Photo of Zula, Jewel and Esmond Hennesy as children

Zula, Jewel and Esmond Hennesy

Zula (1899-1925), Jewel (25 Oct 1901 – 9 Apr 1979) and Esmond (1 Jun 1903 – 24 Nov 1992) Hennesy as children in Washington Parish, LA.

There was no indication on the photo of studio, photographer or date. Zula, in particular, looks pretty cute in her lovely dress, except they’re each wearing the same tight-lipped, determined expression that says, “Don’t smile! Don’t smile! We’re being record for posterity! This is serious!” Well, as serious as it can be without shoes and socks. But the kids don’t look like they’re fighting to restrain giggles. They look fairly taciturn.

The fact that their sister Zoe, b. 1905, isn’t shown says something about the time. I would have already guessed that Esmond was 5 or 6, so let’s say the picture was from 1908 and he was 5, Jewel was 7 and Zula was 9. Zoe isn’t shown because their mother had died in 1906 and Zoe was taken by their mother’s parents, John Myles and Sarena Miller Myles, to live with them.

I’ve always thought Zula appears as if she had to grow up pretty quickly.

Just as her mother died young, so did Zula.

“Zula died when she was twenty-five years old, shortly after two major surgeries. She and my mother (Ethel) were the dearest of friends, and her husband was my mother’s uncle, my Grandmother Simmons’ youngest brother. Uncle Wilbur and his two children lived with my mother and father for some time after Zula’s death…Another connection of the two families which confused me greatly as a child and made me wonder if Mom and Dad were related to each other was the marriage of Daddy’s sister, Zula, to Mom’s Uncle Wilbur Knight, my grandmother’s youngest brother, and the relationship of their two children, Mildred and Leon, to my parents. Mom and dad were both uncle and aunt and first cousins to them by blood and marriage. And, after their mother died, Mom was almost an adopted mother to them for some time. Somehow, it gives me a feeling of satisfaction to know that Mom and Zula had such a deep love for each other as young women and it mades me proud of my parents for opening their home to family members when help was needed.”

MY PERSONAL PROFILE AND FAMILY OF ORIGIN, by Jean (Hennesy) Kearns, November 20, 1991.

Zula married Wilbur KNIGHT (b. 22 Oct. 1892, Franklinton Area, LA., died Jan 1970, Franklinton LA at about 78).

Wilbur KNIGHT was a son of Marian Isaac KNIGHT and Frances “Fannie” BRELAND. They had a daughter Annie, Wilbur’s sister, who married Lucius Theodore SIMMONS. A daughter of Lucius and Annie was Ethel SIMMONS who married Esmond Edward HENNESY, son of James Leon HENNESY and Lucy Virginia MYLES. Or, in other words, Zula was married to her brother, Esmond’s, wife’s uncle on her mother’s side.

Photo from Ethel Simmons Hennesy collection.

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