Thursday, February 26, 2009

A couple of tough old birds

I am descended from these two women. The one on the right was my great great grandma and the one on the left is her mother. Let it be said that I don't think I look like either. Thank you God! Then again if I had had their life I would probably look as tough as shoe leather.

Take Grandma Meadows there on the left. She was born in 1813 in Kentucky. It is family lore that she was Cherokee Indian or at least a good part. She married Grandpa Meadows in 1834 and had 12 living children. She lived to be over 100 years old.

Grandpa and Grandma Meadows moved from Kentucky in 1838. I believe that Grandpa Meadows might have been in a bit of trouble with his family for marrying an Indian. I believe this because he is not mentioned again in any other family histories after his marriage and because his grandfather fought these same Indians during the Revolutionary war. Something tells me they were none too happy with him.

My Grandfather remembered Grandma Meadows as never speaking English though she knew it. She only spoke French. I think she was still a little pissed about the whole Trail of Tears thing. Go figure. Even though she wasn't part of it she must have known family and friends that were. It was a good thing that my Great Grandpa Weible spoke French or no one in the family could have communicated with her.

In 1861 her then 53 year old husband up and decided to join the Union army. This would not have necessarily been a bad thing but they were living in a Southern sympathetic county in Missouri. She pretty much told Grandpa Meadows when he was on furlough that they were all moving up north during the war. After almost 30 years of marriage and a dozen kids I'd have been tempted to kick his fool butt out. Leaving her to be terrorized while he went off to play soldier. What was the man thinking? It wasn't like he had any ties to the North. He was a simple illiterate farmer. Whatever his reasons he stayed in either the Union army or the Missouri State militia until April 14, 1864.

After the war they moved to Reynolds County, Missouri where Great Grandpa Meadows died 21 years later in 1885. Grandma Meadows continued to live in the little house in the woods that Grandpa Weible built for her on his property. She had no running water, electricity (pretty sure they didn't have any in the entire county in the 1910s) or a bathroom.

Tough? These two women had to be.

Thus ends our family history hour for today.



  1. Wow they were tough women!! To survive the times and the men!!LOL

  2. Those are some tough old birds.

    12 kids without drugs is pretty dang impressive. Thank goodness for birth control.

    (my word verification is cooket - which means fitting to me)

  3. Amazing history! I wish I knew as much about my family as you do! I had a great-great grandmother who was also Cherokee, and who was forced to walk the Trail of Tears. It's my understanding that she never spoke either. We (the family) had one oil painting of her and no one even remembered her name. Sad.

  4. Wow. Those glares look like they could turn people to stone!

  5. I absolutely love seeing vintage photos of our ancestors -- I have one of my great grandmother Matilde from Germany and she looks just meaner than snot. Guess they had to be strong back internet.

  6. Did you say he left her with TWELVE kids to raise by herself? Wow. I'll stop bitching about my two kids now.

    That picture is great, we have similar ones of my great grandparents. Everyone looked so mean back then but I guess they had a reason to since they couldn't blog for therapy.