My Great Grandmother Became an Adult at 11

My Great Grandmother Became an Adult at 11

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[Fearless Females: Prompts for Women’s History Month, March 11th–Female ancestor who died young…this is a repeat from last year]

(Reposting this one from last year.  My Great Grandmother was an incredible woman!)

My Great Great Grandmother was Margaret (Kelly) Jones. Margaret lived next door to a young man named, Thomas Augustine Jones.  They married in 1869 and began having a family.  Between 1870 and 1886, the couple had 7 children.  Two of the children, Clara and Matilda, died before their second birthday.

Margaret became pregnant again in the Autumn of 1888.  She went into labor the first week of July of 1889.

Margaret gave birth on the 6th of July.  Things did not go well and she developed puerperal fever also known as childbed fever.  It is a form of septicemia that can set in at childbirth.She died on the 13th at the age of 40.  The baby, Francis, died on the 16th.

Margaret’s death left Thomas bereft.  It also left him with 5 children ranging from 19 to 3 years old who had no Mother.  Thomas’ mother, Mary Jane (Haywards) Jones was living with them at the time and took over the care of the youngest children.  But his mother was in her late 70s and died two years later.

When Mary Jane died, the two oldest Jones children were married.  This left the burden of the youngest children on the next child in line, my Great Grandmother, Margaret (Jones) Jackson.  Margaret was only only 9 when her Mother died and 11 when her Grandmother died.  But, this didn’t matter.  She was now the oldest in the household and the care of her sisters, Gertrude and Alice fell on her shoulders.

Her Mother’s death affected Margaret greatly.  She was 9 years old and dealing with her loss.  But when her Grandmother died two years later, she was expected to take on the role of Mother and Housekeeper.   Margaret was expected to put away childish things and act like an adult even though she herself wasn’t even a teenager.

When her younger sisters move out 1900, she became responsible for her Father.  She was considered a spinster at the old age of 18.  In 1900 she and Thomas lived together and she worked as a Daliswoman.

She remained unmarried until 1905.  A man named Harry Jackson moved to Natoma Street.  He and Margaret got married.  She was 23.

Even after marriage, Margaret still took care of her Father.  He lived with the Jackson’s from the day they married.  Margaret took care of him when he developed senility later in life.  He was with the Jackson’s until he died in 1920 at the age of 73.

These early events set a pattern for Margaret’s life.  She took care of her siblings as a child.  She took care of her Father as a teenager and young woman.  Later, she helped take care of some of her grandchildren.

It’s difficult to know what turns life may take.  For Margaret (Jones) Jackson, those turns came fast and they affected her greatly.  Who knows what her childhood was like and if she ever really had one?  All we know is that it was cut short because of her Mother’s death.

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