Sour Grapes and Saddle Sores.

Hi: There is a couple of "glitches in this column - it involves family records, sorry bout that... G

George Hirst

A Bar Sinister Family Reunion

Since this column spends its space with people and the things they do and are, I decided that perhaps you ought to know a little about the writer of this column.

Dodie and I traveled to Hutchinson, Kansas for a reunion of the Hirst family on June 4th. Hirsts have lived in Reno County Kansas since the late 1800s. George and Elizabeth Hirst were married in Leeds England in 1894. They traveled to America shortly after that and lived in Darlington, Wisconsin. Five children were born to the union. The Hirsts decided to move so that there would be more space for their children. They moved to Reno County and homesteaded a quarter section of land. The four sons, George, Fred, Sam and Fred grew up on the farm there. Their daughter, Marianne, died while they were in Wisconsin. The farm that was the homestead was called The Wilderness Farm. Never could quite figure that out, however the farmstead was buried in trees as I remember.

The reunion we attended at Mount Hope, Kansas was well organized by Brett Tucker, Wichita,Ks, a son of my elder sister, Mary Ann, and my brother, Allen Hirst, Hutchinson, Ks. It was a continuation of an after harvest gathering that my grandfather, Fred began with a fourth of July celebration. I remember he always brought ice cream to the gathering. The children of that second generation always were represented at that after harvest gathering.

At the 2006 celebration which had evolved from those gatherings there were 51 persons present. Four of the five children of Fred and Lucy Hirst, Walter, Bert, Eva and Frederick had family there. Time brought the oldest member of the clan down to the fourth generation and that person was yours truly. There were a lot of grandchildren there which says the Hirst clan is alive and well.

I had a good time visiting with cousins and chldren of cousins.

Of the second generation, George, Fred and Will were farmers. Sam was a professional photographer. The third generation spread out into other means of livelihood. At the 2006 reunion, there was only one farmer present. the rest of us were in several other professions. I was the only clergyperson.

Oh - About the bar sinister? The Hirst English family crest has two left hands on it. The English entymology of the Latin word sinistera means left handed, on the left side. Family tradition has it that there were numerous left handed people in the family. I, for one, am left handed. There is an implication of that somehow George Hirst of those days was sort of on the "out of step" with the rest. I don't know about that ,but the family history from Darlington says that "Mr. Hirst" was very much involved in community life. I do know that my grandfather and especially my father were community involved persons. That all sounds a little familiar to me.

Created by KKris. Last Modification: Saturday 12 of April, 2014 11:32:33 EDT by steve.