Friday, January 7, 2011

Photograph of Dora "Jane" Kelly Knight Lee Haynes Midder

This is a photo of my Grandma Jane, who apparently nurtured Pete shortly prior to the Silly Putty days. Grandma was a domestic servant and laundress and also worked briefly at the Block Shop. She mainly worked for Professor Rollin Osterweiss and/or his family. She was originally from Lewisburg, West Virginia, and she was the daughter of a Black/"mulatto"* female, Mary Alice Kelly Knight and a white male, Harry Suthcliff Cooper, who owned the Lewisburg hotel in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. She moved to New Haven around 1924. She was the mother of my dad, William "Bill" Henry Haynes, and also Alice (who both worked at the Block Shop). She was also the mother of Mary, Edna, Ethel, and Albert (who died as an infant). Even though Grandma Jane was a domestic servant, I wouldn't characterize our family as a "poor" family. Thus, I wouldn't describe my dad's ascent as a "rags to riches" story. Blacks were largely confined to certain occupations in my grandmother's day. She had a sister in law who was a podiatrist, though, one was the principal of an elementary school in WV, one was married to a physician, and others were teachers. But many of my father's aunts and uncles worked for families either in Ohio, WV, or Connecticut. For instance, my father's first cousin, Mary E. Brinkley, worked for the Woodbridge Country Club for many years.
*Because I am also a genealogist of sorts, I tend to characterize folks the way they were listed in the various censuses though I really don't like the word "mulatto". Nevertheless, it describes the person's condition (i.e. that, at least from what I have learned of my family, they were most likely born of a Black or "mulatto" woman and an unidentified white male).