Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The Reynolds family

The family photo was the 13th photo in Mary Lavantia Curtis' antique album.  The photo of the child standing for her portrait was the 22nd photo in the album. The woman who is standing in the family photo was Mary's sister, Sarah Ellenor Curtis. Sarah married George Robert Reynolds on 22 February 1883 at Bird Island, Renville Co., Minnesota. Why Sarah ended up in Minnesota is a complete mystery. The Curtis family left Michigan sometime around 1883 or 1884, so it's possible that Sarah and George knew each other in Michigan.

Prior to the discovery of Mary's antique photo album, we only knew the name of Sarah's husband. The photographer's imprint on the child's photo was the information we needed to eventually find the marriage record for Sarah and George. The child's name is Leila Belle and she was the oldest of six children: 1) Leila Belle Reynolds, 1887-1981; 2) George Benjamin Reynolds, 1891-1973; 3) Card Lee Reynolds, 1895-1958; 4) Villa Philena Reynolds, 1897-1989; 5) Wiley Bradley Reynolds, 1898-1953; 6) Bennie Reynolds, 1899-unknown.

Villa ended up being the record-keeper in the family. After she passed away, her family records, photographs, old letters, diaries, etc. were given to her daughter Lois Scott. After I found Lois, we corresponded for several years. She let me borrow all her mother's family records and photographs so I could make copies. Lois passed away in 2006.

One of the records kept by Villa was a scrapbook of all the Curtis family reunions held during the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. Even my grandmother Ada Curtis Johansen was in several of the reunion pictures. The discovery of Curtis family reunions was new information. Villa also kept a list of all the deaths in the family, including names, dates and locations of death. The records kept by Villa helped document several generations of descendants from Benjamin Kingman Curtis. Two of the old letters gave solid clues about Benjamin's extended family and were already posted to this blog.

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