No, y’all, we do not have any family stories about taxes, such as the time Grandma Scarlett told Miss Mammy to tear the velveteen curtains off the wall so that they could be made in a dress that would make Grandpa Rhett, who was in jail, agree to pay the county taxes on Tara. No, m’am…no, sir. What we do have are times that ancestors might have thought, “This just taxes me to no end. As God is my witness, I will never be hungry again.”
High up on the family tree, we have Grandpa George Soule who arrived on the Mayflower as an indentured servant in 1620. That first winter in Plymouth was deadly to more than half of those people. Grandpa George survived the hunger and sickness that claimed others. With all his strength, he must have vowed to survive…to live on…to look beyond the taxing demands of that moment…to be never hungry again.
Shaking a few nearby branches, we find Grandpa Joseph Story. Just a young family man of 25 years in 1777…lives in New Hampshire. He does it…he signs his name to a loyalty association. “WE, the Subscribers, do hereby solemnly engage, and promise, that we will, to the utmost of our Power, at the Risque of our Lives and Fortunes, with ARMS, oppose the Hostile Proceedings of the British Fleets, and Armies, against the United American COLONIES.” He hungers for the separation of the Colonies and the Crown. He joins Benjamin Sias’ New Hampshire Regiment. In a few years, he will hunger no more as a citizen of the newborn United States.
Reaching across another limb, Mary Etta Soule, born in New York, presents herself. Just as her Grandpa Soule came across an ocean, she came down the Erie Canal with her family in the early 1850s. He married Grandpa Andrew Storer. Remember him from a previous blog? He had wanderlust. Mary and family migrated from territory to territory settling here and there…Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa. Was that taxing to her to have no permanent home? When they finally settled in Kansas, was that hunger finally satisfied?
Generations of my family survived the taxing effects of the Civil War, World Wars I and II, the Depression, immigration to a new land, and other challenges. The beacons of hope and strength shone when they were hungry no more, as God is their witness.