When I’m 74
My running mates in high school all have birthdays in February and March. The first one of us just had her 74th birthday. She is a grandmother and great-grandmother. All of us will turn 74 this year and I would guess that by now we are the oldest generation living in our families. Hard to believe.
When my classmates all turned 70, Lynda nee Goodnow, held a summer party at her lake home. We all brought birthday cakes and other eats to celebrate that landmark age. I could not be there but I attended in spirit. How did it get to be four years later already? How is it that we are now the matriarchs and patriarchs of our families?
The funny thing is, some of my good friends from home are not all that savvy on the internet. As much as I prod them to get on Facebook so that I can “talk” to them every day, guess what? I end up talking to their kids instead, who are all on Facebook. When I want to send a message to one of their mothers or fathers I pass it on to them via their children on Facebook.
As I approach my own 74th birthday on Thursday, March 5, I think about where I came from. Who were the generations before me? I am not the genealogist in the family. I leave all that to my niece, Brenda Sylvester Peabody. She has done a great job compiling our history (on both sides).
As it is March and the month of the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, I thought I’d look at the Irish people in our line. It’s said that on St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish. Well my family actually is, which was a big surprise to me. Most of my father’s family came from England in the 1600s (we have ties to the Mayflower); and my mother’s family came from Germany in the 1700s. We have one descendant, Jonas Loker, who died at Bunker Hill. His name is on the memorial there.
The names that Brenda found sound like familiar local names to me. I recognize Calderwood, Keller or Kellock, and Robinson. We actually had a Calderwood in our church growing up. We could possibly be related.
Here is some of the Irish-related information Brenda included in her 84-page report which she sent to me.
John Calderwood, born in Londonderry, Ireland in 1725, died on Vinalhaven, in 1808.
James Calderwood, born in Londonderry, in 1700, died in Rockingham, New Hampshire, 1749
Thomas McCurdy, born in Ulster, Ireland, in 1706, died in Dedham, Massachusetts, 1758
Jeanette Kilpatrick, born in Ulster, in 1708, died in St. George, Maine, 1750
Finley (Killough) Kelloch, born in Antrim, Ireland, in 1711, died in Thomaston, Maine, 1795
Robert Kelloch, born in Antrim, in 1681, died in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, in 1737
Moses Robinson, born in Cork County, Ireland, in 1728, died in Cushing, Maine, in 1764
Mary Fitzgerald, born in Scotland or Dublin, Ireland, in 1708, died in Warren, Maine, in 1764
Daniel Fitzgerald, born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1682, died in Cushing, Maine, in 1762
Notice, of the nine people mentioned here, only three lived to their 80s. Four died in their 30s-40s; and two lived to their 50s. We forget that life then could be harsh. There was no cure for diseases that existed at that time like smallpox. Many women also died at a young age in childbirth. Some men married several times for this reason.
So these people, who for the most part lived in the Knox County area, where my ancestors have lived for a long time, are remembered in my mind this St. Patrick’s Day. Here’s to my Irish relatives; my English relatives; my French relatives; my German relatives. You are not forgotten.
Wish me a happy birthday, everyone.