Thursday, April 01, 2010

Blast from the Past

And when I say "Blast for the Past," I mean loooooong past. Pictured is a pincushion made by my great-great-great-grandmother. It's an heirloom that I treasure.

Growing up, this pincushion hung on the wall behind my mom's sewing machine. It was always there, and had lots of pins in it. I loved taking it down and reading the back, where it says that it has been handed down to the oldest daughter for 6 generations.

Last week, my church had an event where they asked us to volunteer to bring treasured heirlooms for a display. They also wanted some history on the piece, so I did a tiny bit of research in the form of reading up on my ancestor from the book "The Trio's Pilgrimage."

The pincushion was hand-made by Maria Thomas Bywater. I learned that she joined the Mormon church with her family in Wales when she was eight years old. They traveled to Salt Lake, first by ship and then in a wagon train, walking almost the entire way from Keokuk, Iowa to Salt Lake, when she was 12 years old. I was simply amazed when I read about her. I can't even imagine what that journey of almost six months must have been like. I also read about her falling in love with her husband James and the difficulty she had in accepting a sister wife when he was asked to participate in polygamy. Her life was full of heartache, pain, and joy. I loved reading that she experienced great joy with her family and that she was a delight to be around for her entire life. She left a great legacy.

She made the pincushion after arriving in Utah. The pincushion was handed down to Maria's oldest daughter, who gave it to her oldest daughter, who gave it to her oldest daughter, who gave it to her oldest daughter, who gave it to her oldest daughter, who is me, the sixth oldest daughter in a direct line to own the pincushion.


Layla said...

I love it! I especially love that you learned more about your awesome grandmother and had a connection to her. I love stories like that!

LizzyP said...

What a great legacy to leave behind--something tangible to remind you of your heritage. Thanks for sharing that.