Friday, January 21, 2011

Sepia Saturday - Grant and Gertrude Meyers

My mother wanted to know why I never post photos of our family for Sepia Saturday.  So, I looked for some reasonably photogenic relatives, because, believe me, not all of them are.

Allow me to introduce my maternal great-grandparents, Grant and Gertrude.  Gertrude's parents, Anna Charlotte Sederburg and Charles A.O. Billington were both born in Sweden around 1843.  They married in Ilinois in 1864, which is where Gertrude was born in 1880. Here she is at the age of about 22.

Gertrude's parents came to the United States just ahead of the Swedish mass emigration that started in the late 1860s due to a series of crop failures. During the period of 1867-1869,  approximately 60,000 Swedes emigrated to other countries, most often the United States. The wave of Swedish emigration continued until World War I.

Gertrude's family settled in Rock Island, Illinois, which is probably where she met her future husband, Grant Meyers. Grant was born in Illinois in 1877, to parents William and Martha, who were both originally from Pennsylvania. He was one of nine children, twelve if you count the three who died. The name was originally Meyer, but became Meyers somewhere along the line.

Grant and Gertrude settled in Morrill, Kansas, where Grant's occupation was listed as farmer in the 1910 Census. Here's a portrait of Grant and Gertrude from about 1906.
Be sure to check out Sepia Saturday for more great old photographs and memories.

21 comments:

  1. I love the fact that Grant is smiling! And Gertrude, a very handsome woman, looks very at ease. They must have been a happy couple.

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  2. I can't help but think of Woody Harrelson when I look at Grant's smile.

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  3. Great photos and brought to life by your sharing of their history :)

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  4. I think they are a very handsome couple. I think you've probably got all our curiosity piqued about the less-than-photogenic ones though! (Am I right?)

    Kat

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  5. Beautiful couple! But I agree with Kat. Bring out the ugly ones. Make us feel better:)

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  6. These two are certainly photogenic! Beautiful photographs. I'm glad your mother persuaded you to share.

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  7. Thanks for the history lesson. I often hear of many other nations migrating to the US (English, Irish, Italian, Polish, etc.) but this is the first time I'd heard of a mass Swedish migration.

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  8. Oh your mother should be proud and happy! They are a lovely couple! The photos themself are in great shape too!..and the info as well! Thanks!

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  9. Very happy looking couple! Great photos. Oh the names changed often as I mentioned again today on my blog, all depending on who recorded what. I know that a lot of the Swedes settled in these far northern states too, MN has lines of them, might have reminded them of Sweden inthe winters! Nice informative post today

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  10. Your great-grandmother had lovely, kind, caring eyes. You definitely inherited those! And maybe a bit of that mischevious twinkle in great-granddad's eyes as well...! Karin

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  11. Grant and Gertrude make a very handsome couple. His eyes are very striking, and hers radiate kindness.

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  12. Lovely photo of the couple -- unusual to see those lovely slight smiles. Most people were very serious in photos at that time. Thanks for sharing.

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  13. Please thank your mom for persuading you to post family photos. They are lovely! It is good to see a smiling face in one of those old photos (which so often presented the serious side of people). And yes, I agree with Kat: let's see some of the not-so-photogenic ancestors!

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  14. Both portraits are memorable : they certainly knew how to take photographs in those days. Nice to meet your family after all this time. More please.

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  15. well, i don't know what is your concept of photogenic, but this is a very handsome couple.
    don't be too harsh!!
    :)~
    HUGZ

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  16. Hi,
    I'm trying to narrow this down. . .I don't have an identity here at Post Comments, but it was I who wrote an anonymous comment on your pictures of Grant and Gertrude when they first moved to CA, etc., I have both of those photos, but do not have these. . .and would LOVE to have copies. Due to the mention of your mother, I'm thinking that you must be the grand-daughter of Gaylas. I don't think that Grace had children, but I could be wrong. And I know Betty Sue. Of course, your mother might be one of Bill, Bud, or Lynn's daughters? You could find me on Facebook, "Linda Meyers Day" and I would love to be able to write to you. Please send a message.

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  17. And by the way, you give a wonderful account; and I'm thrilled to have found this site quite by accident last night. I believe, however, that they might have met here at Morrill, KS, because Gertrude's father, Charles Billington owned several plots of land north of Morrill (I have seen these on the plat map of 1904), and it was on one of these farms that Grant and Gertrude raised their eight children.

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  18. Your Grand Mother's brother, Richard is my father. Your Gramma and I are cousinsJuly 1, 2011 at 10:20 AM

    Gt. (Gtgt) Grandpa Billington was English. His ancestors came over on the Mayflower. He lived in Illinois and met GT, gtgt) grandma Carlotta there and married her and settled in Kansas in the house that later became Grant and Gertrude and family's home. Carlotta was 7 years old, when her folks came from Sweden.I believe we have traced Grampa Charles(Billington) birthplace as Illinois, also. We have researched the family records very thoroughly.

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  19. Hi,
    I would love to see anything that links the Billingtons to England and/or the Mayflower because I followed that Billington line on Ancestry.com and couldn't come up with any plausible connection.
    Yet the Census data all shows Charles Billington being born in Sweden. The Census would get this information first hand, so I can't imagine that it would be wrong year after year.

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