4 Generations of Young Mothers Taken To Early

Updated: Dec 17, 2021

I am playing catch-up with topics for #52ancestors. One of the topics I haven't had the opportunity to write about is 'loss.' For this topic, I wanted to share about four generations of women on my paternal line who became mothers, but most of them never got to see their children even begin school.

I thought I would begin with my 3rd great-grandmother, Mary Kerr. There is still a lot of fact-finding I am needing to do to learn about her life. I do know that Mary was born about 1843 in Ireland. Her only parent I have been able to confirm is her father, Henry Kerr. I am hoping when I do learn about Mary's mother that I discover that her mother was in her life for a long time and does not go to further generations down this line. Mary married William McFarland on January 21, 1864, in Dungannon, Tyrone, Ireland. They were blessed with two children who came from this marriage. My 2nd great-grandmother, Anna McFarland, was born on August 29, 1868. Ann was 7 when her mother passed away in 1875, and her brother William was only 3. Mary was gifted to be in Anna's life long enough for Anna to understand the loss of a mother.


Anna and her brother endured the loss of their father on February 25, 1885, when Anna was16 years old. I am curious to learn about Anna's life and how she survived up to her marriage to Hugh Kerr on October 25, 1894. Within the first year of their marriage, the newlyweds immigrated to America and laid roots in Orleans County, New York. Anna gave birth to five children between 1896 to 1904. One of those children was my great-grandmother Anna Kerr who was born in 1803. My great-grandmother was the same age that my 2nd great-grandmother's brother was when their mother passed away. My 2nd great-grandmother died on May 26, 1906.


Arthur & Anna (Kerr) Stinson

Anna Kerr meet my great-grandfather, Arthur Stinson, and were married on April 24, 1923. The newlyweds moved into Arthur's parents' home in Rochester, New York. When you look at the birth date of my grandmother, June Stinson it is obvious that she had been conceived prior to the marriage. June was born on June 19, 1923. After the birth of my grandmother, they continued to live with my 2nd great-grandparents for several years which is where Anna passed away on January 10, 1927. June was only 3 years old, which was the same age that Anna was when she lost her mother.


My grandmother June Stoner & Dad, in 1945.

June continued growing up with her paternal grandparents even after her father, Arthur remarried. June meet and married my grandfather, Kenneth Stoner while he was stationed at the Naval station near Rochester. They married on October 16, 1943, and continued to live with my 2nd great-grandparents. My father was born while my grandfather was on a Naval ship in the south pacific in 1944. The only difference between my grandmother and the previous generations in this line is that my grandmother only was able to enjoy her role of motherhood with my father long enough to celebrate his first birthday. She died in her sleep in the same house her mother passed away in on October 4, 1945.


I feel like the trend of young mothers dying on that line finally broke when my father was born. I am fortunate enough to have not lost my mother as the 4 generations prior to me did. I know that this loss played a major role in generations of this line. As I continue to learn about them I marvel at their strength and I know that their experience of losing their mothers at such a young age changed the course of their lives.


I am looking forward to learning more about these young mothers and pulling their stories together for future generations to learn about them.


Until next time, take care.