Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Special Family History Christmas Gift

On December 25, 2013, I received a very special Christmas gift. This wonderful gift was given to me by my daughter and son-in-law.

The Webster Family...There And Back Again

Inside this frame is a map showing the route one of my Webster ancestors took when he left the United States sometime in the early 1900s, and the route that branch of the Webster family took as they returned to the United States in 1952.

My regular readers may already know which of my Webster ancestors left the United States in the early 1900s and which Webster ancestors returned in 1952. But, for those who may be unfamiliar with this story, I'll give you a quick recap.

My great-grandfather, Watson Emory (Frederick) Webster, who I affectionately refer to as "The Traveling Dentist" in my blog, was born in Coolville, Athens, Ohio on February 14, 1864. He became a dentist and was awarded a Doctor of Dental Surgery Diploma on April 2, 1896. I have that amazing document and shared it in my blog. If you'd like to see it, click HERE. At some point during his life, Watson changed his name to Frederick. So, when you see the diploma, that's why the name "Fred E. Webster" is on his diploma.

Apparently, my great-grandfather, Frederick, liked to travel. And during those travels, he practiced dentistry. He even practiced dentistry from his Dental Boat at Natchez, Mississippi, and at Lake Charles, Louisiana. Later, Frederick traveled to Mexico and married a beautiful girl named Esther Matus Villatoro. She was my great-grandmother. They moved to Brazil, and that's where four of their five children were born. Their first child was born in Mexico. Esther and Frederick passed away in Brazil.

The Webster Family...There And Back Again

My grandfather, Debs Warren Webster, was one of their children who was born in Brazil. He later married a beautiful Portuguese woman named Sarah Vasques Madeira. They were the parents of my mom, who was also born in Brazil. Tragically, Sarah passed away suddenly when my mom was only four years old. My grandfather, Debs, remarried a lovely woman named Willis Quillin. They had a son together and then adopted another boy.

In 1950 and 1951, the family joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Then, in 1952, the family emigrated from Brazil to the United States. So, there we have it! This branch of the Webster family came back to the United States.

I've written several blog posts about my "Traveling Dentist" great-grandfather, Watson Emory (Frederick) Webster. There's a landing page called "The Traveling Dentist" at the top of my blog dedicated to him. If you'd like to check it out, click HERE.

I've also written about the immigration story of my grandfather, Debs Warren Webster, and his family. They arrived in the United States in the summer of 1952. The ship docked in New York, the family bought a car and some camping equipment, and they set off on a cross-country adventure. The family bought postcards and took pictures along their way toward California, which was their final destination. I also have a landing page dedicated to their story at the top of my blog. It's called "The Debs Webster Family Immigration Story." If you'd like to check it out, click HERE.

The Webster Family...There And Back Again

The photo below is a close-up of this map. My daughter hand-stitched the route onto the map. Isn't it awesome?! I love it!

The Webster Family...There And Back Again

This hand-stitched map is such a thoughtful gift. And it is truly a family history treasure. Thank you my dear, sweet daughter and son-in-law for this amazing Christmas gift.

Thanks for reading!


© 2012 - 2014 Copyright by Jana Last, All Rights Reserved

20 comments:

  1. What a treasure. You're blessed to have it.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Becky,

      I agree with you! I am so blessed to have been given this wonderful family history treasure.

      Delete
  2. Jana, what a thoughtful gift! You have such a talented daughter. Thanks for sharing that--it's the perfect accompaniment to your many stories about your Webster family.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jacqi,

      Thank you! Yes, my daughter is so talented. And thoughtful. And creative. I don't know how she came up with this clever idea to hand-stitch the Webster's immigration route on a map. I love it!

      Delete
  3. This is really beautiful! She did a wonderful job. I love it!!!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Cindy,

      Thank you! Yep, she did an awesome job. And, it's such a thoughtful gift. I love it too! =)

      Delete
  4. A VERY nice gift that will surely become a family heirloom!

    May I suggest you copy your explanatory blog post and paste it or otherwise include it behind the framed map to be sure the meaning is clear to your descendants a few generations hence? ;-) I was reviewing some very old family photos over the holidays and more than once said out loud how much I wished someone had labeled or explained the photo on the back.

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    Replies
    1. Hi John,

      I love your idea!!! Thank you! I will definitely do this.

      Delete
  5. I've followed the Websters and thought I knew what their route looked like. But I'm surprised to SEE it -- it's much more direct across the US than I thought. Wonderful gift -- and LOVE LOVE the title because it really captures the life of the Websters.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Wendy,

      I love the title of this thoughtful gift too! And I'm a visual learner, so it's fun to actually see the route my Webster ancestors took in addition to reading about it.

      Delete
    2. Jana and Wendy: Regrading the title of this awesome family heirloom, I think Jana's daughter might also be a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien. The full title of Tolkien's first Middle Earth book is actually "The Hobbit or There and Back Again." ;-)

      John

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    3. John,

      Oh yes, we are definite fans of J.R.R. Tolkien. And I love that our daughter used "There and Back Again" in the title of her special Christmas gift to me.

      Delete
  6. Replies
    1. Hi Collen,

      Thanks! Yes, it really is a wonderfully unique and thoughtful gift. I love it!

      Delete
  7. Replies
    1. Hi Andrea,

      Yes, it really is a wonderful gift. I love it!

      Delete
  8. Replies
    1. Hi True,

      Thank you! Yes, this is definitely a new family heirloom that my daughter created. =)

      Delete
  9. Jana, I love it! How nice to have a creative daughter who took the time to make such a special gift for you. I have a question, what was the map made out of, was it plastic or paper? Oh, and were you aware that she was paying attention to the route of this line? With my iPad, I can enlarge and see her beautiful stitches, I'm so in awe of her handiwork!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Barbara,

      Thank you! I asked my daughter and she said the map is paper. And, I do remember that my daughter had asked me questions regarding family history a while back. In response, I sent her the timeline for my great-grandfather, Watson, a.k.a. "The Traveling Dentist." Now I know why she wanted this information! This was so sweet of her to create this special map for me!

      Delete

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