It seems a lot of my time on this blog recently has been taken up with the Plymell family and their relations. I'm not exactly sure why that's been happening since the major focus of my research (as well as the impetus for beginning this blog!) has been my Brownings.
However, I'm a firm believer in the idea that you go where these things lead you and lately they've been pointing me towards Plymells. So be it!
The headstone to the left is the stone marking the final resting place of Joseph Nichols and his wife Delinda Jane Plymell. They are my third great-grandparents. This stone is in the New Hebron Cemetery in Honey Creek Twn., Crawford County, Illinois.
Joseph's already been featured on this blog with a post; you can find it here. Delinda has been mentioned a couple of times before as well -- if the Man With The Fiddle from the post below is indeed George Edward Vane, then he would have been Delinda's nephew.
I have spoken a few places about Delinda's as-yet-unproven Indian heritage. According to descendants of her brother James Fuller Plymell, Fuller's children and family members claimed Indian descent from the Wyandot tribe although they refused to make it "official" by going through the government. I heard something slightly different in my family. In mine, it was that Delinda's mother Margaret was half Iroquois. (I have since learned that the Wyandot tribe is of Iroquoian extraction.)
I remember going over to my grandparent's house when I was young -- the house that Joseph Nichols built with his own hands, though I didn't realize it at the time -- and being fascinated by two large oval-framed pictures hanging on the walls. One was of an old man holding a little boy in a dressing gown. I was sufficiently awed at being told that little boy was my grandfather. It paled in comparison, though, to the other person in the other oval frame, Joseph's wife Delinda. My grandfather would say, "That's my great-grandmother Delinda. She was a Plymell. She was also Indian. Iroquois Indian. Can't you see it in her face, Patti?"
I would stare for a long time looking at her. Something about her bearing fascinated me and even slightly scared and intimidated me. With my peaches and cream complexion and red hair, I simply couldn't believe she was related to me. Her coloring was dark; I pictured ramrod straight black hair pulled back into that bun at the nape of her neck. Though she looked very tired she still held her head up so proudly. Her cheekbones were sky high, and her eyes! Deep set and intense. Her eyes, I imagined in my youthful feverish way, were those of a hidden warrior princess imprisioned in the trappings of a gingham dress.
Yes, grandpa, I can see it! I would always say. It was our ritual. And as I write this post, all I have to do is look up over my computer desk and hanging on my wall, still in its same oval frame, is Delinda's picture. Those intense eyes look down on me still. The picture I've posted above and to my right is a smaller version of the photo in the oval frame and without the artist's inkings added to it.
She does look Indian. Doesn't she? Or is it just my still-youthful, feverish imagination?
2 hours ago