So That's Where I Get It From

March 14, 2011

March 13 – Women’s History Month – Fearless Females

March 13   –   Moment of Strength: share a story where a female ancestor showed courage or strength in a difficult situation.

I find this very difficult to answer!  I have no knowledge of anyone in the family having to be strong or show courage in a difficult situation.  I have always felt though that my 6 x great grandmother, Elizabeth Read (nee Shirley) (c1713 – 1786) must have been a very strong woman.

The reason for thinking this is because she had 20 children in an era when there was no medical help as such.  She married my 6 x great grandfather Cozens Read in 1734, had their first child in 1735 and their last child twenty years later in 1755.  They had three sets of twins within those 20 children.

At a time when there would not have been medication to help ease the pain of childbirth, nothing much to help should she have had any infections and what if there were problems during the birth?  So to have endured all that over so many years and live to a good age of about 73 years, just makes me think she must have been so strong and I much admire her for all that.

I’ve been trying to think if I have come across any incidents that might have been difficult for my other female ancestors, and would suppose that many would have had to be strong, if not couragious, to just be able to live in those past times, when they were poor.  Some of them I see, from their death certificates, were still working as servants, or straw plaiters, or agricultural labourers even, when they were in their seventies and early eighties, much like their husbands, if they lived that long. 

I think we have it a bit easier these days and don’t really appreciate what our ancestors really went through.



  1. I agree! It’s amazing that our 6 x great grandmother gave birth to 20 children. But I reckon she must have been doubly strong – imagine raising 20 children!
    Since I’ve been tracing my family history it’s made me very much aware of that old adage ‘Survival of the fittest’.
    Hopefully they’ve passed their strong genes on to us.

    Comment by Marion — March 14, 2011 @ 1:26 pm

    • Hallo Cousin Marion, Thanks for your comment. I meant to add in the post that it must have been equally as hard bringing up all those children. The family were quite comfortable financially so had a servant or two, so I’m sure they would have helped. When I see how small the village Church is, I think it must have been filled up completely for Services just with Cozens and Elizabeth Read and all their children. There can’t have been much room for the rest of the villagers!!

      I wonder how they coped with remembering all the children’s names!! 😉

      Lots of love,

      Cousin Chrissie

      Comment by rootsresearcher — March 14, 2011 @ 11:48 pm

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