Sunday, January 11, 2009

Four Generations

There's a few pictures like this floating around in my family. The women on my mom's side of the family tend to live FOREVER, so there was a great-grandma around to take these pictures with. This picture below was taken sometime between August 7-9, 1973.

Starting on the left is my mom, wearing a lovely lavender checked frock. Actually I do like it. Notice how tan she is - we all still lived in Miami at this point. In the middle, holding me, is my grandma, Ann Mix Domelle (mentioned in the previous post), and next to her is her mom, Cornelia Akins Mix Simpson. I knew her as "Grandma Simpson". She is the "Nelia" I mentioned in the previous post, the one with a million kids. She did divorce William Mix, my grandma's father and married a Leon Simpson.

I'm in the middle staring at the dog rather than the camera.

Grandma Simpson lived up in the Finger Lakes region of New York, that's where this picture was taken. We all think she was part gypsy because no one moved as much as she did. Now that I think about it, maybe she was running from the law. Or maybe she was in the witness protection program. Or a spy.

Probably the answer is that she lived through the Depression with a million kids and moved from place to place, depending on who would let her stay on their land (in a trailor), or who had a house for her to rent. Some of the kids would have already been out of the house (probably the eldest two brothers, my grandma was the youngest). She married Leon Simpson in 1935, so hopefully things improved for her after that.

Why did she get divorced from William Mix back at a time when divorce was so much more shocking? I'm not allowed to say, my grandmother would kill me. :-) Let's just say irreconcilable differences. But rest assured there was no murder or kidnapping or anything like that. Just people not getting along.

I have one sibling. I cannot even imagine having 9 siblings running around with an age range of 22 years. I guess you would get used to not being the center of attention? And you would be pretty good at wolfing down your food to get seconds before it was all gone, huh? And you could sleep through noise really good too I imagine.

Grandma Simpson's maiden name was "Akins". I've had a pretty tough time researching that name. It comes up as Akins, Akens, Aikens, and Aikins.

I know that Cornelia's grandparents were John and Deborah Akins, who in 1850 had a farm in Ithaca, New York. There were 7 kids running around (in 1850 at least). Beyond that, I have no clue, it's been a wall. According to the 1850 census, John was born in NY, but the census's older than 1850 only list the head of the household's name. Gee thanks stupid census people, I guess the only important person was the head of the household? How do you expect me to figure out where John was if he's only a checkmark under the "child aged 10-15" column? Stupid census people.

And don't even get me started on the government letting the 1890 census burn up in a fire. Oh, the humanity!!!!


  1. How interesting that three of your grandparents were youngest of 8 or more children. Grandma Kleylein was the oldest of only four. Hmmm. This was a top notch entry.

  2. I lied about Grandma - she was the youngest girl, there were two boys born after her. Well, it wasn't a lie so much as an accidental untruth...