Instead, I will follow the the directive of Abigail Adams. In her March 31, 1776 letter to her husband, John Adams she asked him to "remember the ladies" when helping to build a code of laws for what what they hoped would become a new, independent nation dedicated to liberty and justice for all.
Today I remember the ladies on just one branch of my family. This is not my distaff line, although I could do that. Instead, I am thinking of my paternal grandpa's mother. Let us consider the lives of women in her line as a long, multi-generational Women's March for equality and respect. In honoring them, I also honor all the brave women marching on Washington, D.C. and other cities.
Here is my great grandmother, Emma Frost. She was born in Wayne Co., Kentucky in 1881, and died there in 1963. She and her husband (her second cousin) were tobacco farmers who also operated a small grocery store in their house. Emma and her husband had 12 children.
Emma's mother was Ellen Ramsey (1857-1938), also from Wayne Co., Kentucky. Ellen was a farm woman who outlived two husbands, had 5 children with the first and 6 children with the second. Ellen Ramsey looked like this:
Ellen's mother was Sarah "Sally" Rector (1814-1905). Another farm woman! Sally is my 3rd great grandmother through Emma's side, but she is also my 3rd great aunt through Emma's husband's side. Ha! I need a chart to figure these things out. Sally and her husband had 10 children.
Sally's mother was Rutha Simpson. Rutha was born in Pendleton Co., South Carolina in 1790. Her family moved to Rowan Co., North Carolina when she was young, but by 1806 they were living in Wayne Co., Kentucky. Rutha's father was an officer in the Royalist army during the War for Independence, so they had to keep moving after the British lost. They were not welcome in most communities. Rutha, however, married a son of a Revolutionary War soldier who fought at the battle of Yorktown, when General Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington. That must have made for interesting dinner conversations around the farmhouse table after all the chores were done. Rutha and her husband had nine children.
|Rutha (from a painting on a commemorative plate)|
Rutha's mother was Sarah Sherrill (b. 1746, Virginia; d. 1826 Kentucky). The Sherrill's are historical figures and old settlers. Her grandfather, William Sherrill, was born about 1670 in Devon, England. He arrived in Maryland about 1686 as a bonded passenger. In time, he became a fur trader and a well known Indian guide in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He is also sometimes referred to as "The Conestoga Fur Trader." Sarah was a year old when she and her family left Augusta, Virginia to become the first Europeans to settle on the west side of the Catawba River in North Carolina. Sarah and her husband had as many as 13 children.
Sarah's mother was Agnes White. Agnes was born in Virginia in 1726 and was part of the pioneer North Carolina family referenced above. She died at Sherrill's Ford, North Carolina in 1795. Agnes White and William Sherrill had as many as 14 children, many dying young.
Agnes' mother was likely Mary "Polly" Campbell, born in Ulster, Ireland in 1686. She married Duncan White, and she died in Lancaster, Pennsylvania in 1728.
Polly's mother was possibly Mary McCoy, born in Scotland about 1650, married Moses White, and died in Ulster, Ireland about 1689.
I honor these women today, with all my heart. They are only one branch of women who came before me. In the wheel of life that represents ancestry, there are so many others.