Holy Tornado

To see the soul of your comrade listen carefully to his music.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Surprising Old Gentlemen

This old gentleman is my second great grandfather.
James Monroe Banks was born in 1792 near Lancaster, PA and died 1885 in Armstrong PA.
This picture was copied from a tintype made around 1870. The quality is poor but at least I can see what he looked like.
I've done some genealogical research on him and learned that he was married twice. His first wife died at the birth of their sixth child.

Later he married my second great grandmother, Barbara Kimmel who was 29 years younger than him. They had 14 children and she also died shortly after the last birth.
(No wonder after 14 births and no epiudrals!)

This left him with a total of twenty children. Of course the older ones took care of the younger and they all helped support the family.
James Monroe's last child was born when he was 75 years old. I thought that was awfully old to be bringing children into the world, then I read the following in a book called "Amazing Facts, copyright 1971.

"THE OLDEST NEW FATHER
The reverend James E. Smith of Carbondale, Illinois, was 101 on March 16, 1950.
Just sixteen months before his 101st birthday he became the father of twin girls, thereby baffling medical science. His wife was sixty four years younger than he, which incidentally is another kind of record. They were married in 1935. Smith's mother-in-law was almost young enough to be his granddaughter.
Besides the twins, the Smith's had four sons.
It is a rare occassion when a father is eighty-eight years older than his oldest son and nearly a hundred years older than his youngest daughter."

(this is the kind of stuff that drives genealogists up a wall!)

I didn't know this could even happen. Well actually I didn't know people that old could be that energetic. You know, with gout and arthritis and hitches-in-get-alongs.

Then I wondered why a young woman would want to marry such an ancient man.
I don't know the answers, but if this actually happened, I say the old guy deserves a standing ovation.
Well at least an ovation.
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