The Gift of Yearbook Pages. Treasure Chest Thursday.

When you write about your family, good things happen.  You find flaws in your logic.  You find those wonderful “ah-ha” moments.  And on occasion, you find a genealogy angel.   Or they find you.

Martha Spencer saw a post I made years ago on an Ancestry.com message board and responded.  I missed her original response (!) but she found me again and it turns out she went to high school with my father.  She sent me some of his yearbook pages as well as some newspaper clippings that pertained to my biggest brickwall, my g-g-g-grandfather Charlton Wallace.

This past week she sent me the relevant pages from my grandfather’s yearbook!  Gilbert McClung Gillespie graduated from Lexington High School in 1934.  My father attended Lexington High School until 1956 when he was a sophomore.

Gilbert McClung Gillespie from the 1934 Crystal, the yearbook of Lexington High School.  Senior Picture.

Gilbert McClung Gillespie from the 1934 Crystal, the yearbook of Lexington High School. Senior Picture.

His ambition is “To beat Thompson out of his job.” Thompson was Kenneth Thompson, whom according to Martha was a “cranky” math teacher who was still teaching when she and my father attended Lexington High.

Faculty at Lexington High School 1934, Lexington, Virginia

Faculty at Lexington High School 1934, Lexington, Virginia

One has to believe that there is more to the story than that, but I don’t think the yearbook reveals any more.  Also, I know that my grandfather was chosen as the Most Dependable.  At least he wasn’t in the No Brains, but… category!

Hall of Fame 1934 in the Lexington High School Crystal

Hall of Fame 1934 in the Lexington High School Crystal

My dad’s mentions in his yearbooks are not that different.  His nickname was also Gilly.  I knew he was called that in High School, never knew my grandfather was.  My dad, was selected as the male with the Prettiest Eyes.  My dad and his brother and two sisters all had the same beautiful blue eyes.   I’m glad to know he wasn’t chosen as Most Gullible.

Gil Gillespie in Lexington Crystal

Gil Gillespie in Lexington Crystal

And here are both Martha Spencer and my father who served on the Honor Court in 1954.  Both are in the back row.

Honor Court, Lexington High School 1954, Martha Spencer and Gil Gillespie, in the back row

Honor Court, Lexington High School 1954, Martha Spencer and Gil Gillespie, in the back row

These photos and the rest that were sent to me, mean so very much.  If you keep your family private and hidden away, you may miss out on some amazing stuff.

And to Martha, thank you from the bottom of my heart.  Every time I look at these I get a little misty. :-)

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12 thoughts on “The Gift of Yearbook Pages. Treasure Chest Thursday.

  1. Michelle Ganus Taggart February 28, 2013 at 9:24 am Reply

    That is so awesome that she took the time to send you all of those photos. What a treasure! It really shows the values in posting on the forums and how much we can help each other. Love it!

  2. Anne Gillespie Mitchell February 28, 2013 at 9:26 am Reply

    Michelle, I agree. And she wanted nothing in return. She is just a lovely person. I felt truly blessed to receive this particular act of genealogy kindness!

  3. jacqistevens February 28, 2013 at 3:49 pm Reply

    Anne, what an unexpected surprise–and what a treasure! Your grandfather looks so serious in his yearbook entry. Looks so business-like! Finding material like this really helps put family members in context–not only the details of their lives, but the culture surrounding them.

  4. Jana Last March 1, 2013 at 7:57 am Reply

    Cue the music…this is definitely worthy of a genealogy happy dance!

    I also want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today’s Fab Finds post at http://janasgenealogyandfamilyhistory.blogspot.com/2013/03/follow-fridayfab-finds-for-march-1-2013.html

  5. [...] The Gift of Yearbook Pages. Treasure Chest Thursday. (finding-forgotten-stories.com) [...]

  6. Carol Miller March 1, 2013 at 5:44 pm Reply

    I have had no luck in finding out my mother and grandmother’s beginnings. I tried with ancestry to no avail.I wonder if Ann could hellp.
    millersunshine@oneseniors.com.au
    If anyone has any clues as to how I find out I would be so grateful.
    I have my father’s history but not my mother.
    Her maiden name was Emma Rosita De Las Parras,or De La Parra, She was born in 1905 in Canton China. She married my father Walter Curtis of whom I have all the relevant information about his history but not of my mother.
    Can someone help?
    Carol Miller.

  7. Devon Lee March 2, 2013 at 4:38 am Reply

    What a great treasure. Makes me wish I had some yearbook pages from my ancestors.

  8. Margel Soderberg March 2, 2013 at 5:44 am Reply

    I love yearbooks! Through eBay I bid on and won a 1906 yearbook from Kansas State Agricultural College (later to be Kansas State) that included photos of my grandfather on the football team. What a fabulous memento I have now – even if it came at a rather high price. Now I am searching for a 1942 Providence High School (Chicago) yearbook to identify old photos I found. No luck yet, but my fingers are crossed.

    • Anne Gillespie Mitchell March 2, 2013 at 5:56 am Reply

      What a great find! And well worth the the cost I am quite sure. Good luck with finding the 1942 yearbook. Have you called the school library?

      • Margel Soderberg March 2, 2013 at 7:24 am

        Sadly, the school has since closed and then merged with another school. When I contacted the archives, they told me this was a “lost” period due to water damage. I sent them the information I had.

  9. Aurelia August 4, 2013 at 2:35 pm Reply

    Thought you would like to know that Martha Spencer died in mid July. She helped so many break through their brick walls.

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