Tag Archives: silver

Tales of the silver napkin rings

As with silver spoons handed down in my family, napkin rings also have stories to tell.  Some are quite straight forward:

Lemuel from Mother

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Lemuel was Lena’s second born son – my father

 Lemuel Joseph Downs

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Others have a back-story:

Mama from Evelyn    09

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‘Mama’ refers to Lena, my grandmother, married to my grandfather George Wallingford Downs in in 1909.  Lena was 19; George at 35, a widower with an 8 year old daughter, Evelyn.  The hope for relationship expressed in the engraving was not to be.  Evelyn was soon sent to boarding school; Lena and George went on to have 3 sons.  The oldest, George Jr., had no children, my father only one daughter, and his younger brother, Bernard died in infancy.
Evelyn married and had four children.  Lena, to the end of her days, only claimed two sons and one granddaughter.  She was never ‘Mama’ to Evelyn.

Evelyn Elizabeth Downs

with her grandmother

Susan Eliza Houston Downs

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Susan Eliza Houston Downs

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my great grandmother, my father’s grandmother, his father’s mother – Lena’s mother-in-law

This napkin ring does not so much tell its own story, as gives confirmation of the one just told.  Indeed, I was named for the Susan of the napkin ring, so it seems to logically follow that it would come to me…..eventually.  Nineteen years would pass between Susan’s death and my birth.  I would think that it might have been passed first during that time to Evelyn from her grandmother.  Instead, it came to me directly from Lena……

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Do you have family treasures with stories to tell???  Perhaps you have not yet listened……………

 

 

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Filed under Family history

Family history etched in silver

Silver spoons are on my mind.  I’ve just taken down the kitchen Christmas tree (the longest a tree has ever remained!!!).

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Looking at all these spoons and thinking about the family stories they have to tell….

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……I can’t believe it is my turn already!!!  I am now the grandmother with the young granddaughter who will someday use the silver previously passed down to me.  How well I remember my grandmother, Lena, explaining the provenance of teaspoon, demitasse or souvenir spoon; names, initials, dates and places engraved on some, and the story behind others.  Her words are etched in my memory as surely as the engravings on the silver.

S.E.D.  –  Susan Eliza Downs,

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my great grandmother after whom I am named.

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Lena may have received this spoon to commemorate her eighteen birthday in 1908.

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The following year she was married to George Wallingford Downs.

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Quoting Lena from a note she left with this hammered sterling sugar spoon:

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My sugar spoon given to me as a wedding present – by Edith Goodwin.  1909  LMD

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Lena took her maiden name, Miller, as a middle name when she married.  Her mother,

Mary Elizabeth Judd Miller

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passed this set of teaspoons on to her only daughter, Lena.

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My father’s baby teeth marks in the bowl of one of the spoons.

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Mary Elizabeth Judd Miller also passed her mother’s serving spoon (one of six) on to Lena,

M.A.J. – Mary Ann Judd

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the other five given, one each, to Lena’s five brothers:

Benjamin, Thomas, Bernard, Wallace, and Frederick

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Lena Miller Downs

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and this is just the beginning…..

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Filed under Family history, Holidays

“One is silver……..

…..and the other gold”

– dinner with girlfriends –

appetizers and Prosecco/Limoncello spritzers on the terrace

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tapenade

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crostini

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dinner in the sunroom

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lemony quinoa

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grilled asparagus

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caprese salad

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chicken piccata

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peach tart

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The blessing of good friends – old and new!!!

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Filed under Exteriors, Food, Garden, Interiors