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.
In 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.
Search for your ancestors: