Thursday, May 16, 2019

Meet Rebecca's Children

Since last week's post was about Isaac Werner's mother and some important events in her life, this week I will share four other important events--the births of her five children!

On May 23, 1844 Rebecca Werner gave birth to twin boys, Henry Beckley Werner and Isaac Beckley Werner.  To both boys she gave her maiden name of Beckley as their middle name.  Henry did travel some before his marriage, but he chose to settle down with his wife Eva {Hain} and son Charles near the Pennsylvania area in which he was born.

Next came daughter Emma Rebecca Werner, born October 3, 1846, to whom she gave her own given name as a middle name.  Emma married William E. Good, an executive with the railroad, and they had four children:  Miriam, Florence, Paul Eckert, and Marriott Augustus.  Emma spent her life in Pennsylvania, living in Philadelphia at the time of her death, and buried in Redding.

A fourth child, daughter Elmira Rebecca Werner, lived only briefly, from 1849-1850.

Rebecca's last child was Henrietta Catherine Werner, born August 5, 1851.  She married Samuel Palmer, a pastor, called not long after their marriage to a church in Abilene, Kansas.  Four daughters were born of their marriage:  Miriam Agusta, Emma May, Mary M. and Gertrude Octavia.  Rebecca lived with the Palmer family until her death and is buried in Abilene.  A few years after, the Palmer's moved to Lawrence, Kansas, where Ettie and Samuel are buried.

Composition book for 1866-1867, Ettie C. Werner, Harrisburg, Pa.
Rebecca's surviving children lived successful lives, and their mother must have been a contributing factor.  I like to think that her influence on education made a difference.  My research found that her twin sons were still students at the age of 17, a significant education for that era.  The younger daughters were still in school at that time as well.  Unfortunately, I could find no further records of their educations, although there may have been more.  (See Ettie's book, which seems to indicate she may have attended a boarding school in Kentucky.)  What I did find was that Ettie's daughters attended college.  Education was clearly important to the Werner family.  I have journals kept by Isaac, Henry, and Ettie, and Emma may have kept one as well, although I did not locate it.

I was very fortunate that a descendant of Ettie shared a faded copy of Ettie's journal kept in 1866-1867 when she would have been about fifteen.  The image above is from that journal, and I transcribed the faded ink of a passage I found very telling of the importance the Werner family placed on reading.  Obviously, Isaac's amazing library has been mentioned many times in this blog, and his youngest sister clearly shared the same love of reading, as I suspect all of the siblings did.

From the words of the teen-aged Ettie, taken from her "Composition Book," it is obvious that her love for books was strong.  "We should also be careful to read at right times, for if we create a passion for reading it [the book], and then do not control this passion we often get to be very careless and negligent about a great many other things when we have commenced some book in which we are interested, it is very hard to resist the temptation to sit down and read and not attend to any thing else till it is finished."

As someone who rarely lacks having a book near at hand, I can certainly appreciate Ettie's words.  I only wish that passion were stronger among the larger population today.  Surely credit is due Rebecca for having nurtured such a love of reading and of learning in her children.    

1 comment:

The Blog Fodder said...

A love of reading and a sound education go hand in hand. Rebecca did well in raising her family.