Thursday, November 18, 2010

Those who have gone before...

 Also while in California, my mother and I made a stop in San Bernardino to visit her grandparents' graves.  They are buried at the beautiful Mountain View Cemetery.

My maternal great-grandparents were Luther Boardman Ranney, born March 11, 1870 in Chapin, Saginaw County, Michigan, and Bessie Alice Carter Ranney, born February 9, 1883 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Luther came from a long line of Ranneys that stretch back to 17th century Scotland in my research thus far.  The first Ranney (Thomas Rany) of our family in America settled in Middletown Connecticut about 1657-58. 

Four generations and about 150 years later, the Ranney family made their way to the Ohio Western Reserve.  They were in the sawmill business in Ohio, until Luther's grandfather, also named Luther Boardman, moved the family to Clinton County, Michigan (north of Lansing).

My great-grandfather, Luther, and Bessie had three children:  Kenneth, Alice, and Ethel (my grandmother).  Alice was sick as a child and had TB.  So about 1921, the family moved to California to take advantage of the dry climate for Alice's health.  They chose California and the San Bernardino County area because Luther had a maternal uncle, Jonathan Hesser, and his family who lived in that area.  That way they would have family nearby and wouldn't feel so alone in a new place.

My mother was just a baby when Luther passed away so she has no memories of him.  However, her grandmother, Bessie, was a very important person in her life.  She was literally her foundation.  Mom was very close to her.  When Bessie passed away in 1960, my grandmother, Ethel, and her husband, Charles Tapley, who was originally from Georgia, moved back east.  Mom followed when she graduated from junior college in 1962.  Mom would not return to California until our visit in 2010.

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