Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Fearless Female - Anna G Yarborough

 March 2 prompt - Post a photo of one of your female ancestors.  Who is in the photo?  When was it taken?  How did you select this photo?


This is a picture of my grandmother, Anna Beatrice Green Yarborough.  It is the only picture I've ever seen of her in her younger days.  I do so wish I could see her eyes under that hat!

Anna was "my" grandma.  I've written about her in several posts.  All my life I've been told that I look just like her, and I know that she has definitely passed on an abundance of her spirit to me.  We were so close, and though she passed when I was just a young teen, I miss her still, and think of her constantly.

 Anna Beatrice Green was born January 18, 1891 in Wake Co., NC, to parents John Wesley Green and Susan Dunstan, and her grandparents were Nathaniel Hawkins and Anna Green (her namesake).  In 1919, Anna married Calvin Yarborough, Jr., a widower with three children.  She went on to have three more children with Calvin - Susie, Calvin III, and Arthur (my father).  Sadly, my grandfather succumbed to tubuculosis, which had ravaged his family, just ten years after they married, leaving Anna to finish raising the six children alone.  Following what seems to be pattern of single women rearing children in my family, Anna never remarried.  Instead, she worked hard (and constantly) as a laundress, housekeeper, and nanny for several families in her little town of Louisburg.  "Miss Anna" (or Annie), as she was known around town, was under constant financial pressure to keep the home which her husband had built, but she did it, and it is still in the family now.  (I've discovered records of letters and legal papers which document this struggle; otherwise, I would have never known.)  Anna, determined not to let her misfortune define her family, worked hard to feed, clothe, and educate her children to the best of her ability.  This was her priority, and, according to her daughter, Susie (who will be 90 in April), they "were poor, but they didn't really know it."  Additionally, Anna was one of the founders of the Mount Hebron United Holiness Church in Louisburg.  I have very fond memories of attending this church with my grandma, but I never knew that she was one of the founders until very recently.  My grandma was so very humble.  She was proud, but never boastful.  She passed those traits down to my father, and subsequently, to me.

I chose this picture because, as I mentioned already, this it is the only picture I have ever seen of my grandma at a young age.  I don't know when the picture was taken, but my guess is that it was between the years of 1919-1929, because  I feel sure the picture was taken by her husband, Calvin. (She is not wearing a ring, but I don't know for sure if she even had one.  I will have to find out.)  What I do know is that in this photo, Anna is standing on the bridge over the Tar River in Louisburg.  This bridge used to serve as the proverbial "tracks", which divided the Black and White parts of town.  However, Louisburg's little "downtown" area is just beyond this bridge on the "White" side, so blacks had to cross it to do their business in town.  My grandmother, like so many others, walked across this bridge each day to get to the homes of her employers.  I like to try to imagine what took place on the day this photo was taken.  Had Anna and Calvin just gone on a date?  Had they, perhaps, just come from being married at the courthouse?  Was Anna just on her way home from work?  I pray that one day I might know the story and that eventually someone will bless me with more photo-evidence of my grandma in her younger days.



 This is my grandma, Anna B. Green Yarborough the way I knew, and remember her.  May she rest in peace.

7 comments:

Heather Rojo said...

I loved this post! It reminded me of my grandmother. I always remembered her as a wrinkled old lady, and I was so surprised when I recently found a photo of her as a young woman, and she looked just like my daughter! Aren't genes amazing things?

Renate said...

Yes, Heather, they really are! And, even though I can't see my grandma's eyes, I love looking at the way she sets her lips/mouth because mine are the same and I treasure knowing that I got that from her. :)

Thanks for your comment.

Renate

Mindy said...

I hope that one day you find a pic where you can see her eyes. Your writings are great and fun to read.

Lori said...

I agree Renate that you look like her. This is a beautiful remembrance of your grandmother and I love the photograph and even though it is hiding her lovely eyes, I love the hat!

Renate said...

Thanks for your comments, Mindy and Lori. I hope more pictures will surface, too. I'd love to know what she looked like!

Kristin said...

I don't know how I missed this photo the first time around, it's such a great one! I hope you find another one with her eyes showing.

Renate said...

Thanks, Kristin. I'll never say never, but as of now, no one seems to have one of her in her younger days, besides this one. Of course, I do have many, many pictures of her the way I knew her, but she was in her 60's and 70's then.
Thanks for commenting!

Renate