MaeDell Hawkins, 98, from Kings Mountain, Kentucky, held her great-great-great-granddaughter for the first time on February 18.
Family Photo Goes Viral
Gracie Snow Hewell shared a photo on social media that showed seven-week-old Zhavia Whitaker meeting her great-great-great-grandmother.
The photo reveals six generations of women from the family. In addition to the pair, the photo contains MaeDell Hawkins’ daughter, Frances Snow; her granddaughter, Gracie Snow Howell; her great-granddaughter, Jacqueline Ledford; and her great-great granddaughter Jasline Wilson.
The photo has since gone viral.
The family photo was taken by Sheryl Blessing, the granddaughter of MaeDell Hawkins (not pictured).
According to a Fox News report, Gracie Snow Hewell said the “all-female” trip wasn’t initially planned but happened due to the logistical challenges of coordinating and traveling with family members in different states.
The trip was an opportunity for MaeDell Hawkins to meet and hold her newest family member, and for the family to spend time together and catch up.
“We spent three hours with her that afternoon,” Howell said. “We had a really good visit.”
MaeDell Hawkins Worked Hard
According to reports, MaeDell Hawkins was born and raised in Kentucky. She married her first husband, Bill Taylor, in 1940. Gracie Snow Howell shared with WPDE that Hawkins was only 16 years old at the time of her marriage to Bill, who was a widower with ten children.
Bill’s first wife had passed away while giving birth to conjoined twins at home, and the babies did not survive either.
After marrying Bill Taylor, MaeDell Hawkins took on the responsibility of raising her ten stepchildren, and later gave birth to 13 children of her own. This would have been an especially challenging task without the modern amenities of indoor plumbing and other conveniences that we have today.
“Grandpa worked on the railroad and was gone all week,” said Howell. “With so many mouths to feed, grandma would rise early in the morning, stock the wood stove, go out and gather eggs, grab a couple of chickens (wring their necks and pluck the feathers), fry them up, make biscuits and gravy, and would have breakfast ready before the kids went to school.”
According to the family, MaeDell never expressed any discontent about the absence of modern conveniences. She was committed to doing whatever was necessary to ensure her family never went hungry and always felt loved.
Gracie Snow Howell reminisced that her great-great-great grandmother often remarked, “Hard work is what keeps you going.”
Gracie, MaeDell’s granddaughter, told People that her grandmother, who will be 99 in July, is still “smart as a tack” — and isn’t afraid to “tell you how to take care” of a child.
Howell said, “She hopes to meet her third sixth-generation grandchild this summer, as another child, a boy, is on the way. If everything goes well, the baby’s doing well, grandma’s doing well — we’re all going to meet back in June and get another picture.”
Not Quite the Guinness World Record
Guinness World Records reports that the current world record for the family with the most living generations ever was reached in 1989 and was awarded to a New York family who had seven living generations.
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