This blog is dedicated to my future great grandchildren. Perhaps some day you will search for me and want to know about me, Wendy Jean Waddell Harty and your ancestors and the stories I have researched and written.
I believe God nudges us in certain directions. If you get the message numerous times you have a choice to make. Let me explain how this blog came to fruition. Walking along the Fraser River Valley with my oldest grandson Ethan Harty the discussion turned to social media: you-tube and instragram and the usage of. Next a Facebook post came as a reminder: When you’re young your grandparents try to tell you their history and you don’t care because it doesn’t interest you at the time. Later on you wish you had written down what they said. The third was a writer’s workshop by Deana Sweeney, award winning author of a series of paranormal novels who introduced me to blogging.
I am a wannabe. I’ve always wanted to write and sketch and draw and paint. There is a novel ricocheting around my brain. After listening to three you-tube videos on beginning to blog the advice was to “just start”. Below is the beginnings of my putting the facts of my 5th great grandmother into a story.
Forbidden. Just one word written at the end of a church record, March 10th, 1743, Keziah Atwood and Abraham Gibbs, intention to marry. Then, just that one word, Forbidden!
Keziah knew from the rapid footsteps of her mother as she scrambled up the ladder to the loft that something was happening. It was predawn and mama was urging her twelve year old brother, Stephen, from sleep into his shoes and coat. “Mama”, Keziah whispered, but Mama’s head and shoulders were disappearing, down the ladder. Keziah pulled the blankets up over her head seeking warmth but also the darkness from what she did not know.
She heard the squeak of the heavy door after the door was lifted and the command of her mother, Hannah, given to Stephen. “Run”. One at a time three disheveled men knocked and entered their home. Keziah didn’t need to see them clearly in the dim light to know they were: Samuel Brown, Samuel Smith and Ephraim Covell.
Keziah wrapped her blanket tightly around her slim shoulders. She slipped out of the bed she shared with slumbering Jurusha, her three year old sister. Near the top of the ladder, she perched and watched mama fetch the inkwell and paper. The gloom brightened as the oil lamp’s wick was turned up. The three men had propped papa up with pillows. He was still in his nightcap. His breath came in short, raspy pants. Keziah knew the cloth held to his lips was red tinged as it had been for days.
When her father, Stephen, stopped coughing, Ephraim Covell, bent forward and started to write what her father was saying. Keziah would not know at that moment that Father was having his will recorded. Only days later would she learn the details.
In the name of God, Amen the First day of December in 1732, I Samuel Atwood of Eastham, in the County of Barnstable, house carpenter, being in a weak and low condition but of disposing mind and memory blessed be God for a (not legible) make this my last Will and Testament in manner form following that is today__after my Debts and funeral charges are paid and discharged I give Devise and Dispose of all my worldly Estate as Follows ____
I give and bequeath to my Son David Atwood Twenty Shillings
I give and bequeath to my Son Enoch Atwood Twenty Shillings
I give and bequeath to my daughter Keziah Atwood Twenty Shillings
I give and bequeath to my daughter Jurusha Atwood Twenty Shillings
And in as much as my wife Hannah Atwood is in a helpless lame condition I do therefore give devise and dispose of all the remaining of any Estate both real and personal unto my dear and Loving Wife Hannah Atwood and John heirs, assigns forever and I Do Constitute, Appoint my said wife Hannah Atwood Together with my honored Father-in-Law David Doane to be my whole and sole Executors to this my Last Will and Testament
Signed Seal’d and declared to be his Last Will Testament for Samuel Atwood Presence of Sam’ll Brown, Sam’ll Smith, Ephraim Covell signature and seal Samuel Atwood Massachusetts, Wills and Probate Records, 1635-1991
Others in Record
Hannah Doane AtwoodJerusha AtwoodKeziah AtwoodEnoch AtwoodDavid Atwood
Mama tied on her best apron and straightened her bonnet, then shepherded the children through the door. On the path to the meeting house, Grandfather David Doane moved up beside his daughter, Hannah, lending her his arm. Mama’s limp was ever so much noticeable today. Grandmother Dorothy Doane was hurting the small hand of Keziah, clasped tightly in her calloused one. She stooped to pick up Jerusha, letting go. The two boys, Enoch and David walked ahead, heads bowed and silent. That left Keziah all alone at the rear of the procession and no one noticed the tear trailing down her cheek.