Picture this: Granddaughter follows photo journey of elders

Madison Batten holds a photo of her great grandparents taken in front of Saint Marco’s Square in Venice, Italy many years ago near the identical spot where she is standing.

By Keith Barnes


Travel photos of her great-grandparents given to Kenly resident Madison Batten, 22, when she was about 8 years old by her grandfather, Fred Grady, were to eventually have a greater influence on her life than either she or her ancestors would have ever imagined.

Batten, daughter of Andy and Peggy Batten of Kenly, attended North Johnston High School and is a 2014 graduate of North Carolina School of Science and Math.

She attended Meredith College where she graduated in 2018 with a major in math and a minor in religion.

Batten recently began her first “adult job,” as she called it, with a research triangle banking firm.

Batten said when she was a child she recalls her grandfather, Fred Grady, telling her stories about the travels of his parents, and her great grandparents, long-time Kenly residents Paul and Lelia Grady.

Paul and Lelia Grady were married in 1909 and moved to Kenly in 1911.

Madison, born in 1996, never got to meet her  great-grandparents as Paul Grady died in 1970 and Lelia Grady passed away in 1983.

Madison Batten said during one of the visits with her grandfather he gave her a photo that had been taken of his parents on a trip to London.

Batten took the photo home, framed it and put it on her desk, where it remained for several years.

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