In celebration of Women’s History Month, March’s 12 Ancestors in 12 Months writing prompt is Females.
For more than 12 years, I have written about hundreds of women in our combined family trees, many of them found in the pages of history books. In this post, I wanted to focus on everyday women—ten to them to be exact—who died in March. Although these women lived simpler lives than our more famous forebearers, their lives were important nonetheless, especially to those of us who proudly call them ”family.“
1. Susan (Neal) Lewis (my spouse’s 3rd great-grandmother)
Susan Neal, daughter of John Neal/Niell and Mary Hunter, was born in Pennsylvania on 28 November 1814. (There seems to be some dispute on exactly in which county she was born. Some say Huntingdon, while others claim Centre. As I cannot find proof of either, I shall remain neutral.)
The first time that Susan Neal appears in records is on 14 September 1841, when she married William Monroe Lewis, son of George Lewis and Polly Tumbleson, in Port Matilda, Centre County, Pennsylvania. Both Susan and William were 26 years old. Soon after they wed, they set up their home in Worth Township, Centre County, Pennsylvania.
The couple had five known children, three of whom survived to adulthood: son Marshall Humphrey Lewis, who was born less than nine months after their wedding day on 13 February 1842; daughter Rebecca J., who came along three years later on 12 July 1845l and daughter Hannah Larue (my spouse’s 2nd great-grandmother), who was welcomed on 6 August 1848. The two children who died in infancy were daughter Medora, born on 1 July 1851, and son John, born on 19 February 1854.
Less than a month after the birth of her fifth child, Susan (Neal) Lewis, age 39, passed away on 10 March 1854, in Worth Township, Centre County, Pennsylvania, probably from complications of childbirth. Her bereaved family buried her in the Port Matilda Presbyterian Cemetery.
2. Anna Margaret (Beighel) Beck (my spouse’s 5th great-grandmother)
Born circa 1774, Anna Margaret Beighel was the daughter of Wilheim Heinrich Beighel and Mary Magdalena Hoff, who were members of a Mennonite congregation in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Anna Margaret was one of six known children; the others were Johannes, born circa 1762; George, born 13 June 1770; Jacob, born circa 1776; Henry, born 3 September 1780; and Daniel, born circa 1783.
In 1796, Anna Margaret Beighel married Henry Beck, son of Johan Lorentz and Anna Maria Beck.
Together, Anna Margaret and Henry Beck would have several children, including William Henry, born on 26 May 1797; George (my spouse’s 4th great-grandfather), born circa 1801; Jacob, born in 1802; Daniel, born on 30 July 1803; Mary, born on 18 October 1804; Isaac, born circa 1805; Margaret, born on 7 March 1805; John, born circa 1807; and Eleanor, born in 1811.
Supposedly, in March 1850, Anna Margaret (Beighel) Beck, age 74, passed away somewhere in or near Centre County, Pennsylvania. However, no gravesite or burial records have been found to confirm this.
3. Sarah (Covenhoven) Hendrickson (my 6th great-grandmother)
In January 1778, Sarah Covenhoven was welcomed to the world by her parents, Cornelius Albertse Covenhoven and Mary Logan. She is the youngest of their four known children, including Cornelius, born 18 May 1771; Christopher, born on 21 February 1774; and John, born on 1 June 1777.
Sarah also had four known half-siblings from her father and his first wife, Antje Williamson. Those siblings were Albert, born on 21 July 1751; William, born on 11 April 1753; Neeltje, born on 5 December 1754; and Altje, born on 30 October 1756.
On 21 December 1797, Sarah Covenhoven married Daniel G. Hendrickson, son of Gerret Hendrickson and Helena Van Lieu, in the Dutch Reformed Church of Middletown, Monmouth County, New Jersey.
Together, Sarah and Daniel Covenhoven would have several children, including daughter Maria (my 5th great-grandmother), born circa 1798; son John, born in 1802; daughter Phebe, born on 23 March 1805; and daughter Sarah Cornelius, born in 1810.
On 23 December 1820, daughter Maria wed Lewis Smith (my 5th great-grandfather), son of John S. Smith and Mary Herbert.
On 20 March 1841, Sarah (Covenhoven) Henrickson died at age 63 and was buried at Rumson Burying Ground in Rumson, Monmouth County, New Jersey.
4. Martha Anne (Fleming) Connell (my 6th great-grandmother)
On 29 April 1765, Martha Anne Fleming was born in Augusta County, Virginia to parents William Fleming, a Scottish-born and raised physician/soldier/politician, and Anne Nancy Christian, a Virginian native. Martha, nicknamed Matty, joined an older brother, Leonard Israel Fleming, who arrived the year before on 18 June 1764.
In addition to Leonard, Matty had several known younger siblings, including Elizabeth, born on 13 March 1775; Dorothea, born on 17 August 1777; Priscilla. born on 24 October 1782; William, born in 1783; Ebenezer Kilpatrick, born on 8 September 1788; and Annie C., born in 1801.
Some of these siblings were born after Martha Anne Fleming married Angel Connell, an Irish immigrant, in Greenbrier County, Virginia (now West Virginia) on 29 April 1782. Soon after, the couple left Virginia for the Kentucky frontier, settling in the area of Lincoln County which is now Madison County.
Together, Matty and Angel Connell would have many children, including son William Milton (who, like his maternal grandfather would become a doctor), born circa 1783; daughter Mary, nicknamed Polly, born circa 1784; daughter Elizabeth, nicknamed Betsy, born 1786; son James M., born in 1792; daughter Eppy, born in 1793; daughter Nancy Jane, born on 28 February 1794; son Pierce James (my 5th great-grandfather), born in 1797; son John, born in 1799; daughter Jane, born in 1800; and daughter Martha, nicknamed Patsy, born on 20 February 1804.
On 7 October 1805, a year after Patsy was born, sadness came to Matty’s life, when her husband Angel Connell died at the age of 51.
Nearly seven years later, on 16 March 1812, Martha Anne (Fleming) Connell passed away in Madison County, Kentucky. She was only 45 years old.
5. Christiania (Beck) Kiesecker (my 7th great-grandmother)
In 1730 in the town of Steinmark, located in the Bavarian region of Germany, Christiania Beck was born to parents Andreas Beck and Anna Webber. She had one known sibling, Andrew, who was born in 1735.
On 18 February 1748, Christiania Beck wed Johannes Kiesecker, also of Steinmark.
In late summer/early fall 1754, the young couple boarded the ship Phoenix in Rotterdam, Netherlands, bound for the new world. (Christiania’s husband was recorded as Hans Kisecker on the ship’s manifest.) Johannes’ brother Johan Ernst Kiesecker and sister-in-law Anna Maria Kungunda had already immigrated to Pennsylvania six years earlier on 16 September 1748. Soon after arriving in the port of Philadelphia, Johans and Christiania headed to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
The couple had several known children, including son Johan Mathias, born circa 1755; son Johan Andreas (Andrew) (my 6th great-grandfather), born in 1756; son Johan Ernst, born on 23 October 1757, and christened on 6 November 1757, at the Bergstrasse Evangelical Lutheran Church in Ephrata Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.; son George, born circa 1759; son Aaron, born in 1759; son Johannes, born on 23 February 1760; and daughter Mary, born in 1765.
At some point, while their children were still young, Christiania and Johan Kiesecker decided to leave Pennsylvania, migrating to western Virginia, specifically Berkeley County, where they would settle permanently.
Decades passed, and the Kiesecker children grew up and established families of their own, many of whom would remain in Berkeley County, Virginia (now West Virginia.) Daughter Mary wed Barney Millier circa 1783, and son Mathias married Elizabeth Ebersol in 1791.
Sadly, before Christiania (Beck) Kiesecker could celebrate the nuptials of any of her other children, she died on 26 March 1794, at the age of 64.
6. Margaret (LaRue) Lightner (my 7th great-grandmother)
In 1713, Margaret LaRue was welcomed to the world. Some sources state that her parents were Jonas George LaRue and Marie Usiele, while other sources claim that her parents were Johan Georg and Maria LaRue. Regardless, in 1730, Margaret married Nathaniel Ignatius Lightner in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
The couple had a lot of children, 18 to be exact: Jonas, born on 15 August 1733; Johan Wilhelm (John William), born on 8 August 1734; Anna Magdalena, who was born on 26 August 1735, and died on 18 July 1736; Nathaniel Ignatius, born on 6 August 1736; Johan Heinrich (Henry), born on 21 August 1737; Johannes Michael, born on 26 September 1738; Johan George, born on 10 November 1739; Anna Margaret, born on 29 November 1740; Maria Elizabeth, born on 30 November 1741; Johan Adam, born on 9 October 1743; twins Benjamin and Joseph, both born on 14 October 1744, and died less than a year later; Mary Catharina, born on 22 January 1746; Jane, born in 1747; Isaac, who was born on 9 November 1747, and died as a child; Maria Magdalene (my 6th great-grandmother), born on 19 December 1748; Rachel, born on 10 March 1750; and Susanna, born on 16 July 1751.
With this many children, Margaret (LaRue) Lightner celebrated quite a few nuptials, including that of Jonas, who married Barbara Rutter circa 1755; Anna Margaret, who wed George Rutter circa 1757; John William, who married Margaret Mackrel on 11 March 1762; Nathaniel Ignatius, who wed Margaret Rutter on 1 July 1762; Maria Elizabeth, who married Anthony Ellmaker on 3 June 1760; Michael, who wed Margaret Schultz in 1763; Mary Catharina, who married John Miers on 29 May 1764; Maria Magdalene, who wed Daniel Spengler on 10 December 1765; Rachel, who married Johannes Peter Boeshaar on 13 June 1768; George, who wed Mary Creighton on 13 June 1768 (obviously, a double wedding with his sister Rachel); Jane, who married Andrew Rutter on 4 October 1768; Susanna, who wed Frederick Baker on 20 November 1770; and Johan Adam, who married Leah Ferree on 14 June 1777.
Sadly, in 1779, son-in-law Daniel Spangler died at the age of 38/39. Left with several young children to raise, daughter Maria Magdalene (Lightner) Spangler needed to find another husband. She did so several months later on 10 December 1779, marrying Dr. Carl Gottfried Winterschmidt (my 6th great-grandfather).
Another heartbreak came to the family a few years later, when Margaret’s husband, Nathaniel Ignatius Lighter, passed away on 12 October 1782. His grieving family laid him to rest in the Christ Episcopal Church Cemetery in Leacock, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
For more than a decade, life was good for Margaret (LaRue) Lightner, who was blessed with dozens of grandchildren. However, on 29 March 1794, her life came to an end, and Margaret (LaRue) Lightner was buried next to her beloved husband.
7. Mary (Bennett) Boggess (my 8th great-grandmother)
Born in 1685 in Cherry Point, Northumberland County, Virginia, Mary was the daughter of either Edward Bennett or Henry Bennett (sources vary).
In 1702, Mary Bennett wed Henry Boggess in St. Stephen’s Parish, Northumberland County, Virginia.
Together, Mary and Henry Boggess would have nine children, seven of whom survived to adulthood. Their children were Bennett, born on 16 August 1703; Henry, born on 6 December 1705, Robert, born on 1 December 1707; Mary Ruth, born on 13 August 1710; Thomas (my 7th great-grandfather), born on 21 December 1713; Ruth, born on 18 June 1717, and died during childhood; John, born on 30 August 1720; and twin daughters Anne and Elizabeth, born on 5 July 1723.
On 27 December 1727, son Bennett married Elizabeth Samford. Two years later in 1729, son Robert wed Ann Cox. Five years passed before son Henry wed Jane Cox on 16 July 1734. Four years later on 29 August 1738, son Thomas married Hannah Rust (my 7th great-grandmother). Then in 1740, son John married Elizabeth (surname unknown).
Amid this happiness, a great sadness came to the Boggess family when daughter Anne died on 11 May 1741, at the age of 17. Sometime after her death but before February 1742, daughter Elizabeth wed Thomas Anderson.
A year later, Mary (Bennett) Boggess passed away on 15 March 1743. She was 58 years old.
8. Anna Barbara (Schön) Fleishman (my spouse’s 8th great-grandmother)
Anna Barbara Schön was born on 29 September 1664, in Neuenbürg, Kraichtal, located in the Margraviate of Baden, bordering the Duchy of Württemberg and the Bishopric of Speyer, of the Holy Roman Empire (now a part of modern-day Germany). She was the daughter of Quirinus Schöne and Maria Barbara Beuhler. Anna Barbara joined elder brother Jörg Martin, born on 26 September 1660. Seven years passed. Then on 31 August 1667, brother Peter Matthäus was welcomed to the family. A few years later on 17 July 1671, sister Maria Barbara came along.
On 2 November 1680, Anna Barbara married Hans Thomas Blankenbühler. She was 16 years old. Two years later on 10 January 1682, brother Jörg (Georg) Martin wed Maria Elisabeth Ruedy.
Supposedly, in 1683 (on 17 May, to be exact), parents Quirinus and Maria Barbara Schöne both passed away. Although they might have died in the same year, it is highly suspect that they died on the same date. Unfortunately, there are no records to substantiate or refute this claim,
With their deaths, their children were left orphaned. Thankfully, none of the known children were too young, and with at least two of the siblings married and running households of their own, it is probable that the elder siblings cared for the younger ones.
On 2 January 1682, two years after their marriage, Anna Barbara and Hans Thomas Blankenbühler welcomed their first known child, Hans Niclas. Their second child, Hans Balthasar, came along circa 29 April 1683. Their third son, Hans Matthias, arrived a year later on 29 December 1684. The couple’s final known child was a daughter, Anna Maria, born on 5 May 1687. Unfortunately, in 1691, Hans Thomas Blankenbühler passed away, leaving Anna Barbara to care for four young children alone.
She needed someone to help provide for her family’s well-being and found that person in Johann Jacob Schlüchter, whom she married in early November 1691. Together, the couple would have two children: Heinrich, born on 7 May 1697 and died within the year; and Johann Heinrich, who arrived on 7 May 1697. A year later on 13 February 1698, the unthinkable happened again, when Anna Barbara’s second husband, Johann Jacob Schlüchter, died.
Now twice widowed and with five children to support, Anna Barbara had to find another husband. The process took a bit longer the third time around, but on 5 March 1701, she was married to Cyriacus Fleishman (my spouse’s 8th great-grandfather). Together, the couple would have two known children: daughter Mary Catherine Fleishman, born on 26 January 1704; and son Hans Peter Fleishman (my spouse’s 7th great-grandfather), born on 10 April 1708.
Her first child to leave the nest was Anna Maria Blanckenbühler, marrying Johann Thomas on 18 November 1711 in Neuenbürg. Son Hans Niclas (Johann Nicholas) Blanckenbühler married Apollonia Käffer on 6 May 1714 in Neuenbürg. The next day, 7 May 1714, son Hans Matthias (Johann Mattheus) Blanckenbühler married Anna Maria Mercklin on 7 May 1714 in Oberderdingen, where he was working as a tailor.
In 1717, Anna Barbara (age 53) and Cyriacus Fleishman left their homeland, bound for the New World. Traveling with them were Anna Barbara’s four unmarried children: Anna Maria Blanckenbühler, Heinrich Schlücter, Maria Catherina Fleishman, and Hans Peter Fleishman; her married sons Hans Balthasar, Hans Matthias, and Hans Niclas Blanckenbühler, their wives, and children; and her married daughter Anna Maria (Blanckenbühler) Thomas, her husband, and their children.
The families headed to the port of London, intending to travel to Pennsylvania aboard the ship Scott. However, the ship’s Capt. Tarbett hijacked the immigrants, taking them instead to Germanna, where they became indentured servants of Lt. Gov. Alexander Spotswood. (At the time, the Germanna area was the westernmost outpost of colonial Virginia: today’s Fauquier, Culpeper, and Madison Counties.)
Eventually, the Blanckenbühler/Schlücter/Fleishman family and others secured their freedom, although not without pushback from Spotswood, who filed suit against them.
The families prevailed and secured land patents in the nearby Robinson River Valley in 1726. For two decades, Anna Barbara (Schön) Fleishman lived in this area until her death on 5 March 1746, at the age of 81.
9. Mary (Simmons) Alden (my spouse’s 9th great-grandmother)
Mary Simmons was born in 1638 in the town of Duxbury, Plymouth County, Massachusetts. She was the daughter of Moses Simmons (née Moyses Symonson) and Sarah (surname unknown). (Moses Simmons arrived in the Plymouth Colony in November 1621, aboard the ship Fortune, the second Engish ship to land in the area; the first was the Mayflower.)
Mary joined an elder sister, Rebecca, who was born in 1635. In addition, Mary had several younger siblings, Moses, born in 1639; George Simmons, born in 1640; Katy, born in 1644; Elizabeth, born in 1645; John Simmons, born in 1647; William, born in 1648; Sarah, born in 1649; and Aaron Simmons, born in 1650.
Together, Mary and Joseph Alden would have several known children, including son Isaac, born on 21 December 1664; daughter Sarah (my spouse’s 8th great-grandmother), born in 1665; son Joseph, born on 8 February 1667; daughter Mary, born on 8 January 1668; daughter Mercy, born on 3 March 1669; Hopestill, born in 1671; Elizabeth, born in 1672; and John, born on 1 September 1674.
Sady, a year after the birth of her last known child, Mary (Simmons) Alden’s own mother, Sarah Simmons, passed away on 27 October 1675, in West Bridgewater, Plymouth County, Massachusetts.
Ten years later in 1685, son Isaac Alden married Mehitable Allen, daughter of Samuel Allen and Sarah Partridge. That same year, daughter Sarah Alden wed Joseph Crossman (my spouse’s 8th great-grandfather), son of Robert Crossman and Sarah Kingsbury.
In 1689, daughter Hopestill Alden married Joseph Snow, son of William Snow and Rebecca Browne.
In 1690, son Joseph Alden wed Hannah Dunham, daughter of Daniel Dunham and Mehitable Hayward.
Sadly, on 15 September 1691, father Moses Simmons died and was buried in Duxbury.
Two years later, circa 1693, daughter Mercy Alden married John Burrill, son of John Burrill. That same year, daughter Elizabeth Alden wed Benjamin Snow, brother to Joseph (mentioned above).
Three years passed. Then on 8 February 1696, husband Joseph Alden died and was buried in First Cemetery, Bridgewater, Plymouth County, Massachusetts. A month later on 10 March 1696, Mary (Simmons) Alden also passed away and was laid to rest in First Cemetery. She was 55 years old.
10. Agnes (Dürr) Schelling (my spouse’s 10th great-grandmother)
Agnes Dürr was born in 1620, in Dußlingen in the Duchy of Württemberg of the Holy Roman Empire (now a part of modern-day Germany). She was the daughter of Conrad Dürr and Catherina Atzinger and sister to Conrad, born in 1610, and Anna Dürr (also my spouse’s 10th great-grandmother), born in 1617.
On 29 October 1645, Agnes Dürr married Johannes Schelling (my spouse’s 10th great-grandfather).
The couple’s first child, son Conrad, was born on 26 July 1646.
A few months later on 27 October 1646, sister Anna Dürr wed Martin Brüel (also my spouse’s 10th great-grandfather).
Amidst this great joy was great sorrow when Agnes’ son, Conrad Schelling, died on 4 November 1646.
Daughter Magdalena Schelling was born two years later on 30 August 1648.
Unfortunately, young Magdalena would not get to know her maternal grandmother, Catherina (Atzinger) Dürr, who died on 24 April 1649, in Dußlingen.
A few months later on 2 September 1649, son Anastasius Schelling was welcomed to the household.
Two years went by. Then on 9 June 1651, daughter Margaretha Schelling arrived in their home. Sady, she died a few months later on 17 November 1651.
On 9 February 1653, daughter Barbara Schelling joined the family.
Another daughter, whom they also named Margaretha Schelling, was born circa 7 January 1655, but she died before her first birthday.
Son Johannes Schelling was born circa 1 March 1656; however, he too died young circa 13 March 1659.
A few months later, on 8 May 1659, daughter Anna Schelling was welcomed to the family.
The third and final daughter named Margaretha Schelling (my spouse’s two-times 9th great-grandmother) was born on 18 January 1658.
Unfortunately, Agnes (Dürr) Schelling would not have the opportunity to see baby Margaretha or any of her other children grow up and start families of their own because she died on 3 March 1661. She was 53 years old.