Amethyst Ring

Nancy's Engagement Ring
Nancy's Engagement Ring

 My mother has a purple amethyst ring that dates to 1877, the year my great-great-great grandmother lived on a small farm in settlements that became what we know as New York and Pennsylvania. Her name was Nancy Elizabeth McWilliams and my great-great-great grandfather procured the ring from a travelling salesman for their engagement. Nancy lived in a small town, one that could only accommodate a general store, a one room school, a church, and a farmhouse.  Nancy gave the ring to my great grandmother Helen who gave it to my mother when she was 21 (around the same age Nancy when she got engaged). My mother wears the ring on her right ring finger to this day. With the ring, my great grandmother Helen wrote a letter to my mother detailing most of what I know about now about Nancy. While I don't know exactly where Nancy's predecessors immigrated from, I know she grew up in a strict protestant household, one that considered dancing “a trick of the devil’s”. I also know that Helen described Nancy as having a “mischievous twinkle frequently in her eyes”, maybe the reason she married a man that spent his free time playing the violin (an instrument that my sister Erin has become quite good at) and participating in raucous and athletic barn dances. 
My mom isn’t yet sure what she will do with the ring, but I only assume either my or my sister’s eldest daughter will wear it when my mom is ready to pass it along. 

Place(s): New York, Pennsylvania, California

– Sarah Paxson

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more