52 Ancestors Week 10 - Strong Woman

+14 votes

Week 10: Strong Woman
AJC - March is Women's History Month, so what better way to start than with the prompt of "Strong Woman." What female in your family tree has shown remarkable strength (either physical or emotional)? Tell her story.

asked in The Tree House by Robynne Lozier G2G6 Pilot (466k points)
Amy Crowe was one day late with the prompt. I assume she was at the Rootstech conference just like everyone else was...
I know she was.

It took me a while to focus on one person this week. In my mind, all of the pioneer women were candidates. I zoned in on the daughter of a notable historical figure. Or should I say "notorious". I chose [[Elizabeth Lake|Lake-264]] who was my 9th great grandmother. Her mother Alice Lake was convicted and hanged for being a witch. The life that Elizabeth was able to carve out for herself in the aftermath is very inspiring. She is my "Strong Woman" for this week's prompt.... http://www.libbyonthelabel.ca/2018/03/52-ancestors-week-10-strong-woman.html#more

I think I posted this in the wrong place. Sorry...long day!
My 2nd great gramma was very strong. At a very young age she moved further west WI MN CA OR. Her husband was a crook so she was able to divorce him then her 2nd husband Ed Williams had TB and died of it, and she still had young children who she had to farm out to family members and then 'do the rounds'  all the time.

25 Answers

+14 votes
I'll start off first again.

Catherine Wilson was born in Aberdeen, Scotland around 1830. She was my 2x great grandmother.


Her father was John Wilson and her mother was Jane MacGregor.

Mark Adamson was a Mariner. We don't know when he was born. We do know that his father was called William Adamson and he may have been from Blyth in Northumberland. Mark may also have been an apprentice down in Northumberland for a few years (1837 - 1844) before he went to sea. He married Catherine Wilson in Aberdeen in 1846. No marriage certificate to confirm details yet. They had 2 children - Jean Adamson was born Aberdeen in 1848 and William Adamson in 1850. Mark drowned sometime between 1852 and 1855. No death record has been found. This left Catherine as a widow before she was 24.

John Thompsons's parents were Joseph Thompson (bn 1802) and Mary Adam (or Adams). Mary's fathers name was David Adams. Joseph and Mary were married in Aberdeen on 2 May 1827. Their first son was William Thompson who was baptised in Aberdeen on 23 August 1830. Their second son, John Thompson, was baptised in Aberdeen on 26 Nov 1835.

John Thompson married the widow Catherine Adamson (nee Wilson) in Aberdeen on 25 May 1855. John was aged 25 and Catherine was aged 24. Catherine's 2 older children would have been around the ages of 7 and 5 years old. Their son Joseph Thompson was born in St Nicholas Parish, Aberdeen on 19 January 1856 - less than 9 months after the wedding.

The records seem to indicate that John Thompson was a Stone mason when he was living in Aberdeen. For whatever reason the family decided to emigrate to New Zealand, perhaps to seek a better life. They sailed on the SEVILLA which left Glasgow on 19 Aug 1869 and arrived in Port Chalmers, Otago on 2 Dec 1959

The ships passenger list, as reported in the Otago Witness newspaper of Dunedin included John Thompson, his wife, son and daughter. His son could have been either the child Joseph (now aged 3) or Catherine's older son William, now aged 9 and the daughter would have been Jean, now aged 11 years old. We do know that both boys did come to New Zealand so the list should have mentioned 2 sons at the very least.

There is speculation that John Thompson was unable to find work as a stone mason in Dunedin, so the family sailed to Hobart in Tasmania. There are no records for the journey to and from Hobart so it is unknown which ship they sailed on. What is known is that a second son John Thompson was born in Hobart, Tasmania on 7 May 1861.

According to Baby's John's burial record, (in Dunedin NZ) the family lived for 2 years in Hobart. John Senior was probably trying to find work as a stone mason. And being unable to find a permanent job as such, they eventually sailed back to Port Chalmers. Again there are no records to show what ship they sailed on.

From here the records get messy. John Senior seems to have obtained work as a Mariner and his death certificate shows he was drowned off a schooner (called the Undine) off the Kaikoura coast in August 1865 during a gale. The drowning was not reported until the following month when the ship reached Greymouth on the west coast. That news then had to take its time before getting back to Catherine in Dunedin.

There is also a record of a miner named John Thompson who was killed in a mining accident near Greymouth on the west coast in 1866. There are no personal details about this John Thompson. So we don't know for sure if John senior was working as a Mariner or as a Miner.

Catherine worked as a midwife for the next 18 years until her death in 1881. She never remarried. She lived a quiet life in Stafford street in Dunedin.

As for her children - Jean Adamson got married to John Hayes from Co Wexford in Ireland. They moved up to Cromwell in central Otago and had 16 or 17 children (not all yet on wikitree). Bill Adamson married a woman named Jemima, whom everyone called Aunt Mima, but they never had any children. Joseph Thompson died of Tuberculosis in 1885. He was never married. And the youngest child, the one born in Hobart, John Thompson grew up to become a Boot manufacturer. He had 9 children - of whom 3 died early. He was my great-grandfather.

So Catherine was widowed twice before the age of 36, as well as having to deal with life in a new country. This would make her a Strong woman.
answered by Robynne Lozier G2G6 Pilot (466k points)
Robynne, If your theory about Mark Adamson being from Blyth is correct then you may want to take a look at findmypast. They have a couple of Merchant Seaman tickets for a Mark Adamson of Blyth, born 27 April 1925.

Here is the marriage record for Mark and Catherine.

Thank you Lynda.
+14 votes

What does it take to be a strong woman? Determination and endurance under the most difficult circumstances. I have many among my ancestors and their sisters...there are those who spent most of their short lives pregnant and given birth to child after child that die within a few hours, weeks or months of birth. Being a mother, I can imagine how hard it must have been to lose not just one child but several. 

Then their are those women who defy what was socially acceptable, leaving their husbands when they were expected to be the poor suffering wife. I have already given the story or young Ellen Rufus Rufus-20 who married her husband at the young age of 17, and for whatever reason I can only imagine made the decision to leave her husband a few years later and travel alone half way around the world to make a new life for herself in Australia.

Similarly my 2xgreat grand-mother Jane Ann Micklewright-25 left her husband John Fenwick, who was supposedly abusive. In those days it was almost impossible for a woman to divorce her husband and it must have taken great strength of character to leave her husband and take her younger children with her to start a new life. She later  met another man and changed her surname to that of her new "husband".

answered by Michelle Wilkes G2G6 Pilot (106k points)
Ugh... I know what you mean.  I was researching a family and apparently they were hit hard by the flu.  Some poor, strong woman lost her husband and five children, all in one week!  I cried for hours.
I can't imagine these pioneer woman who stayed pregnant all the time.  I was just remarking to my fella this past week when I was working on early Bahamian families about these poor women who had one child after another.  Imagine how depleted their bodies must have been.  No wonder so many died young.
Don't forget that doctors went from patient to patient without washing their hands.  That must have help to spread disease.
+9 votes
I have two. One I've talked about several times - Charlotte Taylor (Taylor-13772) and the other is Mary Drysdale (Drysdale-76). The two women knew each other and apparently had something of a rivalry going on.

Charlotte arrived in New Brunswick (Miramichi area) about 1775 pregnant and without a husband with her. She subsequently had three more husbands that she outlived. There are many legends about her and most tell of a strong and strong willed woman who carved a good life for herself in a wilderness area.

Mary left her husband and took her children with her. With the help of her brother, she acquired land and established herself and her family. Five of her children married into the family of Charlotte's daughter Elizabeth. It would take a strong woman to leave her husband behind and start a new life with her children in a new place. This was in the late 1700s-early 1800s.
answered by Doug McCallum G2G6 Pilot (231k points)
+10 votes

There are several women who immediately come to mind.

I've already mentioned my mother Margaret Scranton-187. She was both physically and mentally strong. Her first child was stillborn at age 33. She said that it was probably because she kept working in the store, squatting with a case of canned goods on her knees to stock shelves. After being widowed at age 40, she held a number of different jobs to balance raising a 5 year old by herself.

I've also mentioned my grandmother Ottilia Toepelt-1. After her father died when she was age 4, she was raised by a foster family. At age 17 she married the youngest son of her foster father and his divorced first wife. They had two children before he died of typhoid when the girls were young. She then worked as a matron in the insane department at the county home, where she and the girls lived. In 1901 she was granted a salary of $30 a month, and she was to "furnish all help necessary to feed and care for the inmates at her own expense". She married my grandfather in 1914. In May of 1918 his young sons Noel and Dale went fishing in a local pond and were drowned in a spring flood. About 1920 or 1921 she traveled by train with all her belongings and daughters born in 1915, 1917, 1918, and 1920 to join her husband who had found a new home, leaving Iowa for New York.

It amazes me the travel to move a family and their belongings with young children. The area of Raymond, Racine County, Wisconsin was first settled in 1835; it was a 6 week journey to travel the 800 miles from Central New York, and there was no established government, school, church, etc. in the wilderness. So this makes me think of Louisa, wife of Zachariah Sands. When the family moved to Wisconsin in 1837 she had a daughter age 7, a son age 5 and a daughter age 2. She had a son in Wisconsin in 1837, so must have been pregnant for the journey. Her sister-in-law (first wife of Timothy Sands) made the same journey in 1836, with sons who were born in 1833 and 1836, prior to the journey.


answered by Kay Sands G2G6 Pilot (184k points)
+11 votes
In looking for an ancestress for this week, I discovered two things: I don't know a lot about the women in my line beyond those I (or my mom) knew personally. The other thing is that they all had to have been strong to survive the wars that took their men away from home, if not their lives, and to flourish as their families settled across North America.

Some have tales told of them - such as Catherine (Blanchan) du Bois whose singing of a Psalm is said to have saved her and her children from the stake after being taken by Indians - and others tell the tale by the facts of their lives, such as Louisa Eppinette, who married her fiance in the midst of war and had her first child in occupied Mississippi. Although that child did not survive long after the war's end, the 1900 census shows that she and her husband had 11 more children who did live to adulthood. Thanks to WikiTree, I now know the story of my ancestresses who were among the Filles du Roi and Filles à Marier who became the wives of French settlers in "Nouvelle-France" in the 1600s. What inspired them to do it, and how did they face the challenge? I can only hope it was a sense of adventure and courage, not despair, that set them on their course.

The women I've mentioned in this post so far have their stories down already. But in my watchlist I found the perfect candidate for some added attention.Hannah (Earhart) Gaultney of North Carolina is a relatively "new-to-me" ancestress & her profile is pretty bare. She married Benjamin about 1770 and the family moved to the Natchez District of Mississippi about 1780 - likely a land grant following the Revolution, but her profile doesn't say. So this week, I'll see what I can find to help tell her story. Should be fun!
answered by Liz Shifflett G2G6 Pilot (306k points)
Can't wait to read her profile Liz!!
Took me a while, but I finally did some work on Hannah's profile... to include finding her father, whose WikiTree profile had been orphaned. So Week 10's challenge broke through a brick wall! Woo-hoo!
+6 votes
The categories are all set up!

[[Category: 52 Ancestors - 2018 Week 10 'Strong Woman']]
[[Category: 52 Ancestors - 2018 Week 11 'Lucky']]
[[Category: 52 Ancestors - 2018 Week 12 'Misfortune']]
[[Category: 52 Ancestors - 2018 Week 13 'The Old Homestead']]
answered by Veronica Williams G2G6 Pilot (108k points)
Thanks Veronica!!
Lucky might be me.  My ex-husband used to address is jail letters to me as "Lucky" because he couldn't spell.

I know who was misfortunate already.

And I also know about the old homestead.
+9 votes

I recently came across Ann Ford https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Ford-10204 whilst researching the  Huskar Moorend Pit Colliery Disaster https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Space:Huskar_Moorend_Pit_Colliery_Disaster at Silkstone, Yorkshire, England. The disaster occurred on 4 July 1838 and 26 children, between the ages of 7 and 17 were drowned whilst working in the coal mine. Ann was born in 1809 and very little is known about her early life. In 1827 she married Thomas Newton https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Newton-8654. They had 13 children between 1828 and 1852. Three of them died in infancy. All the others appear to have reached adulthood, although further research is needed to confirm this. The exception was Ann’s second daughter Sarah. Sarah Newton https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Newton-8653 was 8 years old when she drowned in the Huskar Moorhead Pit Disaster.

In 1852. Ann’s husband Thomas passed away leaving Ann with a young family to support. Later that year she married Charles Horfield https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Horsfield-84, a widower, with at least five children.  In 1854 they had had a son, James Hosfield https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Horsfield-114, but 1855 Charles passed away leaving Ann alone to bring up her family alone

Ann did not marry again. In 1861 when the census was taken she is supporting her family by working as Coal Loader at the local coal mine. Ten years later when the 1871 census was taken she had improved her circumstances as was working as a green grocer.  She passed away in 1890, age 81. Ann lived through difficult times, suffered family tragedies, and worked hard to improve her life and that of her family. She was a strong woman.

answered by Joan Whitaker G2G6 Mach 5 (50.4k points)
edited by Joan Whitaker
Nice story, Joan. Thanks.
+9 votes
I was going to tell you guys about Mary [Unknown] who married John Betts, but found she is not yet on WikiTree.  She was actually quite awesome, as well as strong.  John died on the voyage from England to New England before 1640.  Mary arrived in Connecticut with 5 little children and no husband.  She did eventually remarry, but first she convinced the townsfolks to grant her proprietorship.  She was one of the original proprietors of Wethersfield, Connecticut.  This means that she was granted her own land, in her own right, at the time as all the men who were original founders there.  I don't know of another woman of the time who was granted land like this.

She also started the school in Wethersfield.  So this means she must have been an educated woman.  Can you imagine going to a new world, with no husband, no house no nothing?  Strong woman.

But forget her.  I was directed to my ancestor, also Mary Unknown ([[Unknown-412577|Mary Betts]].  She was the wife of Thomas Betts of Guilford and Norwalk.  He was kin of the above John Betts, but it is not known if they were brothers or cousins.  I tend to think cousins because there does not seem to have been any contact between him and John's widow.

Anyway, MY Mary Betts (LNAB unknown) was a strong woman.  She also came here, probably before 1640, when there was nothing, and, get this, she lived to be about 104 years old!  There is no record of her age, but her first son was born in 1644 and she was still wheeling and dealing in land deals as "Mary Betts and Company" until 1726.  You do the math.  Her husband died in 1688.
answered by Lucy Selvaggio-Diaz G2G6 Pilot (257k points)
+7 votes
Lots of strong women in my family

The obvious choice would be my paternal grandmother, Meena (born 1886).  https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Meacham-526

Married three times, she never let anything or anyone get in the way of what she wanted, including being part of the Bohemian set in pre WWI London. She lived in Italy with her young son after her first marriage fell apart, studied under Sigmund Freud, and had her own psychoanalytical practice (in England, Canada, and the US) into her 80s.

But instead I am going to focus on my less illustrious great grandmother Elizabeth Mann Pilcher (born 1862 in Kent)  https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Mann-1781

Her husband was a private coachman for Lady Sturt, who had several houses spread across England, so he was often gone for weeks a a time.  They had 13 children (of whom 10 survived to adulthood), and she was also responsible for the horses left at home (with help from the older children).  On top of this, she became blind  from post-partum complications (before 1901), and then had at least 3 more children.  She ran a busy household, and was renowned for her baking- in the time before thermostats on ovens, she could tell the oven temperature with her hand.  She lived to almost 90.
answered by Janet Gunn G2G6 Mach 5 (58.9k points)
+8 votes

Women have always had to be strong, particularly farm women, and women on the frontier. I come from long lines of strong women.

I chose among these, my great-great grandmother Esther Ann (Mosher) Eggleston (https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Mosher-1490).

Ester Eggleston Image 1

Esther Ann Mosher was born in 1945 in Morrow county, Ohio, to Stephen and Ruth (Smith) Mosher. They were Quakers, and had a "station" on the "underground railroad", helping escaped slaves to make it to Canada and safety. The family moved to Muscatine county, Iowa in 1853. As Quakers, the family did not send any sons to fight in the Civil War, but they contributed in other ways. They were staunch abolitionists. Esther was educated. She attended Iowa City College in 1867, earning a teaching certificate. She taught in Iowa before her marriage.

In Jan. 1872, just short of the age of 27, Esther married Wellington Kinne (W. K.) Eggleston, a widower from Boulder, Colorado with a 4-year-old son, who had come to Iowa, perhaps to find a wife. He had lived in Iowa in 1860, and may have had family there, still. Her brothers drove them after the wedding to the train, which they rode to Boulder, Colorado, in the dead of winter. W. K. had found a homestead along Oak Creek, near Cotopaxi, 35 miles west of Canon City, and intended to start a dairy. They traveled from the train line to Fremont county by way of Denver, via wagon pulled by a team of oxen.

They lived in their wagon while they built a small log cabin with a sod roof (which leaked when it rained--they were in the rain shadow of the Rockies, so that didn't happen too often). Esther did her share of the work, as they did not have a crew to help them. They felled the local aspen for the logs, but brought in boards by oxen from a sawmill for a wood floor, and door and window frames. Esther "held down the fort" while W. K. went off to buy some heifers. Here's an excerpt from her autobiography about the occasion, during which was her first encounter with the local Native Americans. In her own words (she wrote in the third person):

"All was now in readiness for the actual business of the enterprise, so one morning early, the good man started out in search of the dairy herd, to be secured in the up river provinces. The wife was busy in one of her apartments unpacking her trunk which she had not found time to disturb. Little August  was near her, and her occupancy of laying out familiar articles of clothing, all teeming with the home and life she had left behind so recently, kept her mind so absorbed that she took no note of time, until suddenly the room darkened, and she glanced up to see the narrow doorway occupied by a stalwart Indian.

"Frightened? yes, but a pioneer’s wife must know naught of cowardice. She advanced with as brave a front as possible to meet the guttural 'how, how' of the savage. His curious eyes peered around the room, taking note of everything. She was not at all reassured by seeing him accompanied by a gusty young brave. Some remnants of food on the table called out the demand 'swap.' Tremblingly, she gave over the slices of bread. 'Where man?' was the next query. What should she say? She was afraid to tell them he was gone for the day, not knowing what the next move might be. She feared to admit he might be near, lest it prolong their stay. She compromised with her own conscience by saying, 'He has gone to the bush after cows.'

"At last they departed with their guns, and as the day passed on, she began to breathe easier once more, on realizing that she and the little lad were not massacred. But at three in the afternoon she heard footsteps, and saw their return from mountain-ward, but this time her fear was not so keen, and at their renewed solicitations to swap, she was ready to barter, especially as they held out for her inspection, a delicious roast of mountain sheep, killed by them during their absence, with some lovely specimens of alpine moss.

"Again the bread excited their attention, but more, a pitcher of molasses excited their envy, 'But you cannot carry it,' she objected. They however were full of expedient and pointing to a tin cup suggested its transfer there to. 'But you won’t bring it back.' They vociferously denied the accusation. She filled it for them and they rewarded her confidence by returning the cup in a day or two. Her fears were again renewed by their continued query, 'where’s man?' She was infinitely relieved by the appearance of  'the man' at this juncture. She learned afterward, that they belonged to the not at all unfriendly Indians of the Ute tribe, who at this time were located in their reservation at Saguache and came over the Poncha Pass each spring on their way to Canon City to barter their winter’s supply of pelts in exchange for supplies. The older of the men was familiarly known by the old settlers as 'Old Spoke,' a minor chief of the tribe."

Other fears braved by Esther were those of snakes, bear and mountain lions. Whenever her husband had to go to town for seed, or stock, she had to manage the farm and all the chores alone, as her step-son was too young to be of much help.

They put in crops of potatoes, wheat and corn, and a kitchen garden. They raised pigs, as well as the dairy herd.

Esther became pregnant that first year, and her husband delivered that her first baby in the winter--there was no midwife nearby. It was a daughter.

The following year, they built a frame house, and moved out of the log cabin.

The fourth summer of their marriage, 1876, they were hit by a plague of locust that ate all the crops. The grasshoppers returned, 3 more years in a row. The only thing they didn't eat was squash, so at least they had that to eat. W. K. went to work in the mining camps, to make money to feed the growing family (they were up to four kids, including Charles ("August"), the step-son, and they had a 5th during these years). The cattle were driven up in the mountains, to fend for themselves during this time. There is record of Esther teaching at Oak Creek during this period, to help make ends meet.

Esther suffered the loss of at least 2 children in infancy.

W. K. went to Pennsylvania to attend dental school in 1880 and 1881. I believe that Ester and the kids stayed home on the ranch during this time.

After W. K. returned, they rented out the homestead, and drove the cattle over the hills to Bonanza, which had more rain and better grazing. Living in a tent the first year, they sold the milk and butter in the mining camps, while Wellington practiced as a dentist there.

They moved to a home on the Arkansas River near Salida, after 3 summers in Bonanza. W. K. opened a dental office in Salida, the kids went to school there, and Esther taught at the local school. They later moved to Orchard Mesa, then to Ouray, W. K practicing dentistry in both places.

(Her autobiography can be found here: http://waterfallranch.com/the-oak-dell-story/)

answered by Alison Gardner G2G6 Mach 2 (27.4k points)
edited by Alison Gardner
What a strong lady! Thank you for sharing!

I have some Moshers from NY who settled in Lenawee County Michigan. I don't have much on them. I wonder if the two famiies might be connected. I guess I need to do some work!

Have a great day!
Esther Ann Mosher's father was from New York. I will privately send you the contact for a cousin of mine who had access to a genealogy of the Moshers. We're very likely cousins of some sort.
Thank you Alison, I recieved the email, I will check into it!
+7 votes

It took me a while to focus on one person this week. In my mind, all of the pioneer women were candidates. I zoned in on the daughter of a notable historical figure. Or should I say "notorious". I chose [[Elizabeth Lake|Lake-264]] who was my 9th great grandmother. Her mother Alice Lake was convicted and hanged for being a witch. The life that Elizabeth was able to carve out for herself in the aftermath is very inspiring. She is my "Strong Woman" for this week's prompt.... http://www.libbyonthelabel.ca/2018/03/52-ancestors-week-10-strong-woman.html#more

answered by Libby Park G2G6 Mach 1 (13.6k points)
What a terrible story, Libby. Aren't we lucky that times have changed!
Yes we are. Hard to imagine how difficult life was in colonial times!
Many of these "so-called witches" were actually researching "modern medicinal practices"; as a pharmacists, Registered Nurses, and/or doctors. However, as already noted, women in that era were unfortunately supposed to be the home-makers, and child bearers.

My Mom [[Munger-725|Elinor (Elli) Munger Olmstead]], was a Registered Nurse for 52 years; which is the reason why I know a bit more information about this sad subject. I will try to write about her some time soon! She was an incredibly encouraging Christian lady; who had been raised by similar nurturing women and men! Thanks be to God! And, my 3 older sisters & I were very blessed to be raised by such strong Christian parents! But, our ancestors had been raised in the same way; and we only have our Lord Jesus to thank for our heritage!
+6 votes
Well, since I have been working on her recently, I must say [[https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Rigaud-1 |Judith Rigaud]]  

4 husbands, 10 children, in the fur trade in her own right with partner, several trips back and forth to France, with her first husband found dead while she was away in France on one of these trips and her last child by him born there, she had a remarkable life, still researching some of its aspects.  Definitely a strong woman.  Educated also.
answered by Danielle Liard G2G6 Pilot (169k points)
+4 votes

The "Strong Woman" that I chose for this prompt, is Barbara J. (Kaye) Ogilvie, https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Kaye-581.

Barbara was born in Woodstock, Onatrio and at the age of 3 she would loose her father to a boiler explosion at a Mill in Woodstock. Her mother delievered twins shortly after the death of her husband. Barbara and some of the children had to be parseled out to other homes so that they could be cared for, as Ellen didn't have the means to take care of the whole family. She was hard pressed to take care of the twins.  Barbara recounts her life in a story told as only she could and you can find her Story Peom located in full at http://www.jayrays.com/Wandering_Roots/2011/09/12/amanuensis-monda…ane-kaye-ogilvie/.

She lived a hard life as a youngster, very often away from her beloved family. For 12 yrs she lived with a woman who promised her to be put in her will if Barbara served her well, sadly the women never put it in writing and I think this upset Barbara. Here morther removed to Chicago and ran a boarding house. Three years after her mother went to Chicago , Barbara followed her and help her run the boarding house.

Barbara married a Minister and shouldered the  responsiblites of being a Pastors wife. She and David M. Ogilvie, https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Ogilvie-842, they had eight children together and they managed to bring them all up to adulthood on the small wages of a Pastor in the country. They moved many times and Barbara states that she lived in 17 homes in her life time.

In 1918 she had to say good bye to her oldest son Alexander Kaye Ogilive,https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Ogilvie-850,  as he died in France at the end of WWI in airplane accident. This is a grief that no Mother should have to bare.

Through all of this she raised a healthy loving family that can be attested to even today, as many of her grand children still communicate.

Here mother Ellen is also a very strong woman! https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Smith-135154, I will apologize, I have not yet worked on Ellen's biography.



answered by Julia Hogston G2G6 (7.6k points)
edited by Julia Hogston
+5 votes

My strong woman is my aunt husband mother: Her name is Beulah Mable (Archer) Sapp https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Archer-3665. This is going to a long one because of her husband. Her husband was my uncle's father who was married 4x. My uncles mother was his fathers last wife Beulah Mable (Archer) and how he married her is the real story. The 3rd wife he married because he heard how rich she was so he divorced his second wife. Then he plotted with some friends on he should marry the third wife and then have someone kill her for her wealth. So he arrange to go camping with her and some friends the he hired two men to kill her when the went camping. When that happened the two men who killed his wife got to talking and so he and one other brother of his plotted to kill the two men and hide their bodies. So the were caught and charged with their death and he was sentenced to 99 years in prison. He escaped and came to East Tennessee and married Beulah and then they had 2 sons and a daughter. But he had taken his other dead brother name when he married her but he was caught and sentenced to go back to prison and that is where he died. The kids were very young and so Beulah had to take care of their kids by her self and with very little money and he was policeman when he was arrested and wanted his fellow policeman to help with Christmas for the kids while he was in prison.  He was also charged the second time with taking his brother name and taking his brother money that should of gone to his dead brother's wife. I believe she didn't know about all of that till he was arrested and he was sentenced. My uncle has written a book about his dad and him taking his dead brother name and about the marriage of his dad's third wife and up to where he did at prison. The name of the book is The Man With Two Names  which is based on the True Story of the Most Notorious Fugitive in Southeast Texas by Charles Sapp. That is where his dad was born and lived till he escaped to East Tennessee. If you want to find about my uncles father and mother you should get the book and read it is very interesting reading.

answered by Linda Barnett G2G6 Pilot (255k points)
edited by Linda Barnett
+4 votes

Like others have mentioned, I have a lot of pioneer woman who had difficult lives of one pregnancy after another and moving from state to state with a ton of kids in tow.  Life could not have been easy for them.  

One that comes to mind is my great great grandmother, Rachel Woodham who traveled with her parents and 10 siblings from Darlington,South Carolina to Dale County, Alabama in 1835 when she was about 12 years old.  The family was traveling with a large bunch of neighbors and other relatives and their families to the "new" land opening up in Dale and Henry Counties in Alabama.  Her father, a Justice of the Peace, filed for a federal homestead in Dale County.  He later filed for other lands that were north of his property which apparently was in a flood zone. His older children also homesteaded in the area.  They started the Woodham Family Cemetery near their lands.

Rachel met and married (in 1845) John Bryant Daughtry. John was a farmer with a crippled leg from a childhood injury caused by a mule falling on his leg, so he was unable to serve when the Civil War broke out.  He served as Sheriff (1868-1872) of Dale County, Alabama, during the reconstruction era when the South was under military occupation by Yankee troops.  

So, Rachel lived through the Civil War and the reconstruction era after it.  She also had the stress of her husband being the Sheriff for 4 years and never knowing if he was going to return home at night.  Through all of the turbulent times, Rachel bore him at least 11 children!  After he died in 1880, she took over running their farm.  She passed away in 1901 at 78.

In my opinion, she had to be a strong woman.



answered by Carolyn Martin G2G6 Pilot (123k points)
+3 votes

Posted on Blog 

52 Ancestors Week 10: Strong Woman

When this prompt was posted my thoughts turned to all the women in my tree. They were all amazingly strong brave women. I cannot imagine how hard their lives must have been. To be in a time where we were considered not much more than property, to be told what to do without a say in the matter. There were many strong women who defied the norm and made a life for themselves. They forged ahead and helped us achieve the freedoms we so enjoy today. We are closer to being equal that we have ever been. We are a force to be reckoned with when united. Helen Reddy says it all in her song “I am Woman” ... “If I have to, I can do anything. I am strong, I am invincible, I am woman”(1)




One such strong woman was Mary Jane Boggs McTheny  my great, great grandmother. Within days of her birth in 1833 her, Rachel James Boggs died. She and her older brother, Benjamin Silas Boggs, were left in the care of their father Silas I. Boggs. Sillas married Charlotte Pierson on 20 May 1834, within a year of Rachel’s passing. We know nothing about Mary’s early life. We find her living in the home of her grandmother Mary Polly (LeMasters) Boggs in the 1850 Census for Braxton, Virginia, United States. Her brother Benjamin Boggs, father Silas Boggs, his 2nd wife and children are shown living in the house next door. I thought she was there to care for her grandmother but there may have been other reasons.

Between September 10 and September 20,1856 Mary and her husband John McTheny lost 3 children to Scarlet fever. The oldest of which was James Anderson Boggs who was 5y 10m 15d old on September 10, 1856 when he died. Based on this information James was born on October 26, 1850. The death record for James Anderson Boggs (died from Scarlet fever) has the mother listed as Mary Jane Matheny the record does not state a father. The person reporting the death was the Step-Father, John McTheny. 

The children with John McThney were Harriet Elizabeth Matheny Age 3y 1m 1d died on September 10, 1856 and  Samuel L. Watson Matheny Age 1y 1m died on September 20, 1856.

This child born out of wedlock brings to question just what hardships had happened in Mary Janes life. Was this unwed pregnancy why she was living with her grandmother in the 1850 Census. Had her father kicked here out of his home? How hard would it have been for a young mother to be alone and wonder how she was to raise her child.

I can't imagine losing a child let alone three with in ten days of each other. Yet she recovered from all this to go on and raise seven children. She to me is the definition of strength. She was a woman and can do anything. She was strong, she was invincible, she was woman”

For sources and other information please see Mary Jane Boggs McTheny profile on WikiTree.


(1) Wikipedia contributors, 'I Am Woman', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 30 December 2017, 01:34 UTC, <https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=I_Am_Woman&oldid=817699514> [accessed 9 March 2018]

answered by Mel Lambert G2G6 Mach 2 (29.3k points)
+4 votes

Raising a child as a unwed mother in the early 1900s can't have been easy. This week's post is about three unmarried women in my tree who should not be forgotten - Agnes Prowse, her daughter, Bessie Prowse, and her sister, Elizabeth Prowse


answered by Leanne Cooper G2G6 Mach 3 (33.6k points)
+4 votes

I've settled on Tacy (Cooper) Hubbard my 10th great-grandmother x2 as an example of a woman strong in her convictions.  Her profile goes into some detail about her connection to the Seventh Day Baptists in Rhode Island.  I have also read (sorry don't have a source handy :( ) that Tacy convinced her husband and daughters that the idea of observing the Sabbath on Saturday instead of Sunday should be part of the reform of church practice.  She must have had some persuasive powers to even be listened to during that time period.

Since Tacy is pre-1700 and has an extensive profile, I'm looking at her 4th great granddaughter Judith Stillman Coon's profile as one to give some TLC.  Both of HER mother Judith Stillman's parents descend from  Tacy from 2 different daughters.

answered by Jill Perry G2G6 Mach 1 (15.4k points)
+4 votes


This week I tell the story of an early New Zealand pioneer, my 4xgreat aunt, Ann Lovell. Here she is on Wikitree. 


answered by Fiona Gilliver G2G6 Mach 6 (67.7k points)
That was a great story of early Kiwi History, Fiona. Thanks.
+3 votes
I'm proud of :

WILHITE, Mrs. Mary Holloway, physician and philanthropist, born near Crawfordsville, MARY HOLLOWAY WILHITE A woman of the century (page 784 crop).MARY HOLLOWAY WILHITE. Ind., 3rd February. 1831, and died 8th February, 1892. Her maiden name was Mary Mitchell Holloway. Her father, Judge Washington Holloway, a native of Kentucky, was one of the pioneers of Crawfordsville. Her mother was Elizabeth King, of Virginia. When Man*(Mary) was but seventeen years of age, her mother died. At an early age Alary(Mary) Holloway developed strong traits of character. At the age of fifteen she united with the Christian Church, and she continued through life an earnest and active member. Wishing to be self-supporting, she engaged in school-teaching and sewing. Her thirst for knowledge led her to enter the medical profession. She studied and fitted herself unaided, and entered the Pennsylvania Medical College. Philadelphia, in 1854. She was graduated in 1856. She was the first Indiana woman to be graduated from a medical college. She was also the first woman in Indiana, as a graduate, to engage in the practice of medicine. Returning to Crawfordsville, she opened an office. On account of her sex she was debarred from membership in medical associations, but she went forward in a determined way and gained a popularity of which any physician might be proud. She made several important discoveries regarding the effects of medicine in certain diseases. Her greatest success was in treatment of women and children. In 1861 she became the wife of A. E. Wilhite, of Crawfordsville. an estimable gentleman, who, with two sons and two daughters, survives her. Three of their children died in infancy. With all her work in public life, Dr. Wilhite was domestic in her tastes and was a devoted wife and mother. She lived to see marked changes in public opinion in regard to the principles she maintained. Her counsel was sought, and her knowledge received due recognition. She was, in the true sense of the term, a philanthropist Her charity was broad and deep. She was especially interested in the welfare of young girls who were beset by temptations, and helped many such to obtain employment. She was unceasing in her warfare against the use of whiskey and tobacco. When employed as physician to the county almshouse, she was grieved at the condition of the children associated with the class of adult paupers, and she never rested until she had, with the help of others, established the county children's home. She was an advocate of woman's rights, even in childhood. In 1850 she canvassed for the first woman's rights paper published in America, the "Woman's Advocate," edited by Miss Anna McDowell, in Philadelphia. In 1869 she arranged for a convention, in which Mrs. Livermore, Mrs. Stanton and Miss Anthony were speakers. Subsequently she was a leading spirit in arranging meetings in the cause of the advancement of woman. She was a fluent and forcible writer, and contributed much to the press on the subjects which were near her heart. Her poetic nature found expression in verse, and she wrote many short poems.
A Woman of the Century  (1893)  edited by Frances Elizabeth Willard and Mary Ashton Rice Livermore
answered by Sandra Vines G2G6 (9k points)
My great grandfather Peter Winebrenner was a circuit rider or traveling preacher with the Christian church up in Noble county, Indiana, based out of Miriam. Eel River conference. Mid to late 1800's. Probably too far away for them to have known each other.
Sandra are you from Upper East Tennessee area. It seems that your relatives are my relatives and your last name sounds like some of my relatives that married into Fines and Andes from Upper East Tennessee. My mom and dad are from there and my sister and her husband and my brother and his wife lives in that area. Me and my parents are going to be moving up there close to Thanksgiving time or spring time but not when it is cold. Those names look like some from Rhea County, Tennessee also.


My Grandmother's WILHITE family was from upper east , Tn.  She is related through Reuben Wilhite b 1768, son of Conrad Wilhite, son of Tobias Wilhite, son of Johann Michael Wilheit.  Reuben moved to white Co, TN, before 1820 and all my Grandmothers family was born and raised there.  My Dad, William Wilhite Griffin was b in Sparta, white co, TN.  All my connections are from East  TN.  I am related to FINES, through Cynthia Fines that married George Henry, b 1760 NC, what is now east TN. 

Well we are related then because of books on the History of Rhea County and Washington County I recocnixe Conrad Wilhite the son of Tobias Wilhite I recognixe those names from the books I have. Where do you live? We did move up in November.

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