Sunday, January 5, 2014

Honoring My Maternal Grandparents - Gillie & Lena Peters

Gillie Peters and Lena Belle Bracy were wedded on April 15, 1922 in Wharton County, Texas.  From this union four children were born, in which my mother was their only daughter. The family lived in the small community town of Wharton.  Grandmother was a soft-spoken country girl - a PK (preacher's kid). My grandmother was the eldest of six children; grandfather was the youngest of four.

While I am not sure how they met. I wish someone I knew that story.  I do know my grand aunt did not like my grandfather and told me she didn't, that, "he messed up the family color."  She would complain that he was too dark.  They came from a family stock of mulattoes (light bright).

I used to hear that my grandfather was seventeen years older than my grandmother, but sorry to debunk that myth, but that was not the truth at all!! He was only six years older instead of seventeen. But, that would not have been unheard of in those days.

I do know my grandfather, Gillie died in October of 1938, when my mother was only three years-old. Unfortunately, but most of what I heard about my grandfather has been all negative, that he was verbally abusive, that he would not allow my grandmother to go to her mother's funeral, that he put their firstborn, my uncle Robert outside in the cold, and afterwards he became ill and died.

My grandmother passed in 1977.

Fortunately for me, I get an idea for what my grandmother was like, from my older first cousins, who had the privilege to live next door to our grandmother.  Every now and then, I get to talk with them about grandmother.  She used to tell them about her father, about growing up, about her first-born child, and about allowing her youngest children to live with other relatives.

When I saw this photo (above) for the first time I was thrilled! Before this I had never seen how my grandfather looked.  I treasure this photo and have made several copies for relatives.  I imagine this photo is dated around the time they were married, in 1922, or perhaps later.

I have other photographs of grandmother, but this is the only one I have of my grandparents together.

Today, I honor them. Their legacy lives on through the lives of ten grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and four great great-grandchildren.