Meet Lilly: The Woman Who Started it All

I’d like to introduce you to my great-grandmother. Meet Lilly May Lovejoy (nee Young). She is pictured here with my grandmother Betty May Lovejoy.

Black and White photo of a baby wearing a bonnet sitting on the lap of a woman with dark hair cut in a short bob. Both are smiling.

I’ve written about her before in my 12 Months, 12 Ancestors series, and I have never forgotten her. Now that nearly all of those in my grandmother’s generation have passed on, the last thing I expected was to see what Lilly looked like. But here we are.

This wonderful photo was shared with me by my 1st cousin, 1x removed named Ken. Ken is my mother’s first cousin – the first born of that generation and his father was the first born child of Lilly and her husband Victor Lovejoy. I love my cousins on my mothers side. They are so funny and kind. We all cheer each other on and support each other through life’s ups and downs. On a whim I asked Ken if by any chance had any photos of Lilly, I was shocked that within a few days he found this gem!

Lilly May Young was a bit controversial in her lifetime.

  • She lied on her marriage certificate to Victor Lovejoy in order to appear younger than she was. (In actuality she was 21 and her husband was only 16!)
  • She was pregnant at the wedding – her oldest son was born 5 months after the wedding.
  • She had 3 children in short succession (less than 4 years.)
  • Lilly died unexpectedly of a brain hemorrhage when my grandmother was a baby – she was only 26 years old.

Thanks to AncestryDNA, I know for a fact that I am a descendent of Lilly’s. There’s no question with the number of “Young” cousins I have. Even cousin Ken has tested and he’s been my closest relative next to my dad and brother for years.

I couldn’t resist making a comparison between Lilly and my mom. They look so much alike to me it’s uncanny.

A side by side comparison of a woman in 1970s clothing and a black and white photo of a woman from 1926.

Marlene (Hyde) Hill and her grandmother Lilly May (Young) Lovejoy.

I feel such a strong connection to Lilly and it’s even stronger now that I’ve seen her smile. I can only imagine that she would’ve been a lot of fun to be around. I’m drawn by the warmth of her eyes.

I am so proud to put another face to a name on my family tree. Thank you Ken!

A series of 5 black and white photos for 5 generations of women.

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