March 16 – If you could have lunch with any female family member (living or dead) or any famous female who would it be and why? Where would you go? What would you eat?
As in my March 15th post, it requires quite a bit of mulling through my female ancestors to choose one to write about for each day. There would actually be several that I would want to have lunch with and if this series had been about my male ancestors, it would have been very easy to answer because I would love to have lunch with my 6 x great grandfather Cozens Read – I wouldn’t have to think twice about it – I have become very fond of him!!
But this series is about our female ancestors, so in the end I have decided to write about my 8 x great grandmother Katharine Read (nee Lovjoy) (1649 – 1713). She is the grandmother of Cozens Read and as far as my Reads go, she is the earliest female. (I have details of her Lovjoy/Lovejoy line going back even further but through her marriage to my 8 x great grandfather John Read, Katharine is in effect my earliest Read female.
She was about 20 years old when she married John Read in 1669 and they had eight children together. Sadly she lost a son, Robart, when he was only 23 years old. Her other children survived to go on to marry and some have children of their own.
So, I imagine that I will jump into my wonderful time-machine to be taken back to Katharine Read’s time, and will arrive at her house in Caversham, Oxfordshire. We will have lunch there as I’m sure it would be nice and homely and a good place to sit and chat over lunch. I imagine we would eat something that has come from Katharine’s kitchen, possibly one of the family’s favourite meals.
The reason why I would love to have lunch with Katharine Read, is so that we can chat about the family. She could give me details about the parents of her husband John Read. Who they were, where they lived, when John was born and so on. What joy that would be for me. Katharine could also chat about the gossip from that time in her town and how her days are usually spent. Probably the best thing we could chat about would be why she felt it necessary to only leave some of her children one shilling in her Will, while all the others would receive Ten Pounds each from her.
The one shilling means that they aren’t quite cut out of the Will, but almost, especially as there is nothing to explain that they have already received the rest of the inheritance during her lifetime! She more or less mentions in the Will that she has this written to save arguments later!! I wonder what went on. I wonder why some of her children were out of favour. Over lunch, Katharine could enlighten me about all these things and more.
How many times have I wished for a time-machine!!