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February 18, 2016

Woman of Courage Sarah Jane Page

Because February is Women's History Month I wanted to share with my readers the story of strong and courageous women in my life. You will be able to follow along as you wish by choosing the label "Women of Courage" in the right side bar. I encourage my readers to join me in honoring women of courage in your own families.

Sarah Jane (Sally) Page Simpson
Sarah Jane (often called Sally) Page was born in May 1840 in the village of Chilham in Kent England. Queen Victoria had just married her first cousin Albert one month prior.

Sometime between 1855 and 1861 her parents separated. Sally and her husband Charles Simpson went to live with her mother and Sally's younger brothers Moses age 11 and Charlie only 6 years old. Her father lived elsewhere in the village with an older son. 

Little is known of Sally's early years but her strength and courage were called on in the spring of 1874. At that time her young husband, only 44 years old, became ill and died. Sally, pregnant with their 5th child was left a widow at the age of 37. Her oldest child was only 13. 

Sarah with grandson Ernest ca 1885
Less than 2 months after her husband Charles died, Sally gave birth to their son. This child was sickly and died when he was only 1 month old. Sally managed to raise her surviving children on her own by taking in laundry. She never remarried and remained a widow until her death in 1920 - 46 years after Charles died. In her later years she lived with her oldest son, my great-grandfather, and his family. In fact she died in their home with her daughter-in-law at her side.

I admire my 2nd great-grandmother Sarah Jane (Sally) a great deal. Being widowed at 37, losing a child, and working long hours over steaming hot water at a physically demanding job must have been horrendous. She was a petite woman too so the job must have been very difficult. But she raised children who grew up to be decent kind individuals.

1 comment:

Dana Leeds said...

I enjoyed the photos & story. I love that your sharing stories of your women of courage this month.