A strong woman
Every once in a while, I have one of those days that remind me that no matter what I am going through, I come from a long line of very strong women. I have shared the stories of some of these woman throughout my blog. These women would probably never have been given international awards or medals of honor. However, they were each strong and incredible woman in their own right. We often celebrate the heroes in our genealogy research, most of which are men. Today I want to celebrate the woman in my genealogy that struggled, loved, and survived in order to allow me to live the life I do today.
Sarah (Belden) Burt (1682 - 1749): Taken captive by Indians on February 29, 1704. She was 8 months pregnant at the time with her first child. She and her husband Benjamin, not only survived captivity but lived long enough to be rescued. Sarah gave birth to her first child Christopher. On the voyage home to Massachusetts, Sarah gave birth to her second son Seaborn. You can read more about Sarah (Belden) Burt, in the blog post: Benjamin Burt and His Family: Captives of the Deerfield Massacre
Mary Catherine (Clunas) McKenzie (1785 - 1857): Mary Catherine Clunas married Donald McKenzie in 1812 in Scotland, that same year they traveled almost 3,000 miles to Nova Scotia, Canada and then on to Malahide Township, Elgin County, Ontario, Canada to homestead in a new and untamed land. You can read more about Mary Catherine (Clunas) McKenzie in the blog post: Donald McKenzie, Talbot Settler of Elgin County, Ontario, Canada
Elizabeth (Miller) Faught (1845 - 1871): A young mother, suffering from a life-threatening disease. She fought with everything she had to find a cure that would allow her to stay with her husband and newborn daughter. You can read more about Elizabeth (Miller) Faught in the blog post: Elizabeth Miller and the hope of a cure
Sarah Ann (Healy) Hawley (1851 1924): Sarah Ann Healy, my 2nd great grandmother, left her home country of Ireland about the age of 16 to set off on her own to a new home in America. Once she arrived in America, she found her way to a small lumbering town called Alpena. She raised seven children and outlived all but two of them. She then made the long trip from Northern Michigan to Bellflower, California and then back again after her husband's death. You can learn more about her life on her timeline page or from one of the many blog posts I have written about her and her family.
Mary Anna (Faught) McKenzie (1870 - 1929): Mary Anna Faught, my 2nd great grandmother, overcame many struggles in her life, from losing her mother before the age of five, separated from her father and raised by her grandparents. Mary Anna grew up and married Alexander McKenzie. Alexander passed away at the age of 56, leaving Mary Anna with seven children to raise. Learn more about the tough woman by reading the blogs shown on her page.
Lavina (Hawley) Burt (1889 - 1953): Lavina May Hawley, my great grandmother, was the youngest of 10 children and grew up in a family with meager resources, to say the least. She was the mother of six children, four of which passed away before reaching the age of 3. For this alone, I consider her a strong woman. However, one of the things I respect most about her is her willingness to care for a home and raise children on her own in order to allow her husband Ernest Burt to work as a Missionary in the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I truly believe that this sacrifice played a large part in myself and my family being a part of this church today.
Vera (Mason) Royer (1903 - 1982): Vera Ellen Mason, my great grandmother, was born around the turn of the century and married at 21. She raised five children through some of the most horrible and wonderful events in history. In her lifetime, she witnessed four wars (WWI, WWII, The Korean War and The Vietnam War), lived through the great depression, saw woman gain the right to vote and the end of racial segregation. Most of her life she survived with a 7th-grade education. Until, at the age of 76, she went back to school to earn her high school diploma. I am proud to call this strong woman my great grandmother. Read more about this in the blog post: It is Never too Late to Learn....
Grace Elizabeth Ann (Brock) Royer (1931 - 2000): Grace Elizabeth Ann Brock, my grandmother, did not have an easy life, and like all of us, did not always make the best choices. However, there are two things about her that stand out, her faith of her will to fight. Her faith was always evident, whether through her years of service as a soldier in the Salvation Army Church or the buttons she wore and the stickers she proudly displayed on her cane. Her will to fight was obvious through her determination to finish high school. Grace started taking night classes around 1972 and continued to do so over the next 20 years until in 1991 she accomplished her goal and graduated, at the age of 60, with her high school diploma from Herbert Henry Dow high school in Midland, Michigan. Read more about this in the blog post: It is Never too Late to Learn....
Edna Jean (Burt) McKenzie (1927 - 2013): Edna Jean Burt was my grandmother. It is hard to summarize her strength because she is one of those people that made such a huge difference in the lives of so many . Born the youngest daughter of a minister, she grew up to raise five wonderful children. Throughout her life, she was the glue that held our family together. It was her quiet but constant strength and faith that my McKenzie family is built upon. She not only cared for her family but all those around her. Her love and courage were contagious and I for one am proud to say that she is my grandmother.
My hope is that someday, my life can also be an inspiration to my daughter and her daughters. Not, because I did miraculous things or the millions that I won't make, but because life itself is tough, and the normal day to day things, like raising children and working to provide for a family, take strength. Although I have highlighted the strength of these nine women in my family history, I am well aware that there are so many more. I will continue to research and discover their lives and share their strength through my blog posts.
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My name is Rebecca Walbecq. My maiden name is McKenzie. My Genealogy journey began about 10 years ago after talking to my grandma about her family. The spark was lit and since then genealogy has become my passion!