Sunday, June 13, 2010

V is for Voices From The Past, Papa's Violin

Bonjour from Campagne Maison

modern version of a German Cremona Violin

Voices From The Past, by Faye Witt Moreland, unravels a bit of family history on my father's side, beginning in time of over a century ago. It is written in the 18th-19th-20th century dialect of Itawamba County, MS where John Gillentine's Alabama exodus landed him in the Hopewell community in 1840.

At the age of 14 (1907), the authors father was gifted a maple violin, made in Cremona, Italy c: 1895-1900 from his father. Next to the Bible, the violin was his most sacred possession. His ancestors migrated to Germany from England in the 11th century. It was from his German ancestors that he inherited his love of music, especially the violin. Upon his death in 1948, the violin was stored away until 1970, when it was given to the author by her mother. She had it REstored to it's original likeness and displayed it in her office for 34 years. Unfortunately, a family member stole it and to my knowledge, it was never returned.

This book is a personal treasure to me. The author, Faye Witt Moreland and I are second cousins. I've never had the pleasure of meeting her, but, through her writings I've gotten to know more about my father's family and their way of life growing up in the back woods of Mississippi.

Faye is a retired newspaper photographer/report, a member of the National Federation of Press Women, author of "Green Fields and Fairer Lanes", a Contralto Soloist and landscape artist.

I am linking up with Jenny's Alphabe-Thursday. Please grab her button on my sidebar and head on over to class. We're all about the letter "V" today!

Thanks for stopping by the farmhouse for a visit today. We love having company!

Au revoir,

credit: "Voices From The Past" by Faye Witt Moreland


JDaniel4's Mom said...

I am so sorry it disappeared. It sounds like a really special part of your family history.

GardenofDaisies said...

How wonderful to have this written record of your family history! Sorry to hear about the violin being stolen.

Mary said...

I think it would be fascinating to have your family history documented that way~ sorry to hear the violin was stolen, especially by a family member.

Viki said...

This so neat and interesting. I wonder what ever happened to that violin. What a mystery. Its great though to learn some of your family history, wow.

Brenda said...

This is a lovely post. One of my best friends has her fathers violin hanging in her home. He passed away when she was young.

jeff campbell said...

Jacque, what a neat post and story...I imagine you were anticipating "V" week...I just love the family history thing...hope you are well...Happy Anniversary ! Peace

mbkatc230 said...

What a wonderful story. So sad that this family treasure was stolen. I love that your family history was written and preserved for everyone to read. Itawamba County is not far from my birthplace of Columbus. I recently made a "pilgrimage" of sorts and it was wonderful. Kathy

Doris Sturm said...

I love hearing old family stories because we all have one ... down the line there is always something interesting and unique in our family history - thanks for sharing this story :-)

Annesphamily said...

I love your post! What a beautiful family story. I posted on Spiritual Sunday about the Master's Hand and the story of the old violin. Then I went to a thrift store and for $4 found a print from the old Home Interior days called Touch of the Master's Hand and it has a beautiful short poem with it. I love it! In your story I am so sorry someone stole that violin. I enjoyed coming over here and your blog is very wonderful! Hugs Anne

Jo said...

how horrible that an heirloom was stolen ... but what a wonderful source of family history ... that is a real treasure!

Pondside said...

How fortunate you are to have a record of some of your family history. It's sad that the violin disappeared, but perhaps one day it will come back - or bring family members never know!

Jamie @ said...

Fascinating! I wonder what happened to it. Lucky you to have a wonderful author to chronicle your family history.

Anna said...

June 17th, 2010
Dear Jacque,
I love this post for several reasons:
1- I too love the violin! But am only an amateur fiddler.
2- I think it is important to record family history. I can understand that you are grateful to your second cousin for writing this.
3- I do love a mystery. But in this case, I sincerely hope that the violin will be recovered! Sometimes it happens. Hope this person reads your post and gets thinking about being honest!

Best wishes,

Anna's V-word

Nora Johnson said...

Super ‘V’ post – but so sorry to read about the theft.

Happy Alphabe-Thursday to you!


PS Mine this time is HERE. Hope you can join me!

Catherine said...

Very interesting story, so sorry about the loss of the violin!
Catherine :)

Anonymous said...

That's a very good post today. Violin or fiddle, I love the music they make. Does Charlie Daniels play a mean fiddle or violin?

laterg8r said...

sorry to hear about your violin :D

H said...

What a tragedy when you can't trust the members of your own family. I'm so sorry it was stolen, but what an interesting post. Thank you.

Sue said...

That's crazy that someone would just steal that right out of a home. Unreal.

Great family story, though. I love that type of history.


Amy said...

I'm so sorry about the violin...but how wonderful to have a book written about your ancestors. I love learning new things about my family history!

Amanda said...

How wonderful to have all that family history recorded! It's so sad that the violin was stolen, but family is like that sometimes.

Cheryl D. said...

What a beautiful post! I'm stopping by as part of the alpha-linking!

Susan said...

great V post, so sorry to hear the violin was stolen :(

Jenny said...

What a fascinating stop on our little journey through Alphabe-Thursday's Letter "V"!

The history is intriquing...the theft is disturbing.

I am driven to imagine someone taking it out and gloating over that polished surface and then returning it to some dark place. Obviously, they can't display the treasure they stole.

Thank you for linking this story.

I found it very, very fascinating.


Sarah said...

Jacque, what an amazing piece of family history. I'm sorry the violin was stolen.
This was a great post for the letter V.
Hope you are doing well. ~ Sarah

Sea Witch said...

I always think of the movie, "The Red Violin" when I hear that word. Love this post and our families history. Even the "violin thief" added adventure to your history. Sea Witch