I just found my great-great-grandmother last week. I didn’t know she was in the same town in which I reside. In fact, she’s only two blocks down the street! Imagine my surprise when I found her! We had a rather one-sided conversation, however, because unfortunately, she died in 1862. How I would have loved to ask her a hundred questions.
What was it like being the wife of a large plantation owner in Virginia? Did you lose the plantation when your husband died? Why did you and your three married children and their families all move to the midwest in 1851? Did you have a say in this adventure or did your children insist you come along? What was it like traveling across the country with five grandchildren, ages 9, 6, 2 and two infants? What was our town like in the mid 1800s? Why did you settle in this town? So many questions I’d like to ask.
Moving is not easy for me. But when we came to this town six years ago, I didn’t have to pack up a wagon and ride hundreds of miles across rough terrain. I didn’t have to say goodbye to a childhood home I would never see again. Somehow, it’s comforting to know that my great-great-grandmother came before me and that for some reason, we have both been destined to leave our marks on this place.
Thank you for being brave, Sarah Roe Newbill Powell, and venturing out to the new state of Wisconsin. I don’t know what brought you here and I don’t know if you were happy here, but I’m glad you were here. I’ll stop by every once in a while to say hi.