Thursday, October 29, 2009

Treasure Chest Thursday - Baxter Hair Wreath

With this post I'm jumping on the daily blogging theme bandwagon.

The first family treasure that immediately came to mind is what I've titled the "Baxter Hair Wreath." This wreath is not in my possession; nor have I seen it in person. However, it's still in the family after all these years - in the possession of second cousins from the maternal branch of my tree. I have no idea how the wreath was made nor how it has been preserved.

To my eyes the wreath is a bit unsettling (knowing that family DNA from almost a century-and-a-half ago still exists) as well as beautiful. It's a treasure to literally have pieces of our ancestors.

This wreath was made by the sisters of my great-great grandmother Emma Baxter Gulick (August 23, 1855 - June 26, 1943). The little bit of information that came along with it indicates that it was made by her sisters, Rebecca, Rachel Anna and Eliza Jane Baxter, in Van Wert, Ohio in 1873. The note states that the wreath was made from the hair of family members and family friends. My g2-grandmother had just married a couple years before in 1871, so I'm not certain that she participated or contributed, especially since she appears to have been living in Colorado by 1873.

Besides the sheer age of this wreath, a special bit of melancholy creeps in when you consider that my g2 grandaunt Eliza Jane died in April 1876 in Colorado. So in a small way this wreath is representative of Eliza Jane's legacy to her family's descendants.


  1. I simply must comment on your hair wreath. What a lovely thing to have! I understand completely about the somewhat creepy idea of having your ancestor's DNA hanging about -- my family didn't create a wreath of hair but they did put together a hair book! I did a series about my hair book and linked it to the sidebar of my blog -- you might think about doing the same. It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot about the people whose hair was represented.

    So I hope in the future you will enlighten us about your surname being different than your father's surname but some of your daughters carry the two different surnames as well? The genealogist in me is curious. :D

    Love your blog!

  2. Re: Surname

    laughing... yes, that's a story for another blog post! The story itself is no big deal - but the echoes I've found in some of my ancestors really begin to suggest a family theme...

    But as I said... another day, another post! :)