Saturday, June 24, 2017

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Which Ancestor Do You Admire the Most?

For Saturday Night Genealogy Fun this week, Randy Seaver is borrowing another question from the meme that surfaced a few weeks ago.

For this week's mission (should you decide to accept it), I challenge you:

(1) The Family History Hound listed 20 Questions about Your Ancestor, and I'm going to use some of them in the next few months.  

(2) Please answer the fifteenth question:  "Which ancestor do you admire the most?"

(3) Write your own blog post, make a comment on this post, or post your answer on Facebook or Google+.   Please leave a link to your answer in comments on this post.

I knew immediately who I wanted to write about, but this is frustrating, because I don't remember her name.  The name is in a 560-page book about my Gauntt family, but I don't know where the book is in the house because half of my belongings are still in boxes due to an aborted out-of-state move nine years ago.  But I remember her story.

Most of my ancestry on my paternal grandmother's line is Quaker.  One umpty-umpth-great-grandmother who married into the Gauntt family was renowned in the Quaker community of New Jersey.  She was known for giving inspiring testimony that lasted for hours.  When she was older and could no longer stand, she instead prayed on her knees for hours.  And people stayed to listen.

How can you not admire someone like that?


Addendum, Sunday, June 25, 2017:

I found her name!  I was moving some reams of paper tonight and discovered the book beneath them.

Ann Ridgway was born October 10, 1710 and died February 6, 1794.  According to David L. Gauntt, the author of Peter Gaunt, 1610–1680, and Some of His Descendants (Woodbury, New Jersey:  Gloucester County Historical Society, 1989):

"Ann Ridgway was a well known Quaker minister of Little Egg Harbor, N.J.  She began preaching when she was a very young girl and traveled extensively on preaching excursions from that time until a very advanced age.  She was a minister for over 60 years . . . .  When very old, she could not stand to preach, but would kneel while preaching for an hour or more."


  1. Very neat. Do you have a lot of experience with the Quaker records then? I somehow had misunderstood and thought your ancestry was Jewish.

    1. I have used Quaker records, but I don't have a lot of experience with them. So far I haven't myself traced any of my lines back to when family members were active Quakers. As for the confusion, my mother was Jewish, but my paternal grandmother's ancestors were almost all Quakers. I used to think my paternal grandfather's ancestors were German, until I threw his parentage into question.

  2. An ancestor of which to be proud. I love Quaker records. I don't have any in my tree, but my husband does.

    1. She is really cool, isn't she? I have Quakers all over the place. My paternal grandmother's side of the family is almost all Quaker. But no one comes close to Ann (Ridgway) Gaunt!

  3. Well found! I like umpty-umpth as well, may adopt that myself!

    1. Thanks! And please enjoy using the phrase. I learned it from my mother. Let's keep it going.

  4. Great story! Lots of Quakers in my family and many of them were quite determined souls. Ann Ridgway sounds like a force to be reckoned with!


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