Thursday, March 17, 2011

Fearless Females, March 17, 2011:Social? Butterfly? Not In My Family

Thank you to Lisa Alzo, of The Accidental Genealogist , for this always interesting and evocative month long series about the Fearless Females of our past.  The instructions for this day are as follows:
March 17 — Social Butterfly? What social organizations or groups did your mother or grandmother belong to? Sewing circle, church group, fraternal benefit society or lodge? Describe her role in the group.

My grandmothers and their mothers,  and grandmothers, were  way to busy raising children, keeping house, doing the laundry, cooking, canning, ironing, cutting wood, boiling water to do dishes, making quilts (because they needed quilts for bedding), sewing clothes --- O my goodness, I am tired just thinking about their lives.  

My great-great grandmother Susan Ward Keyes may have come the closest to being social because of the status of her husband and his family in the community.  But even so, Susan Ward Keyes seemed to be serious; she appeared to be very involved in her church.  When the Keyes family came to Benton County, Oregon in the late 1860s, the house was full of young people - the six Keyes young adults and their cousins and friends.  From all that I know about her, Susan took her job as wife, mother, and manager of the home seriously.  She provided a gathering place for her children and her husband and their friends, but she too seemed to fit the mold of the too busy wife and mother to be a real social butterfly.

No, I don't think we do "social butterfly" in my family.  Even later generations are way too driven to be proper social butterflies.  No, not in my family.


  1. My family is a lot like yours...no social butterflies here either!

  2. Mine, either, Joan. Add milking cattle, gardening, and driving a tractor to that, and you've got my mom to a T. She was active in her church, however. Great post!

    P.S. Congratulations on your Top 100 award!! Awesome!

  3. Hi Joan: I have been enjoying reading your blog. I have awarded you "The One Lovely Blog Award".

    You can pick up your award and the instructions at www.mjhellman.blogspot.com aka Mary Jane's Genes.

    Congratulations - you deserve it!


  4. Joan, I can't seem to find your email address anywhere on your blog, but I have a little story to share with you. I am the great, great granddaughter of Sarah Ellen Brown Keyes, so as you can imagine I find your blog quite fascinating! Please email me at operation.anna@gmail.com if you get the chance.