Sunday, May 13, 2018

Honoring Our Mothers

Mother's Day is an old tradition, celebrated around the world. The oldest traditions were religious in nature. The Greeks and Romans honored motherhood by honoring the mother goddesses, and early Christians honored motherhood by honoring their parish or "mother" church as part of lenten observances. Modern observances are secular and honor our mothers or our maternal ancestors. The U.S. version of Mother's Day began in 1908, the brainchild of Ann Reeves Jarvis. However, when the greeting card industry appropriated the day as a way to sell more greeting cards, the holiday's founder began to actively campaign against what she'd once campaigned vigorously for. For more about the history of Mother's Day, visit this History Channel link The History of Mother's Day

Today I honor my Muskingum County mothers:

Bertie Elnora Armstrong
abt. 1903
 My grandmother, Bertie Elnora Armstrong was born in White Cottage on November 28, 1876, and died in Roseville on July 6, 1970. She began teaching school at the age of 18, and taught for almost 10 years before she married Edward Milton McLean on August 18, 1908. She was the mother of three children: Edward Alexander McLean, James Warren McLean, and Nancy Jane McLean.

Nancy Elizabeth Holloway
abt. 1870
Grandmother's mother and my great grandmother was Nancy Elizabeth Holloway. She was born April 8, 1852 in White Cottage and died in Roseville on November 14, 1929. She married Alexander Armstrong on November 10, 1875. She was the mother of three children: Bertie Elenora Armstrong, Charles William Armstrong and Mary Xema Armstrong.

Mary Jane Scholfield
abt. 1855
My great-great grandmother, and Nancy Elizabeth's mother was Mary Jane Scholfield. She was born August 21, 1828 in Newton Township, and died in Roseville on June 16, 1913. Her family had been among the first Quakers to emigrate to America in William Penn's Great Migration. She married Charles Holloway on May 29, 1950. Mary Jane was the mother of three children: Manerva Jane Holloway, Nancy Elizabeth Holloway, and John Caspar Holloway.

Susanna Birkebile
abt 1850
My great-great-great grandmother, Susanna Birkebile was born August 29, 1796 in Manchester, Carroll County, Maryland, and died in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania about 1875. She married Joshua Wilson in Baltimore County, Maryland on August 1, 1815. The family migrated to Newton Township, around Fultonham, between 1830 and 1835. Susanna was the mother of eight children, but only the names of the four youngest are known: Elizabeth Wilson, Andrew Jackson Wilson, John Wilson, and Sarah A. Wilson. An interesting note about this photograph: Susanna is listed in various censuses as unable to read or write, yet she was photographed holding a book, a prop that was often used in portraiture to indicate the person was literate. Perhaps she learned to  read and write later in life, and maybe not, but the book shows she knew the value of being literate.
Arena Wilson
abt 1880

My great-grandmother, Arena Wilson was Susanna's grand-daughter. Arena was born near Fultonham on August 9, 1852, and died in Columbus, Franklin County, Ohio on December 9, 1926. On November 11, 1868 she married Warren McLean. After Warren's death at White Cottage in 1893, Arena moved her family to Crooksville in Perry County where she owned and operated the McLean Hotel on China Street. Arena was the mother of ten children: James McLean, Orla McLean, Edward Milton McLean, Charles Andrew McLean, Rhoda May McLean, Leona McLean, Atta McLean, Maxie Jane McLean, Joseph Hadden McLean, and Wade Hampton McLean.

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