Sunday, March 29, 2009

Martha Amanda Kimball Wisemiller

Hipped Gable with Rustic Star by John Clement Howe.Barn located on Elm Avenue, Newaygo County, Michigan
Martha Amanda Kimball Wisemiller was Lou's great-grandmother. I have no pictures of her, and very little information written about her. When I checked the notes section of Dad's genealogy records, I found the following brief summary which explains why we know so little about her. She died before her 18th birthday. Her daughter Cora Melvina Wisemiller Butler (Lou's grandmother), was only 2 1/2 years old at the time of Martha death, so she would have had no memories or pictures to pass on to future generations.

Martha Amanda Kimball was born on Saturday, 6 June 1857, White Cloud, Brooks Township, Newaygo County, Michigan. (Click here if you want to read about that area today.) She was no doubt named after her grandmother Amanda Westbrook. In the 1870 Census, she was apparently still living at home, but her occupation was listed as "domestic". She was married on her 14th birthday, Tuesday, 6 June 1871, perhaps at White Cloud, to William Henry Harrison Wisemiller. She died on 15 March 1875, White Cloud, Newaygo County, Michigan, from difficulties in childbirth (one of her twins dying with her). She was only 17 years when she died, and although she had already had a child [Cora Melvina], the bearing of twins was apparently too much for one so young.

This brief entry gives me a lot to think about. What did she look like? What did she do for fun? What was her daily routine? Why did she marry so young? Was 14 years old considered a young age for marriage in 1857?

Although these questions remain unanswered for now, at least we know of her, and we have gathered her in to our family.

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