Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My Family Came From Ireland

My ancestors came from Ireland.  There were three brothers, the story is that one brother returned to be with their father in Ireland. While the second one settled later in Florida.  My family was some of the first to settle in Kentucky in the early 1700's.

They bought thousands of acres and prospered very well.  They planted and made everything they needed.  They had acres and acres of planted field consisting of fruit trees, wheat fields, hay, corn, tobacco and cotton fields.  They had black smith shops,flour,wheat,and corn mills. They made liquor, cut lumber to build homes and barns. They baled cotton and refined the cotton to make material for clothes and quilts. The quilts were very important because of the cold winter months in Kentucky.  This was a tradition passed down to the family.  They helped to build the small town that I grew up in . The Court House still stands.  I have been told it's the oldest Court House this side of the Allegheny Mountains.
In the fall my great grandfather would build a barge, fill it with all their excess goods, fruit, vegetables,leather, corn, wheat, flour, hay bales and cotton bales. He would float it down  the river to the next town where he would sell all the goods on the barge, including the barge and walk back  to his home.

Years later on the family land my father was and born grew up along  with two brothers.  When the youngest boy was in his early teens he came down with polio and was told he would never walk again.  My father worked with him and encourage him to walk, eventually he did.  So in the years to come my uncle was able help his mother with the quilting. She would cut the quilt pieces and he would iron them. The iron was heated  on a wood stove. She quilted each piece by hand. When she passed away she left thirty one quilts behind. I was lucky enough to inherit a beautiful quilt made by my "grandmother" from this uncle.
I also grew up part of my life on that same land. The same traditions were passed on to me. The canning,  storing food for winter and being thrifty.  The main thing was learning to sew, sewing clothes and quilting. I have twenty one grand and great -grand children.  I have made a lot of baby quilts for them and quilts I've given away to friends.  They all love the quilts because they were made by me.
         It's important to take things you've learned like quilting and start early gathering your material and
        supplies so that you can share your family qualities with others and give precious gifts with love.

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