by Sherry Stocking Kline
10 April 2010
Here is this week’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun Challenge from Randy Seaver!
Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:
1) Tell us: Which ancestor or relative do you readily identify with? Which one do you admire? Which one are you most like, or wish that you were most like? Which one would you really like to sit down and have a heart-to-heart conversation with?
2) Write your response in a blog post on your own blog, in a Facebook note or response to this post, or in a comment on this post.
Oh my, which ancestor or relative do I most identify with? I think my ancestors, especially the women, were brave and courageous, so in some ways I wish I were more like them. My great-grandmother Frances Hitchcock Stocking picked up her life, packed up their belongings, and followed the man she loved, Roderick Remine Stocking, here to Kansas, a flat prairie with tall grass and no trees for firewood (read they used buffalo chips to heat their homestead with) or they drove their wagon about 15 miles south into Oklahoma’s Indian Territory (which was illegal, mind you) to pick up firewood. They also lived within a few miles of the Chisholm Trail, and those who still traveled up and down it, even after the cattle drives ended.
And then there is my other great-grandmother on my mother’s side, Salinda Rose Breneman, who lived out on the prairie in Nebraska, where Indians might (and did) poke their heads in the window wanting food. And Indians wouldn’t have been their only danger. They would have lived in fear of prairie fires as well as rattle snakes, and her children, even at a young age, were sent out on horseback, sometimes with their lunch in a pail to herd the cattle, often being out of site of the homestead for the whole day.
Could I do what they did? I don’t think so.
Who would I most want to sit down with? My great-great grandmother, Elizabeth Laird Jones Crabb!
I would ask her what her first husband’s name was and thereby break down that brick wall! I would learn first-hand from her what her husband died from (or if they were divorced!) and I would ask her what brought them here to Kansas, and did they miss their home state of Kentucky and their daughter who stayed there?
And maybe I would just ask them how they ‘managed?’ How did they cope with the hardships, water that came from a well and wasn’t the clear liquid that we’re used to today, growing and canning and preserving much of their food, and sewing many of their clothes?
And particularly, where did they find the courage to go on when they had to bury their young children because their lives were cut short from disease and farm accidents?
So many questions that I would ask these courageous women!