March is the month when modern Americans celebrate Women's History Month. Genealogy friend Lisa Alzo has for the last five years provided a list of 31 blogging prompts to celebrate Women's History Month on her blog The Accidental Genealogist. One of her prompts seems interesting to explore today.
"Make a list of your direct line maternal ancestors beginning with your mother. So you will list your mom, her mom, her mom's mom and so on, back as far as you can. Now figure out how many children each female ancestor had. Did the females in your direct maternal line tend to have the same numbers of children each generation? Did they have more? Less? Were they prolific or are there few children born to each woman? Is there a pattern emerging?"
|Sitting in birth order Christmas Day 1958 La Habra, California.|
From left: Mom with brother Rusty in lap, Trude, Peggy,
and me in my paternal Grandmother Hazel Allen Cone's lap.
My maternal grandmother, Ada Grace Colby Werst Branchflower, was born October 21, 1902 outside Kirwin, Phillips County, Kansas. Grace had two daughters with her husband Cecil Oscar Werst. Betty, my mother, the oldest, was born in Spokane, Spokane County, Washington. Cecil died in October 1927, so Grace was staying with her sister Madge Colby Massey in Pendelton, Oregon when daughter Helen Louise Werst was born in 1928. Grace was 23 when Betty was born and 25 at Helen's birth. Helen is the mother of two children, Ronald Andrew Pearce was born in Portland, Multnomah Coumty, Oregon and Jill Louise Caldwell was born in Whittier, Los Angeles County, California.
|Ada Grace Colby Werst Branchflower's Grandchildren |
circa 1965 Hacienda Heights, California
from left: Trude Cone, Cecily Cone, Leslie 'Peggy' Cone,
Ron Pearce, Rusty Cone, in front Jill Caldwell
|From left Mary Elizabeth 'Mamie' Hugunin Colby with daughters Marguerite 'Madge', |
Pandora 'Pansy' and in front Ada Grace Colby at Pine Lawn Farm
outside Newberg, Yamhill County, Oregon circa 1912.
|Sarah Amanda Gibson|
In looking for patterns of fertility, they are difficult to discern. Elizabeth had the most children in the days when birth control was not generally practiced. I do not know if Amanda lost babies between her widely spaced children. Mamie had four girls in quick succession and my grandmother always said that she, the youngest by 10 years, had been a surprise. My grandmother probably would have had more children if her husband had survived. My mother always said that she and my dad planned to have four children. My husband was a career Naval Officer and I figured with his deployment schedule I could manage two children but not more. Sometimes life circumstances limit family size.
I know, dear grandparents, that you have the answers to these questions and I try to be patient in waiting to find them here. Any clues as to Elizabeth Jane Jones' parentage would be most appreciated. Just saying....
Cecily Cone Kelly