Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: Annie Palmer, "The White Witch of Rose Hall" in Jamaica - or NOT

Breathless at the so-called tomb of Annie Mary Paterson Palmer

Although the tour guides at the Rose Hall Plantation near Montego Bay, Jamaica, say this is the grave of Annie Mary Paterson Palmer (born 1802), the so-called "White Witch of Rose Hall,"  that's not the case. No one knows who is truly buried here, or even if anyone is buried here at all.  It makes a nice ghost story though which brings lots of tourists to Rose Hall.  In my mind, though, the plantation was interesting enough without having to make up any stories and malign this poor woman.

Indeed, Geoffrey S. Yates, Assistant Archivist at the Jamaica Archives back in 1965, provided lots of evidence that Annie Palmer did not do the things she is accused of in the legends (murdering three husbands, taking slave lovers, one of whom ultimately murdered her, etc.).  Indeed, the only truth at all is that she was married (her only marriage) to the plantation's owner, John Rose Palmer, and that she lived on the plantation from their marriage in 1820 at least until his death in 1827.

Just goes to show - don't believe all the stories you hear about an ancestor - find some evidence to back them up.

© Amanda Pape - 2013 - click here to e-mail me.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Motivation Monday: Family Tree Wall--Finished!

This past long holiday weekend, I made a quick overnight trip trip to my parents' new home to finish the project I started on New Year's Eve:  a "family tree" wall with old family photographs of my parents and ancestors.  Here is the completed project:

The idea was that my parents are in the center, and on either side of them are photos of their parents, then, moving outward, their grandparents, great-grandparents (if photos were available), and so on.

It's hard to photograph though, being in a hallway, so above is a closeup of the section (the left-hand side) with my parents and my mom's side of the family, and below is the section (the right-hand side) with my dad's side of the family.

There was one photo I really wanted to hang up that just wouldn't fit in the limited space I had available for the family tree.  That went on a small hall wall that runs perpendicular to the family tree.  It's a photograph of my Pape great-grandparents and their seven children (including my grandfather) taken about 1910, as well as a rendition of the Pape family coat of arms painted by my German cousin Wolfgang Pape.  They are pictured below:

I've already posted nearly all of the images on these walls in this blog - but I see a couple I haven't done yet!  I may use these walls as a reminder for the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks Challenge - in which I'm already woefully behind.  I can count at least 47 ancestors (direct and collateral) in these photos!  I also find this wall motivating in terms of the number of ancestors of whom we are fortunate to have photographs.

© Amanda Pape - 2014 - click here to e-mail me.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: Grand Cayman Cemeteries

North Side Cemetery, Grand Cayman
Grand Cayman island has a number of beautiful cemeteries right on the beach.  These traditional sand cemeteries may seem like a waste of prime real estate, but at the time they were built, it made sense.  The sand was useless for agriculture or building, and much of the island is hard coral limestone rock, which was difficult to dig in.  I was impressed by the numerous lovely flowers on the graves (some are real!).

[Old Man Bay] Cemetery [Grand Cayman, 12 March 2012] / Lee Green / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
© Amanda Pape - 2014 - click here to e-mail me.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sentimental Sunday: Family Tree Wall: A Work in Progress

On New Year's Eve, while visiting my parents at their new home, I mostly completed my big project for that visit - creating a "family tree" wall with old family photographs of my parents and ancestors.  Here is how it looks so far:

The idea was that my parents are in the center, and on either side of them are photos of their parents, then, moving outward, their grandparents, and so on.

The blue tape marks spaces where additional photos are supposed to go.  We do have photographs of my Pape great-great-grandparents, my Guokas great-grandparents, and my great-great-great grandfather Jacob Shelton (who died about 1870).  I'm also going to add another photo of my mother (to balance out the collage of three of my dad), and a photo of her with her parents and siblings that will fit in that very obvious hole.

I spent a lot of time measuring and laying out the photos on the top of a twin bed (fortunately about the same size as the wall space I had to work with).  I think it turned out rather well!  It's hard to photograph though, being in a hallway.  Above is my dad's side of the family, and below are my parents and my mom's side of the family.

I couldn't fit one other old family photo in the design - that one went on a separate wall, and will be the subject of a future post.

© Amanda Pape - 2014 - click here to e-mail me.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

(Not-So-) Wordless Wednesday: Happy New Year!

I took these pictures of "snow people," made by staff members out of milk jugs, when I had to open and close my library on Saturday, December 14.  This was the last display in our large display case that separated the inner and outer lobbies.  Less than a week later, the display case was gone, demolished to make way for the next phase of a Learning Commons project that is re-making our main level.

When I go back to work tomorrow, after nearly two weeks off, it's going to be very different in our building, as this latest phase affects the entry area and access to the other two levels of the library.  I'm a little apprehensive about these short-term changes but also excited about long-term effects to come.  Rather appropriate for a new year!

Some things change, but some things stay the same.  I have lots more photos and stories to share in this blog.  In 2014, I plan to post at least once a week and hopefully more often - except when I'm without the internet!

[Going off the grid in a few days - comment moderation will be temporarily turned on for a while too.]

© Amanda Pape - 2014 - click here to e-mail me.