We often hear about our early ancestors the MEN who built our country, well I would like to add ....and women.
The men did have a more "public: face as they were the military leaders, statesmen, clergy,and government officials of the New England towns and cities. We hear about the men on the Mayflower and the men who fought
the Revolutionary War, but to a much lesser degree were the women who played an enormous role as well.
When my granddaughter was in high school she emailed me. She had to write a paper on the women in our family
and some of their attributes, and knowing her " mimi" loved genealogy wanted to know what I might contribute.
What FUN...now I could tell her of two of the earlier women of our family and bits about others.
I have books written about two of the most prominent Mary Dyer (Quaker Martyr) and Anne Hutchinson ( also a Quaker)
My ancestor Mary Dyer was hanged in Boston because she was a Quaker teaching her Quaker beliefs.
Mary (1611-1660) came to this country like so many other for religious freedom (she was not a Quaker when she arrived).The New England clergy was extremely strong and influential and there was a real difference in the community about Bible interpretation. Mary and husband William were independent thinkers and Mary started attending Anne Hutchinson's conversations after Sunday church as they walked home ans soon other women were also involved. Women had no opportunity to speak out in church so it was these early get togethers that
were so enriching to Mary. Years later Mary became a strong Quaker and history shows Quakers were treated very badly by the Puritans. They would drive the out of the area or imprison the many were beaten some tarred and feathered . Without tell her whole story she eventual was hung in the Boston Common...the only woman
Quaker to die for her Quaker beliefs.
Anne Hutchinson, an intelligent, confident woman who questioned the leading clergymen of the day. She herself was the daughter of a clergyman and well versed in the Bible. Her ideas and critiques of the Sunday morning
sermons drew a host of admirers and followers that were willing to leave Massachusetts and follow Anne went the courts banished her from the state.She was able to debate the most learner ed of men and that was not
to be tolerated by the Governor and Judges , she was just too threatening to their power and influence.
Her life ended sadly when she ( along with her children and several servants) were murdered by the Siwanoy warriors thinking she was Dutch and in revenge for the Dutch killing eighty Indian men, women and children.
One daughter was out picking blueberries and escaped the slaughter. The story of this remarkable woman's life would make a powerful movie and should be taught in all the history books.
Women through the years have been the backbone of families and have welded a strong presence in spite of the fact they were no able to get the same kind of education as men and could not vote or speak out in public.
These two women are a sampling of the strong women through the years and I am proud they are a part of my
roots. There are others and they too deserve your honor and mention.