What better way to start November's family history posts than by introducing Thankful Stowe, my g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-grandma? I first learned her name when I was a child, and I remember thinking, "What a funny name!" Now that I'm older, though I still think it is a quaint practice, I recognize the appeal of giving a child the name of a desirable trait.
As was often the case back in the 1600s when Thankful lived, everything that I found recorded about her was in relation to a male relative. In Thankful's case, most often she was mentioned as being the husband of John Pierpont, or the mother of James Pierpont, one of the founders of Yale University. However, I recently learned she was related by marriage to a woman whose name I recognized: Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin.
Harriet's husband, Calvin Ellis Stowe, was the g-g-g-g-g-grandson of Thankful's father. Using this cousin calculator, I learned that Calvin and I are 6th cousins three times removed. OK, so that isn't that close. However, I am happy to claim the Stowes as relatives. In a time of slavery, they spoke out for fairness.
While I still don’t know much about Thankful, I am thankful for her and her relatives.