photos

Wilmer Atkinson Tillinghast, Sr.; Daniel R. Tillinghast; George Horace Tillinghast. 1952

Remember in my last blog post, when I wrote that I’d never seen a photo of my great-grandfather, Wilmer (aka “Bill”) Atkinson Tillinghast? I didn’t mention this then, but I’d also (to my knowledge) never seen a baby photo of my father, NOR had I seen more than one photo (and the one I saw was over a decade ago) of my paternal grandfather, George Horace Tillinghast. Well, ALL of that changed last Friday, thanks to my Uncle Steven! He was kind enough to scan several pictures of the family and share them on Facebook. He also (just as kindly) gave me permission to re-post the photos here.

So here they are! As you can see in the photo above, there are three generations of Tillinghasts: Wilmer, Daniel (my dad), and George. This picture was taken in Healdsburg, CA, around October of 1952, just three months after my father was born. Cute baby, wasn’t he?

(Sorry that some of these photos aren’t the most clear. I know that you can’t really make out Bill… but I can see enough to determine that — surprise, surprise — he looks nothing like Wilford Brimley!)


How about some more pictures?

My paternal (maternal) great grandfather, George Von Batenburg.

Here’s my grandmother’s father, George Von Batenburg. I’m not sure if I’m spelling his name correctly. I didn’t even know his name until last Friday! So far, Google and Ancestry dot com searches haven’t turned up anything on him (though it seems the surname might be German?) but you know, right now it’s exciting just to have his name — and this photo! (I can even see a little bit of my father in him… in the eyes, I think.)

Great Grandma Hazel and Grandma Tilly.

Speaking of my grandma, there she is, on the right; the woman next to her is her mother, Hazel! This picture would have been taken in the mid 1960′s. Right now, I don’t know Hazel’s maiden name, but I have a feeling I will find out more about her at some point (I hope so, anyway!). Especially because (way in the very back of my mind) I remembered that her name was Hazel — which means somebody either told me that, or I read it somewhere (this would’ve been looong before I started “officially” researching genealogy). As for my grandmother (born Clara Ann Cornwell) her second husband (Harold — my grandfather’s brother) nicknamed her “Susie.” I’m not sure where that name originated, but it stuck. From what I remember, the name “Susie” seemed to fit. (She is buried as Susie Tillinghast.) I didn’t get to spend MUCH time with my grandmother, who passed away in 2000; but I do have fond memories and am blessed for the time I did have with her!

Grandma and Grandpa Tilly

And here she is again! With my grandfather, George. I’m not sure when this photo was taken (sometime in the 1940′s?). But I love that they look so happy. They sure had their share of sadness later on — BUT photos like this show they definitely had their happy moments, as well. And, I must say… they made quite an attractive couple!

Great Grandmother Daisy and her grandson, my father (circa 1952).

You can’t see my great grandmother (Daisy Mae Richards Tillinghast) very well at ALL in this photo… but, awww, look at the baby (I know him better as my father!).

And speaking of babies…

My aunt, Sharon Tillinghast Kendall, with her son (Kenny).

The baby in this photo is my cousin, Kenny. I’ve known of him for most of my life; though I’ve never met him. But how’s this — for a large chunk of my life, I actually believed that he was a professional (albeit “chump”) wrestler in the WCW, based on something my dad told me (probably facetiously). See, there was a wrestler billed as “Kenny Kendall” who (according to my dad) would have been “about the right age” to conceivably be one and the same with my cousin — that is, if the wrestler’s name was actually Kenny Kendall! (I later found out his real name was something like Barry Jones.) Oh, well. As for my cousin, I think I tracked him (the real one) down one time. (I haven’t contacted him, though; among other things, I’m not sure what I would say.)

Now, if you’re wondering who the lovely woman holding Kenny is in this photo — she’s my aunt, Sharon. She died in 1966 or 1967 at a very young age (22 or 23). I’m not sure of the circumstances that led to her death. According to records at Find a Grave, it happened in Idaho (I now know she lived there at the time; thanks, Dad!). Hopefully someday I can find out more about Sharon. I think she’s quite pretty in this photo!

My paternal grandfather, George Horace Tillinghast.

Here’s another great picture of my paternal grandfather, George Horace Tillinghast. He was in the service in I think the early 1940′s, so I assume this picture was taken then. (And this observation is sort of random and silly, but in the above photo — not so much the others — he sort of reminds me of comedian Ben Bailey.)

Finally…

My grandparents, Clara Ann Cornwell and George H. Tillinghast.

I saved the best for last; I think this is my favorite of the photos my uncle shared. Here there are, my grandparents, Clara (before she was Susie!) and George Tillinghast. He had a kind face. And she looks so young and in love here. I wonder if this was a wedding picture? I’m not sure (yet!).

***

Meanwhile, this week, I’m at my parents’ house in Gig Harbor; this happens to be the week of my annual cancer scans (for those who don’t already know, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006 at the ripe old age of 27. I’ve been doing quite well for quite awhile; this Thursday, I’ll learn whether or not that pattern continues. As for the actual scans, I had them done earlier today. Oral contrast = YUCK!)

I’m enjoying the time with my parents (if only I was here under better circumstances); however, I’m looking forward to this weekend. Among other reasons, my weekend plans include going over to my Uncle Steven and Aunt Darla’s… where I’ll get hopefully get copies of these photos (and more?) and learn some of the stories behind them. I’ll certainly keep you posted on what I find out!

But right now, it’s time to break for some coconut cake!

4 responses

  1. Sharon lived in Idaho with her husband Larry. Loved seeing those pictures. I miss my mom, dad and sister.

  2. Very interesting!

  3. Mary Tillinghast Leneis | Reply

    Does Uncle Steven have a flat-bed scanner? If not, would he be willing to put the photos in the mail to someone who does – either my dad (his cousin Bud) or my uncle (his cousin) Stan come to mind. A good-quality scan of the pictures would preserve them forever…
    Hope your own scans go well – have some cake for me too! ;-)

  4. One reason it’s difficult to find German records is because of WWII. It wasn’t the Nazis who destroyed them (they kept meticulous records), it was people scared to death of having anything even possibly Jewish found in their ancestry. I learned this from more than one German friend of my folks.

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