I’d put my “I voted today” sticker on her headstone if I lived nearby

So last week I’m scrolling through Facebook minding my own business, watching videos

Susan B. Anthony Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Susan B. Anthony Photo Credit: Wikipedia

of babies and puppies and liking pics from old high school classmates when I come to a complete stop. Posted among the silly and senseless on Facebook was a photo of Susan B. Anthony’s headstone with several “I voted today” stickers on it and a small bouquet of flowers laying at the base.

It was incredibly moving. Tears came to my eyes. It’s very rare that anything on Facebook resonates with me to that extent but this – several women paying their respects on election day to this courageous woman who fought for women’s right to vote was extraordinary.

So I did a little research. I’m ashamed to say I only had a general idea when the suffrage movement occurred and was hazy on which amendment gave women the right to vote and when it passed. The 19th Amendment ratified on August 18, 1920 gave all women who were U.S. citizens the right to vote. In fact the movement started in the mid-1800s and most women who marched, wrote and lobbied for this cause didn’t live to see the passage of this amendment.

Next I took a look at my own family tree. How did the 19th amendment affect my female ancestors? On my maternal side I had a great grandmother, Sudie L. Barron Lowery, (my maternal grandfather’s mother) who was 46 years old in 1920 and my maternal grandmother, Gladys Marshall Lowery, who was 28 years old in 1920. Her mother had already passed by 1920 and my mom was born in 1919.

On my father’s side my paternal female ancestors found a great grandmother, Josephine Geullbert Frueh, (my paternal grandfather’s mother) who was 71 years old in 1920 and the other, Irene Waller Nantz, (my paternal grandmother’s mother) was 48 years old. My paternal grandmother, Flora A. Nantz Frueh was 32 years old in 1920. (I didn’t realize until this moment that my great grandmother was 16 years old when she gave birth to my grandmother. I will double check those dates.)

So what does that mean? My great grandmothers that were alive in 1920 were well into middle age even elderly by the time they got the right to vote. I wonder if it mattered to them? I wonder how they felt about finally being able to express their opinions through voting? Was it a wonderful reality or insignificant? In their view was voting best left to men anyway?

Both my grandmothers were young vital, women at 28 and 32 years old. Were they excited? Almost giddy at the prospect of finally being counted when it came time to elect officials, determine taxes and add laws to our state constitution? Women’s right to vote was a hotly contested topic their entire lifetime. How I wish I knew how they felt when they finally received the right to vote!

Susan B Anthony headstone Photo Credit:  Sarah Jane McPike

Susan B Anthony headstone Photo Credit: Sarah Jane McPike

My final thought here is that there is only one female generation that precedes me who has always been able to vote. Only my mother grew up knowing she could vote when she came of age. Just ONE generation before me!

I am astounded and deeply grateful for the women who came before and worked and lobbied and suffered untold disgrace and hardship to gain for me the right to vote. Thank you Susan B. Anthony and all the suffragettes. I would most certainly put my “I voted today” sticker on your headstone if I lived nearby but better yet maybe I should investigate who the women in my area were that championed women’s right to vote. Then by the time the next election rolls around I’ll be able to thank those who lived near me for such a valuable privilege. Maybe you’ll do the same.

Sudie Louisa Barron #52 Ancestors

Sudie Louisa Barron

Sudie Louisa Barron

This is my great-grandmother, Sudie Louisa Barron. She was born 11 Jan 1874 in Marion Twp., Henry County, Ohio. Her parents were Rachel Golden (Golding) and Thomas Barron. Sudie was the second youngest of nine children. I’ve found her referred to as Susan in censuses but she’s always Sudie in our handwritten family histories.

She married Charles Henry Lowery 30 Oct 1892 in Henry County, Ohio.

This is my maternal grandfather’s mother. The only story I have ever been told about Sudie is one of decisiveness, she was a strong-minded woman.

Charles Lowery, Sudie Barron and grandkids

Charles Lowery, Sudie Barron and grandkids

Charles worked for the railroad, which brought Sudie, Charles and their eight children to Allen County, Ohio. They lived there long enough to have a couple more children and two of the older children married. My grandfather Basil being one of them.

As it happened, Charles’ railroad work took him to Michigan. Sudie stayed in Ohio with the children and Charles would send money back to her. As time went on Charles’ visits as well as the paychecks decreased.

Sudie heard rumors of Charles and some carrying-on in Michigan and decided to pack up the children and head north. I guess Charles was more than a little surprised to see Sudie and their passel of children on his boarding house porch when he came home from work that day. I can only imagine their conversation that evening.

Yep, she was a decisive strong-minded woman. I’ll bet Charles thought so too that day!

She died 19 Mar 1943 in Adrain, Lenawee County, MI. She was 69 years old.

Rachel Golden Barron showed me where I need to improve in my research! #52Ancestors

Thomas Barron (Barnes) & Rachel Golden Barron

Thomas Barron (Barnes) & Rachel Golden Barron

My ancestor for this week’s #52Ancestors opened my eyes to my genealogy prejudices! I’ve found I am completely in love with my maternal ancestors! Marshall, Williams, surnames? They are my straight maternal line. I’ll bet they, along with the Van Meters make up half my blog posts! But not this week! I’m spreading some of my genealogy love around. This week I’m writing about my 2x great grandmother from my mother’s paternal side. Rachel C. Golden Barron. (I know still my mom’s family but at least I jumped to her dad’s side!)

Rachel C. Golden (Golding) was born in Wimblington, Cambrideshire, England 24 Feb 1837. She was the daughter of Abraham and Mary Coleback Golding (Golden).

Abraham and Mary packed up the children, seven at the time, and made the journey to America. They arrived in New York on 7 Dec 1852. Rachel was 15 years old when their ship the Andrew Foster pulled into port. Interesting that the destination listed for their ship was Alabama yet I can’t find that they made it any further south than Ohio.

Three years later I find Rachel marrying Thomas Anthony Barron on 16 Feb 1855 in Huron County, Ohio. Her sister got married just a couple weeks before in the same county. I’m assuming from that info that her parents and the rest of her siblings are in Huron County.

I can’t find Rachel in the 1860 census although I can find the married sister, her parents and siblings all in Henry County, Ohio. More browsing records needed here with the 1860 census. Three townships down many to go! [Read more…]

Do you know this man? Is he in your family tree?

Charles Henry Lowery

Charles H Lowery

Charles H Lowery and goat

Charles H Lowery and goat

Did you happen to read my post yesterday – Do you know this woman?

Well this is my great-grandfather Charles Henry Lowery married to Sudie Louisa Barron. Charles is the son of my Civil War veteran George Washington Lowery.
Charles was born 2 Sept 1872, I believe in Ohio. (I just need to research that a little more for documentation.) He married Sudie Louisa Barron on 30 Oct 1892 in Henry County, Ohio. He ended up in Michigan passing away 13 Mar 1946 in Washtenew County, MI.

Charles was my mother’s grandfather on her father’s side. She would remember how her grandfather Charles boasted his Ohio grandchildren were coming for a visit. He’d buy them penny candy and it would be waiting their arrival in a brown paper bag. My mother remembered him fondly.

I know my family attended Lowery family reunions in Michigan way back when. I wish I had been there. I’d love to know all of those stories today. MRBK3F5JN96Y

Do you know this woman? Is she in your family photo album?

Sudie Louisa Barron

Sudie Louisa Barron

Charles Lowery, Sudie Barron and grandkids

Charles Lowery, Sudie Barron and grandkids

This is my great-grandmother, Sudie Louisa Barron. She was born 11 Jan 1874 in Marion Twp., Henry County, Ohio.

She married Charles Henry Lowery 30 Oct 1892 in Henry County, Ohio.

She died 19 Mar 1943 in Adrain, Lenawee County, MI.

This is my mother’s grandmother on her father’s side. The only story I have ever been told about Sudie is one of decisiveness, she was a strong-minded woman.

Charles worked for the railroad, which brought the Lowery’s and their eight children to Allen County, Ohio. They lived there long enough to have a couple more children and two of the older children married.

As it happened, Charles’ railroad work took him to Michigan. Sudie stayed in Ohio with the children and Charles would send money back to her. As time went on Charles’ visits as well as the paychecks decreased.

Sudie heard rumors of some of the carrying-on in Michigan and decided to pack up the children and head north. I guess Charles was more than a little surprised to see Sudie and their passel of children on his boarding house porch when he came home from work that day. I can only imagine their conversation that evening.

Yep, she was a decisive strong-minded woman. I’ll bet Charles thought so too that day!