Friday, March 16, 2012

Fearless Females – A Lunch Date

Back in 2010, in honor of Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo created a list of writing prompts for each day during the month of March.  I didn’t participate in 2010, so I’m going to take the opportunity to participate this year, since Lisa was kind enough to resurrect her prompts for 2012.

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?

Most of my research efforts lately have centered around my second great-grandmother, Hulda (Wach) Miller Severing.  Besides the basic genealogy research, I have gone through ten years of newspapers (yes, every issue, page-by-page) to learn more about her, her family, and the society of which she spent fourteen years of her life.  Although the newspaper research has been helpful in understanding her life during those ten years, it doesn’t answer some of the specific questions I have asked myself for years. 

If I could have lunch with her, I’d be armed with the following questions:

  • Why did you decide to leave your family in Germany, at the age of 15, to come to America?
  • How did you later convince the rest of the family to immigrate to America several years later?
  • What was your marriage to Emil Miller like?  Why did you separate, and eventually decide many years later to formally divorce him and marry John Severing?
  • Do you have any idea what happened to Emil after the divorce?  Was he still part of your children’s lives?
  • How did you meet John living some 70 miles away from him?
  • What was your son Emil (my great-grandfather) like as a child?  What about Henry and Ida?
  • How did you cope with the difficulties of stomach cancer for over two years?
  • Which did you prefer, living in the big city of Chicago, or the rural town of Dunham?  Why?
  • What was growing up in Germany like during the 1860-1880s?
  • I know your mom, Amelia, remarried…what happened to your father Heinrich?
  • I just recently learned that you had another brother, Carl August…what happened to him?
  • If you could do it all over again, would you still have left Germany for America?

Wow, until writing these out, I had no idea how many questions I actually had…and I’m sure there’s more lurking in my head :)

Read all of my Fearless Females posts.


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