|Inscription in bible by |
Catherine O'Grady Perrotin
to her grandson, Edward Bennett, 1893
The small bible pictured here was a gift from my great-great grandmother, Catherine O'Grady, to her three-year-old grandson, Edward Bennett, eldest child of Maria Dolores Perrotin and Timothy Bennett.
|Cover of bible given to Edward Bennett. The bible has|
been passed down to my cousin, Dorothy (Meek) Stephens,
daughter of Jane Bennett, Edward's sister and
the youngest child of
Maria Dolores and Timothy Bennett
Edward also was Francois and Catherine Perrotin's first grandchild. He was born in Orizaba, Veracruz, on October 21, 1891, just a few months after Francois' death. His birth must have been quite a comfort and source of joy to Catherine, who was grieving for her beloved husband.
The inscription reads,
Edward W. Bennett
by his Grandmother
Catherine with Love
Search the Scripture
which is able to
make you wise
Catherine would have sent this to Edward, now in Ruardean, Gloucestershire, England, with his parents, from her own home in Orizaba, Mexico. Two years later, she would leave Mexico forever to join Maria Dolores, Tim, and their family in Ruardean. Surely Edward and his brothers and sisters must have enjoyed the blessing of their sweet and loving grandmother Catherine. As she was now widowed, the children must have been blessings in return to her.
Graveyard at Saint John the Baptist Church (also known as Ruardean Church). The family graves are located just behind the church, along with quite a few graves of the Bennett family, many of whom lived in the area. The graves at center are those of Timothy and Maria Dolores (Perrotin) (rectangular grave at front) and Catherine (O'Grady) Perrotin and two of her grandchildren, Edward and Mary Clements Bennett (rear). Rose Marie Bruton, the widow of Catherine's great-grandson, Leonard Fisher, still lives in Ruardean Woodside and regularly brings flowers to the graves.
Edward Bennett died in Ruardean on June 3, 1899. He was only eight years old. Catherine is buried with him and with his younger sister, Mary Clements Bennett, who died at two-and-a-half years old in 1895.
|The marker on the left side of the grave reads,|
"Catherine Perrotin 1840 - 1901"
|The marker in the center (front) of the grave reads,|
"Edward Bennett 1891 - 1899"
The marker on the right of the grave reads,
"Mary Clements Bennett 1892 - 1895"
At the invitation of our English Bennett cousins, my husband and I travelled to Gloucestershire and the Forest of Dean in August of 2011. We visited Ruardean a couple of times with Jennie and Don Murray and Dorothy, Bob, Tim, and Peter Stephens, who graciously endured our endless questions and my non-stop photography. We also met new Bennett cousins: Eileen, Linda, Susanne, Pearl, Marlene, Rebecca, and Joanne, among others. It was such a wonderful feeling to know there were so many of this branch of our family, when at one time we thought there were none.
|Rear view of Saint John the Baptist Church, Ruardean, Gloucestershire|
It is one thing to see a picture of where your ancestors are buried. It is another thing altogether to actually be able to stand next to the graves and touch them, knowing these same ancestors worshipped at this church, they walked the grounds at one time, that their remains are there now, and that generations of descendants like Rose Bruton (Jennie's mother) and Jennie and Dorothy have tended them and visited them over the years. It overwhelms the senses.
I felt incredibly close to my great-great grandmother Catherine at that moment and still do. The love of this family truly endures. I feel so blessed - and grateful - to be a part of it.
Copyright © 2012 Linda Huesca Tully
Did you know, or are you a member of the Perrotin, O'Grady, or Bennett families? If so, share your memories and comments below.