Tuesday, July 09, 2013

cross roads

earlier i started telling the story of the cross family in the american civil war, but ended up writing a whole post on just tracking down who was whom in that field.

i was going to pick up here in the narrative by saying that william h. cross married lucy and that they had seven children, but then i thought i'd toss in some parenthetical observations about lucy's place in this life, because the family headstone is kind of unusual for the era in that it gives her a lot of space.

it's more typical for women to be mentioned barely as an adjunct to whatever man she is buried with, as property of her father or of her husband.

but lucy is buried with her first and middle names, and the names of her parents are given, which i like to think indicates that she was thought of in her own time as a formidable and respected person. it isn't necessarily true, but carvings on headstones often indicate a lot about the importance of a person in the eyes of those paying the stonecarver.

so i thought: well, i'll just see if i can find anything about miss lucy and her parents, you know, just to see if there was going to be any support for my idea in the historical record.

right sideLUCY AMANDA
wife of wm. h. cross
& daughter of
deming & polly boardman

you will notice here that polly's name is given. (she's a crane, by the way, in case you want to look her up.)

so i looked up deming boardman, and it turns out that there's a truckload of guys named deming boardman, or "c. deming boardman" or some other first-initial-deming-boardman.

deming? is that even a thing?


it turns out that deming boardman came to central new york from his birthplace in ST. ALBANS, VERMONT (you know, near where i live?). his parents were elijah boardman and nancy DEMING.

so there's a familial culture of women who are not only important enough to be called by name, but their names can be transmitted.

this is where i was sort of going to go back to the original thread of the story, but along the way i found some newspaper articles you might find amusing.

your horse gone?

seneca falls excitement

these are but two of the many interesting records of demings boardman. if you're looking at that second one, the demings boardman come in pretty far down the column, but you should start reading at the top anyway.


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