What is frightening lies in the heart of the beholder as some authors have observed. A meaning of frightening can be that which brings anxiety…that which is outside one’s comfort zone…that which creates uncertainty and discomfort in one’s mind, heart, and soul. Did these ancestors of mine know the meaning of frightening as such?
George Soule was an indentured servant who came with the Winslow family aboard the Mayflower in 1620. The ship was originally headed to the Virginia Colony so that they could settle north of Jamestown; however, the ship was blown off course. Was George one of the puke stockings about whom the sailors jeered and teased? Was this new journey in his life perceived as frightening?
Hannah Frost Mears was the wife of Benjamin Dows (Dowse). On April 19, 1775, her husband joined other Minute Men when the call was sounded to go to Lexington. The men were joining forces against King George’s soldiers. What would this truly mean for their future lives? Was this rebellious action in their lives grasped as frightening?
Maria Magdalene Kramer had come to America in the early 1840s from France. She was a school girl raised in a convent. At the tender age of 15, she married 25 year old Amos Howell Boultinghouse who swept her off from Manhattan to the plains of Illinois. She became a farmer’s wife. When they had been married less than 20 years, her husband enlisted in the Union Army…55th Illinois, E Company. She was left to take care of her children and a farm with an uncertain return of Amos. Did she feel isolated? Was this time of her life felt as a frightening hardship to try her soul?
Andrew Earl Storer lived with his wife Isabella Mary Boultinghouse and two young daughters on a Kansas farm at the start of the Depression. Income was unsteady. Dust storms were ravaging the fields. His father suffered from emphysema which affected his ability to farm. Several of his brothers and sisters were moving their families to the golden state of California. Andrew’s family and his parents decided to stay rooted to their farms and wait it out. Was this decision a frightening fear of the unknown?
Merna Mae Storer had grown up on that mentioned Kansas farm. She was determined to move to the city of Topeka. She was also determined that she would not be staying and doing man’s work. After graduation at the age of 17, she packed her suitcase and rode the train to the state capital. She had gotten a job as a secretary. World War II had begun, and women were needed to fill men’s shoes. Did she find it frightening to venture out and grow quickly into adulthood?
These grandparent ancestors along with my mother overcame a form of fright to create new visions and life goals. Can frightening lead to fortifying and defining? Family history has proven it to be true and beautifully so.
3 thoughts on “52 Ancestors In 52 Weeks: Frightening”
A really great post! I always find it difficult to place myself in my long-ago ancestors’ shoes–I love the perspective you’ve chosen to write about/consider their stories. Definitely makes their lives more “real” and imaginable!
I agree – great post! So many things that challenge and/or frighten us do end up making us stronger… thanks for sharing your brave ancestors 🙂
I’ve just found your blog and love your writing! Your stories pull the reader in and bring your ancestors to life.