Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wedding Wednesday: The Gold Earring

Lawrence Everett Runyan to Mary Fern Newby
December 16, 1917 - Knightstown, Indiana

Lawrence and Fern Runyan - Wedding Day
My maternal grandparents

I love this picture of my grandparents because it's really the best picture I have of my grandmother when she was young. I also love it because of the pendant she is wearing. 

My mother told me that this pendant was once an earring and that the set of earrings had belonged to her mother's great grandmother, Martha (Brown) Cook. Martha died in 1841 when her children were very young so it is my guess that their father, Giles Cook, saved the earrings and eventually gave one earring to each of his daughters, Phoebe and Eliza Jane, likely as wedding gifts when they got married. He may have had them made into a new piece of jewelry himself. One of them is seen as a brooch in a photo of my great, great grandmother Phoebe Cook Trowbridge. 

Phoebe Cook Trowbridge
Phoebe passed the brooch down to her daughter, Ida May Trowbridge Newby and Ida May then passed it on to her daughter Mary Fern, my grandmother, and by this time the earring was removed from the brooch pin and added to a chain to become a pendant. It was given to my mother when she was a young woman and, as her only daughter, it was promised to me. 

Although I never saw my mother wear it I remember seeing this piece of jewelry often in her jewelry box and I remember handling it many times. Unfortunately, in the late 1970s or early 1980s, my parent's home was robbed and this was one of the items that was stolen! This was devastating to me! I still find myself looking for it anytime I am in a pawn shop or antique jewelry shop. 

 I am so thankful that I have a picture of my grandmother and her grandmother wearing the same piece of jewelry and that I have the story that went with it. 



  1. How sad that it was stolen. You are very blessed to have these pictures of it on 2 generations of women tho.

  2. Beautiful post, Lisa. You've described so well how one small treasure can link us through the generations. The pictures are a blessing.

  3. I love the pictures. I echo the ladies above, how wonderful you have the pictures. Maybe it might show up in some antique auction on ebay. Maybe put a larger view of the piece so others could recogninize it.
    Thanks for sharing.

  4. That is so sad but at least you have the pictures. I guess people who steal don't really care that they are taking things that have far more value to their owners than just their monetary worth.

  5. Lisa, Very nice documentation regarding the earring / necklace / brooch. But terribly sad that it was stolen. I'm hoping one day, it will show up somewhere.