A family photo took on extra meaning when the participants captured on film represented a grandmother to 106 grandchildren, 222 great-grandchildren, and 234 great-great-grandchildren.
If you need to sit down and do the math, you’re not alone.
MaeDell Hawkins is the 98-year-old matriarch to conceivably one of America’s largest families who was photographed with the first of her great-great-great-grandchildren.
As Fox News stated, “it’s not something that happens every day – six living generations appearing in one photo.”
Check out that amazing piece of Kentucky history in the Facebook post below.
The great-great-great-grandmother got to meet the 7-week-old Zhavia Whitaker. Joining the duo in the picture were Hawkins’ daughter, Frances Snow; her granddaughter, Gracie Snow Howell; her great-granddaughter Jacqueline Ledford; and her great-great-granddaughter Jaisline Wilson.
One of the countless family members, Gracie Howell, took the iconic photograph after she was visiting her family in the Bluegrass State. She said that her grandmother’s life has been kid-focused from the start.
“Grandma was 16 years old when she married my grandpa, Bill,” Howell said. “He was 50 and a widower with 10 children; his first wife died while giving birth to conjoined twins at home (the babies did not survive either).”
For those doing a quick read, you might have missed one of the more astounding features of the 98-year-old’s early life. She was 16 and married a 50-year-old. No judgment here; it was a different time and different era.
But it is incredible nonetheless.
Howell continued: “Grandpa worked on the railroad and was gone all week. With so many mouths to feed, Grandma would rise early in the morning, stock the wood stove, go out and gather eggs, grab a couple of chickens (wring their necks and pluck the feathers), fry them up, make biscuits and gravy, and would have breakfast ready before the kids went to school.”
Howell painted an image of a typical Depression-era mother who wasted nothing and used everything in some way. It harkens back to a simpler time.
“Grandma grew most of their food and canned it. Having been taught by her mother, she knew all the medicinal uses of the flowers and trees around her. Because NOTHING went to waste, she made quilts out of the rags to keep them warm in the winter under the snow that would blow in through the cracks in the walls.”
Howell went on to say that she believed her grandmother’s dedication to family and unstoppable work ethic established the foundational value system for the rest of the women in her family. “She would often say, ‘Hard work is what keeps you going,’” Howell recalled.
Howell also share with Fox News Digital that, as Fox reported, “the family is not ashamed of their early marriages or their early starts at motherhood.”
In the case of MaeDell Hawkins, the granddaughter said, “a lot of women married real young then. Now we don’t. We have children later in our life, so families are not that big. Having six generations is very, very rare to start with.”
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Featured image: Gracie Howell, Facebook.
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