Sprung from the Loins of Byronic Heroes

Today I wend my way back from Washington to Halifax. So we moved off, as Homer said, sad in the vast offing, having our precious lives, but not our friends.

Before I leave, I've tried to do as much scanning of old photographs as I could, and I put this to you: some of my ancestors could be dashing heroes of historical romance.

Take my great-great-great-uncle Francis, for instance, a veteran of the Civil War:

I'm mean seriously: Byronic, right?  Those cheekbones....
Or there's my great-great-grandfather, Francis's older brother by three years (they were the babies and pranksters of the family - thirteenth and fifteenth of seventeen siblings). He may have had really alarming facial hair, but he's got the same stern, ferocious good looks as Francis, and I'm sure he looked just as swashbuckling in his Illinois Regulars uniform.  Also, check out his name, which I would have derided as improbably contrived in a spy thriller or romance novel, but which (it turns out) is a traditional family moniker.

I think he may be using some hair pins to fasten back those luxuriant locks.

Good looking boys they were in that family, and between them they had an unsurprising 17 children with names like Fern, Effa Eutoka, Zenas, and Enoch.  Actually, that's relatively restrained, given the determined fecundity of their own parents....

Monday, April 23, 2012
Washington, DC