Before My Time is about the ancestry and extended family of my four grandparents: John Samuel Krentz (Indiana/North Dakota), Margreta Tjode Hedwig (Gertie) Buss (North Dakota), Rosmer Pettis Kerr (Pennsylvania/Michigan), and Evelyn Elvina Hauer (Michigan), and other topics in genealogy and family history.

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Treasure Chest Thursday: What child is this?

This tiny treasure belonged to my grandmother, Evelyn Kerr. The base of the plated icon is stamped GERMANY. The brass case is a half-inch wide and a quarter-inch thick. I don't believe I ever saw it while Evelyn was still living, as I don't remember any discussion about it. I can't tell you how she came by it or how old it is. Her grandparents immigrated from Germany, so she may have gotten it from one of them.

I doubt that she ever had as good a look at it as we're about to get via the miracle of digital technology:

I'm hoping one of my Catholic readers will be able to tell me this isn't the Virgin Mary with a really bad bowl haircut and the ugliest 48-year-old Jesus midget ever.


A reader has identified this figure as Saint Anthony holding the Christ child. Not only that, she's provided a link to an excellent explanation of the story and symbolism behind it, which my grandmother would certainly have known. My understanding of my grandmother and my pleasure in having this tiny treasure are greatly increased. Thank you so much, Kathi!


Claudia's thoughts said...

I am thinking it is St Joseph and baby Jesus.

T.K. said...

Hi Claudia, thanks for stopping by!

I agree that this looks more like a Joseph than a Mary. I don't think I've ever seen Joseph depicted without a beard though, and come to think of it, I don't think I've ever seen him depicted holding the baby Jesus either. If that's who this is... hmm, that's pretty interesting!

KMMofLA said...

T.K., I respectfully disagree. I think it is St. Anthony. He is most often depicted with the Infant Jesus. He appears to be wearing a monk's robes, and the haircut fits as well. Here is a link with the legend that I have always heard.

T.K. said...

Kathi, thank you so much for your comment, and for the link to the page which explains this little figure to a tee, I think. You're right, the figure does resemble the depiction of St. Anthony and Jesus on that page. I had also noticed, in this figure, the Bible that Jesus is resting upon, and that too is explained on the page you recommended. I greatly enjoyed reading the story behind it, and I'm sure my grandma would have known the story herself. Henceforth, the story and figure will be stored together. Thanks for enhancing the pleasure I feel in having this tiny treasure!

Blog Archive


Our Family in Books: A Bibliography

  • My Ancestors in Books (a library of resources and notes pertaining to Reverend Samuel Stone, Major General Robert Sedgwick, Elder John Crandall, and other early Americans in the forest where my family tree was grown)
  • The Zahnisers: A History of the Family in America by Kate M. Zahniser and Charles Reed Zahniser (Mercer, Pa. 1906)
  • History of St. James Lutheran Church [full title: A little of this and a little of that in the 141 year (1861-2002) History of St. James Lutheran Church, Reynolds Indiana] by Harold B. Dodge, published at Reynolds, Indiana, 2002; 170 pages.
  • Lisbon, North Dakota 1880-2005 Quasuicentennial, published at Lisbon, North Dakota in 2005; 391 pages.
  • The Paschen and Redd Families of Cass County, Indiana by Alfred Paschen, c. 2005 (Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, MD); 322 pages.
  • Sheldon Community History: Sheldon Centennial 1881-1981, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 1981; 376 pages.
  • Sheldon, North Dakota 1881-2006 - 125th Anniversary: The Queen of the Prairie, published at Sheldon, North Dakota in 2006; 498 pages.
  • A Standard History of White County, Indiana, written under the supervision of W.H. Hamelle, c. 1915 (The Lewis Publishing Company, Chicago and New York).
  • The Roots of Coventry, Connecticut by Betty Brook Messier and Janet Sutherland Aronson, c. 1987 (Coventry 275th Anniversary Committee, Coventry, CT); 206 pages.
  • "Elder John Crandall of Rhode Island and His Descendants" by John Cortland Crandall; New Woodstock, New York, 1949; 797 pages.
  • "The Descendants of Robert Burdick of Rhode Island." Nellie (Willard) Johnson, Pd.B.: H & L Creations, LLC.

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