Recently, Debi and I were traveling to yard sales in search of “finds” for “Spirit of the Past Antiques” www.spiritofthepastantiques.com (I’m supposed to do that now and then).
We ventured to Dunlap, Illinois in Peoria County to sale, the location I do not wish to reveal. I will say though that we were near Princeville and my family history includes many distant relatives named “Mart” buried in Princeville and likely many descendants alive near there today whom I’ve never met.
Jonathon Mart Shull and his wife Georgianna lived in Peoria County, Northwest of Princeville, in the 1870’s. Jonathon’s middle name was taken from his mother’s maiden name.
Now, it just so happened, that many objects at this sale were from the one time home of Georgianna (Not gonna say the last name). A very interesting woman who never married but had an eventful life and one which I’m grateful to have learned a bit about by visiting with the kind folks who had organized the sale.
If you haven’t guessed, I don’t want to give too many details…just the story. Something about the items of Georgianna’s struck me, gave me an odd feeling. I started wondering how many Georgianna’s could one county contain? Was there a connection?
But, what are the odds? So I put the thoughts away. Debi and I purchased some items…fortunately I haven’t sold them yet. We passed up a hide covered trunk which was for sale. (This trunk was worth far more than the folks were asking, but honestly I had filled the car to the brim…I need a truck!) So the very old trunk, 1840’s, 1850’s at the newest, was left behind.
It ate at me. The more I thought about it, the more I thought there must be a connection. Could she have been named after Great-Grandmother Georgianna? I couldn’t take it, I actually dreamed about it one night. So I drove back up and left a note at the site of the sale asking those folks to call me. Thankfully, they did.
We chatted about the trunk, I hadn’t determined for sure to go back to buy it. Our hours are wearing me down a bit and Debi is hurting badly from arthritis in her back…hurting badly, I don’t know how she is going to come out of this, she went to the ER, has to see the Doc, likely get an MRI. That’s another subject and I ask that everyone keep her in their prayers. So, anyway, buying the trunk wasn’t a priority.
But they called, and we chatted, and I mentioned some family names trying to learn Georgianna’s roots, I mentioned the name “Mart”, but nothing rang a bell with my new friend. That was Friday.
I thought about the trunk all weekend. Worried about Debi, I didn’t even mention the fact that we could still buy it to her, not until about 4:30 this afternoon (Sunday). She said, “Go get it!” So I did.
These people…who are among the kindest I’ve met since opening the store, not only took the time to allow me to buy the trunk, which meant meeting me away from their home where the trunk was stored..on a hot afternoon, but they included a book filled with pasted newspaper clippings from their Georgianna’s past!
And what clippings do you suppose were in the book? Among many, were two obits, one for a “Mart” and one for a “Camp”, both family names from the Shull side!!!!! NOW does it not seem there is a good chance there is a connection between Georgianna Shull and this “new” Georgianna I’m just beginning to know from her possessions and her own scrapbook!
Such a mystery, could the antique, hide covered trunk have been owened by a family member some 150 and more years ago? If only Debi weren’t down, I’d turn her ancestral research skills loose to find the truth. Soon, when she is well, I know she’ll get the answers about all this! But for now, I’m left wondering. So many possibles…so many clues, too many to be entirely coincidence!
Wow, that’s all I can say…my interest in history, ancestry, and antiques are peeked by all this!