The Scrappin Genealogist

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Fearless Females: Day #1

Once again, in honor of National Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist blog presents Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month.

Here's the March 1 prompt: Do you have a favorite female ancestor? One you are drawn to or want to learn more about? Write down some key facts you have already learned or what you would like to learn and outline your goals and potential sources you plan to check.

I do have a favorite female ancestor, and I know quite a bit about her. She was my paternal great grandmother and her name was Ellen Jane Folden Ausmus. Nellie, as she was known, was born 4 March 1881 in Strang, Fillmore, Nebraska to parents Charles William Folden and Alice Amelia Kirwin Folden. She married John Calvin Ausmus on 2 March 1902 in Strang, Fillmore, Nebraska. She and John were the parents of four children - Ethel Alberta Claudia Ausmus, John Donald Ausmus, Ruth Ausmus (died at three days old), and Charles Clair Ausmus (my grandfather).

Nellie was only 11 years old when her mother passed away. She lived with her mother's brother and worked for him on his farm. Nellie married John Calvin Ausmus and had her first child Ethel in Nebraska. John and his two brothers wanted a better life for their families, so they immigrated to Saskatchewan, Canada. Nellie came with her daughter and sister-in-law a few months later. Nellie had her last three children in Saskatchewan. They lived there for 11 years and decided that the winters were just too harsh for them. They moved to Los Angeles, California.

Nellie was a wonderful mother and devoted grandmother. She lost her beloved John in April 1940 and devoted the rest of her life to her children and grandchildren. In December of 1952, Nellie was diagnosed with stomach cancer. She was only given a few weeks to live. But, determined not to ruin Christmas for her children and eight grandchildren, she hung on and spent her last Christmas with her family. Nellie lost her battle with stomach cancer on 4 January 1953 in Torrance, Los Angeles, California. Nellie was cremated and her ashes scattered in Palo Verde, California.

I have always felt a deep connection to this lady. I can't explain it, but I have often felt her presence in my life. I know it sounds strange to feel this presence when I've never even met the lady, but her presence is strong in my life and in me. I love her and look forward to the day that I can meet her.


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