Saturday, December 27, 2014

My Mother, Born One Hundred Years Ago Today

One hundred years ago today my mother was born in New Brunswick, Canada. Her parents, David Jewett Crabtree and Edith Rae Giberson Crabtree, had legally changed the family name from Crabb to Crabtree just four years before. She was the seventh of their thirteen children, and they named her Elva Myrtle.

Elva on the left, with some of her siblings

Over the next few months, I hope to tell some more about her life, but here are just a few of the facts that I know for now. She grew up on farms in Beaconsfield, New Brunswick and Easton, Maine. She attended Normal School to become a teacher and began her teaching career in rural schools in Maine and eventually retired from an elementary school in California. Education was very important to Elva and she took classes for as long as I can remember, eventually ending up with many, many credits beyond her Bachelor's degree.

Glamor shot (from the 1930s?)

Elva, looking lovely. I think that this photo might have been taken while she was dating my father.

Our family in Marinwood, California. L to R: Clair Harris Zarges (me), Elva Myrtle Crabtree Harris (my mother), Jean Lee Harris (my sister), and Daniel Lawrence Harris (my father).

She married Daniel Lawrence Harris, my father, in 1940. I was born in Maine in 1944, then we all moved to California in early 1945. My little sister was born in San Francisco in 1949.

Daddy died in 1972 and Mother died in 1998. That's the very barest outline of her life; there's much more to tell, of course.


  1. Happy Birthday Mother!

    I remember that doll and especially her dress - the ribbons around the skirt were red.

  2. Really enjoyed reading this memorial for your mom, and the pictures are priceless. I think our parents and their lives become more fascinating as we look back and find ourselves now part of history. Interesting coincidence - - my mother was also the 7th kid (of 12 who survived).


When you leave a comment, be sure to subscribe to follow-ups so that you will be notified of any responses.