8    Mar 201212 comments

International Women’s Day: Your stories

Martha Florence Sutter’s “Resistance Fighter” Identity Card, c1940

Martha Florence Sutter’s “Resistance Fighter” Identity Card, c1940

We’ve had a terrific response to our “International Women’s Day: Heroines in your family” post, where we invited you to submit stories about the incredible women in your families.

The stories we received highlight how women left their mark on their families while remaining a shining example for future generations.

Here are a few examples to inspire you as much as they inspired us. Thank you for sharing them.

Michèle Boeckx (Belgium) writes:

"During WWII, my paternal grandmother, Martha Florence Sutter, assisted by my grandfather, hid people in their cellar, including 13 people wanted by the Nazis, risking their lives. I found letters and testimonies of this courageous act and - in the 1960s - she was recognized by the state of Israel as “Righteous among the Nations.” My mother, Margarette Jean Farnworth, was English. She did not hesitate to enroll in the administration of the British Royal Air Force to contribute to the efforts of liberation of occupied countries. The lives of these two women were not easy. They died many years ago, but I keep them with me forever. Thanks to them I found the strength to take, in the 70s, my two children out of a country in the midst of a revolution to bring them up in a peaceful country."

Sally Harris (UK) writes:

"My late mother-in-law Maud Harris (nee Snowball) was a volunteer fire fighter in York during WWII. Because she was such a modest and unassuming lady, we sadly only found out about this after her death in 2000 when we were sorting through her things and found a medal presented to her after the war ended."

Elena (Spain) writes:

"My mother was a heroine, who struggled to raise me together with six siblings. At that time it was not proper for women to study, yet she fought for me to be able to go to college and I graduated as a teacher."

Charlene Roose (US) writes:

"My mother grew up in a household of seven children, a mother with Huntington's disease, and a father who could not deal with it and used to disappear frequently for weeks at a time. She moved away from home at 15 and shortly after had to quit school to support herself. She later took her GED exam and passed with a score equal to two years of college, just from learning everything she could on her own. She went to work for the State of Michigan and, after retiring from there, owned her own restaurant. She died in March 2010 from Alzheimer’s and colon cancer, but she handled her illnesses with the same bravery and dignity that made her so important to so many people all of her life. She is truly a heroine!"

The hardships that the women in these stories suffered - and the dignity in which they handled those challenges - are messages for us all.

MyHeritage on PinterestIn honor of International Women’s Day, we created a Pinterest board titled #WomenRock to visually cherish amazing women. We hope you find it a continuing source of inspiration. Do browse our other boards about creative families, family reunions and, of course, genealogy.

We look forward to your comments below, on Facebook, Twitter and more to add to our conversation on the special women in our families.

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Comments (12) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Mary Hacker Bush
    Mary saved her family and husband,John Bush in 1775 on the Buckhannon River in WV and fought the Indian single handed when attacked .Mary managed to drag her husband into the house when he was going to be scalped.Twenty bullets entered the door as Mrs Bush stood against it to hold the Indians back
  2. John Bush built Hort bush and fought in the Lord Dunbar War
  3. My mother raised 10 children. She would not tell us anything about her parents. She had to quit school after the sixth grade. She make all of us go to school, then some to college. Others joined the military. She had several different types of jobs to support us, not seeking welfare. One job was with the government in an ammunition plant. I have had epilepsy since I was 10, but she still make me do my chores, cooking, cleaning up, etc. So I learned to take care of myself. I still have seizures, but I live alone and take care of all my responsibilities.
  4. I use MyHeritage. I have gone back to 1735, but when I started I did not even know my grandparents name.
  5. Thanks Mary and Cathy for sharing
  6. my father's family came to australia 1832 he was a convict. and he had a family of 9 from then on all the children were born to parent each family had anything from 9 to 14 children or more .most of them lived around aust ..and there was lot of poverty.and sickness .and sadness.but they had a go and made it ,as from them we grow grow grow.and the rest is history,so it say's
  7. My great grandmother was the first white women in the district of Creswick which is a small town in Victoria, Australia, as her husband went to the goldfields he left his wife alone for 2 years the only companions she had was a kangaroo and a wallaby, she waited and waited and he finally returned with no gold and 3 horses. She was noted in our International womens Day in Hepburn Springs in 2008 (Elizabeth Sewell)
  8. There are many many women how were never acknowledged in Early Australian History. Most times they wrote about the pioneer men but omitted to say how the women were also pioneers and worked along side the men. They carried their babies and went through child birth without pain relief then carried on after the birth in very primitive conditions. Very little is said of the women of that time in early settlement. It was a matter of survival. A great book to read is " Dam Whores and Gods People " gives you a sense of the time and what life was really about.
  9. My aunt was in the Dutch resistance during WWII. A little Jewish girl, whose life she saved, wrote a book about her. It is called "A Trek for Trinie" Her name was Trijntje Roffel. I did not get to know her personally, as our family left the Netherlands in 1950 to move to Canada. Very proud of her.
  10. Thanks for all your comments. We'd be really grateful if you could email stories@myheritage.com with more information about your stories and then perhaps we'll showcase them on our blog.
    Thanks again
  11. WHEN IN GRADE 3 OR 4 I DISCOVERED ,IN HISTORY CLASS, THAT WHEN MY GRANDMOTHER IMMIGRATED TO CANADA SHE DID NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO VOTE AND WHEN SHE MARRIED MY GRANDFATHER SHE WAS CONSIDERED HIS PROPERTY (LIKE A DONKEY OR HORSE OR SOMETHING ).
    THIS REALLY AFFECTED ME EMOTIONALLY , TO THE POINT THAT THE NEXT YEAR ON ENTERING GRADE 4 OR 5 YEAR I REFUSED TO PUT MY BLOOD LINE DOWN AS ANYTHING ELSE BUT CANADIAN ,AS IT WAS REQUIRED TO WRITE IT DOWN AS AN INTRODUCTION TO THE CLASS EVERY YEAR TO PUT DOWN YOUR HERITAGE AND I DID NOT EVER KNOW WHAT TO PUT AS THERE WERE MANY BLOOD LINES IN MY HERITAGE AND I HAD NO IDEA WHAT WAS PROPER AT THE TIME .AND YOU COULD NOT BE CANADIAN ....AS THERE WAS NO SUCH THING AS A CANADIAN !!! WOMEN THANKFULLY HAVE A LOT MORE FREEDOM AND FAIR TREATMENT BY "SOCIETY " TODAY , ALTHOUGH NOT NEARLY ENOUGH !
    just a note to say how far we have come and still need to go and how things taught can have a huge effect on a person !KNOWLEDGE CAN BE FREEDOM !!
    MY GRANDMOTHER WAS A STRONG AND GOD HUMAN BEING AND I COULD NOT UNDERSTAND HOW ANYONE WITH A BRAIN COULD TREAT HER THAT WAY ...MY GRANDFATHER CERTAINLY DID NOT !
  12. WILL DO AND WILL ATTEMPT A RE-WRITE OF THIS STORY LATER WHEN I HAVE TIME .
    THANK YOU ,
    Neil

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