Now we know where the 80s got it from

Oh the hair.
Let’s all take a minute to appreciate these hairdos.
There are no words to describe them really. These perfectly coiffed doos are really works of art.
I mean, they didn’t have hairspray back then people.

This photograph was probably taken around the turn of the century, when Edwardian and Gibson hairstyles were all the rage.

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Back row left to right: Beatrice, Neil, Ruby, Front left to right: Mina, Agnes (Mina and her children)

I found this gem while researching family names.

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The famous "Gibson Girl"

The famous “Gibson Girl”

See how you're related! Click to enlarge

See how you’re related! Click to enlarge

Mina and her children come from the “Mary E Lane” side of the family.
While researching I found out that she had more than awesome hair. Times were really different back then.

Mina grew up right in the middle of the Civil War. I can’t even imagine what it would be like.
I discovered that Mina’s father fought in the Civil War. It is unclear which side he fought for, although he was born in New York and raised his family in Michigan so it is likely that he would have fought for the North. Both of these states were some of the first to ban slavery. I would like to think he fought on the abolitionist side.

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Civil war soldier in the trenches. Photo courtesy of  Jean Damien

Civil war soldier in the trenches. Photo courtesy of Jean Damien

I also discovered that Mina’s parents divorced which intrigued me. Divorce wasn’t common in the 1870s like it is today. Hiram Lane (Mina’s Father remarried 15 years later).

In an article called Divorce: Dilemma for Early Americans, I learned possibly why there was divorce.
It says:

After the Civil War divorce cases escalated all over the country. Families separated for the duration of the war didn’t always want to reunite. Many men found it easier to disappear in the west rather than return to their families leaving the wife to file for desertion. Civil War pension files often reveal cases where two women are seeking a pension for the same spouse, neither wife aware of the other.

While society became more liberal, the stigma of divorce was still felt by those involved. Women especially tried to avoid the label divorce, often calling themselves widows despite the fact they still had a living spouse if separated, or ex-spouse if divorced. To admit to divorce was an admission of inferiority or rejection. Widowhood, on the other hand, could not be construed to have been the widow’s fault. Into the mid 1900s census records reveal widows for whom divorce actions can be found in the courts.

They never taught that in History class.
Just as women in WWI and WWII were strong, women in the Civil war were often unsung heroes. Not to mention it would take a lot of courage to be on your own raising children at a time when divorce was a serious stigma, and employment for women was not common. Mina’s mom, Jane Bailey – what a strong lady.

Mina Estelle Lane later in life

Mina Estelle Lane later in life

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“Poor little Willie”

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Clara Thomas Gault was a special kid. She really loved her little brother William Thomas Gault. In a written history it says,

His sister, Clara Thomas Gault, was not even born when her brother died, however she always refereed to him as her little brother, Poor Little Willie. She must have overheard conversations or been told about his death because she was so clear about what happened. After his death his mother kept one pair of his shoes, a pair of mittens, a scarf, and a small amount of change that he kept in a leather clasp change purse. Those items were very dear to his sister. (They are in the possession of Malcolm Phinney, Clara’s grandson.) She took lilacs from her mother’s bush up to the cemetery on Memorial Day every year just as her mother had always done. She told us it made her sad to think that he was all alone in that plot at Woodside Cemetery and wished he had been buried with his great grandparents, John and Hannah Cole Gammons or transferred to Centre Cemetery in Wareham where his parents were buried.  – Family History Record   ( William was five years old when he passed away). 

This little paragraph sums up the greatest love another can have for a sibling.