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.
I found this gem while researching family names.
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.
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.
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.