Saturday, March 10, 2012

Women's History Month No. 10

So, here's what I know about her:
Her mom, Susan Crispin, was born in Columbiana County, Ohio, in 1828, the year that Andrew Jackson got elected President. Susan was a Quaker girl with abolitionist inclinations and she married Joseph Blackledge, whose ancestor came over from England at the tail end of the 1680s - just think of what an amusing journey that must have been [she wrote shudderingly].
Susan and Joseph went on to have - well, really Susan did the having - nine children:
Emma Zetta
Mary, a crippled spinster, according to family history. golly.
and baby Oliver.
Leaves me thinking a bit of the politicians' wrangle de jour re: contraception.
Emma Z. Blackledge, the eldest, was born in eastern Indiana, on the day after the clanking, smoking and historic clash of the Ironclads. Not long before the great & terrible Battle of Shiloh.
I know Emma was fond of white lilacs, that she hummed and sang while she worked. That she married Jake Brown, son of another Susan (Susannah Stahlschmidt, anglicized to Steelsmith) and had seven children of their own. Five daughters, two sons. In time, Eulah, one of Jake's and Emma's girls, the dark-haired Brown girls of Cameron, MO, was known to me as 'Grandma' and would that I'd had the sense God gave your average cuckoo clock and asked Grandma to tell me everything she knew and had heard about her grandma, Susan, and about my great-grandmother, Emma Zetta Blackledge Brown Stewart [oh yes: Emma remarried after Jake died in 1914], who was born 150 years ago today, in a very different world.

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