Women’s History Month-Women of Strength in My Life.


Women’s History Month-Women of Strength in my life.

Throughout Women’s History month, my blog posts honored my everyday women ancestors. Today’s post is honoring the Women of Strength in my life. I include my mother, my female siblings and their female children.[I have their permission to post.] They are creating history daily with intelligence, love, creativity, passion, grace and sometime sorrow. Please join me in honoring these women. I’m giving you only a glance of why I honor them. There is much more behind each of the stories.

My brother’s daughter is growing into another strong intelligent woman. She has a few years before she becomes a women in her own right.

We come from strong stock. The women in my family descended from immigrant ancestors that arrived during the Great Migration 1630-1640, time frame. The hard adjustment to the unknown is something everyone faces. It doesn’t matter if it is 1630 or 2016, Life loves throwing little curve balls at us to overcome.


Shirley Beatrice Pease Stearns, my mother. Taught us all to be strong, independent, loving, caring women. I honor her for that and the grace, dignity and courage she showed us in her dying days. She never lost her faith during her long struggle with cancer. She allowed us to choose our own path, even if she didn’t agree with us. She was there to pick us up when we fell down. Kiss our bruises and just held us tight for as long as we needed. She is honored and missed daily by all who knew her.


Tyna Butka

Tyna Butka, is my daughter. Tyna’s strength reminds me of my mother’s steel sense of what’s right with love and caring thrown in. They both called a spade a spade. You always know where you stand with her and stood with my mother.

I honor Tyna for the loving support when times are tough. In the spring of her senior year at college, my mother was dying of cancer. Tyna came home on weekends providing respite for me, my mother’s caregiver. In the fall of that same year, I became ill with, at the time, unknown illness. Tyna decided to suspend going to full time law school. She came home to provide care for me, attend law school at night, graduating from Massachusetts School of Law. She provides the same steel strength and caring in her law practice.


My sister, Vickie Stearns Levesque Junkins, her daughters, Jennifer [Jenn] Levesque Williams, Rachel Junkins and Abigail [Abby] Junkins all overcame their own challenges.

Vickie, looks the most like our mother and like our mother would give the shirt off her back if you needed. Vickie, a single parent, provided love, caring, and her strong faith in bringing up her five children. Visually impaired since birth she has not let that stop her creating the most beautiful cake creations. Although she earned her Southern New Hampshire Culinary School certificate, Vickie learned most of her talent at the side of our mother.


Vickie’s daughter Jenn, overcame the death of her first born child, Connor at six weeks old from a Congenital Heart disease called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. The loss of a child takes its toll on us at any age. The loss of an infant is a devastation that some never recover from and move on. Jenn remembers and honors Connor’s short stay with us every day with the love, caring strength she provides to her other children, Mackenzie and Liam.


Rachel made a brave decision to move away from her family home in the northeast to Florida. The challenges of learning to take care of yourself, set up a place to live, find a job, the roller coaster ride of dating is something we all can relate to. We all want to run away from home to find ourselves. I honor Rachel’s strength and courage for going so far away, but more than that I honor her for knowing when it is time to return to the loving comfort of her family. It is not a failure to return to your family. It shows growth in the knowledge that everyone needs family and friends when times are rough.


Abby does things her way. Her staying power in completing her high school diploma, even if she was older than the others in her graduating class, is a challenge to be remembered. Abby’s ability to overcome challenges most of us never encounter, is why I honor her. [Her story to tell, not mine] She has a passion for life that is seen in few people. She is learning how to corral that passion, not lose it.


Marjorie [Marge] Stearns Stevenson, is the most like my mother. Her strong sense of faith, family and self-taught business skills. She helped her husband start and build a business from scratch. The birth of her second child, brought challenges of a different kind into her life. Richard required oxygen for the first six years of his life, and special feeding techniques, due to swallowing issues. Marjorie not only learned how to feed him by trial and error, but wrote about her challenges to help others. Marjorie is there for any family or friend in need. She knows the importance of providing support when needed. She also has the strength and courage of tough love if needed. Sometimes the only way a person can learn is to hit rock bottom. Her love, faith and open arms during those times is why she is loved by all who meet her.


Eleanor [Ellie] Stearns Carne nomadic lifestyle, until a few years ago, provided challenges for her and her family. Eleanor’s faith gave her the strength to overcome life’s little bumps in the road. The love of horses she shares with her children helped them create books about horse breeding. Ellie informed me this morning that two mares are in fold on their horse farm. She meets her daily challenges with faith, open arms and support of her family. Her love of crafting [like our mother], photography and poetry gets her though life. I look forward to her creativity.


Eleanor [Ellie] Stearns Carne nomadic lifestyle, until a few years ago, provided challenges for her and her family. Eleanor’s faith gave her the strength to overcome life’s little bumps in the road. The love of horses she shares with her children helped them create books about horse breeding. Ellie informed me this morning that two mares are in fold on their horse farm. She meets her daily challenges with faith, open arms and support of her family. Her love of crafting [like our mother], photography and poetry gets her though life. I look forward to her creativity.


Julia Carne may not ride her motorcycle much these days, yet I remember the excitement the day she received her license. [She is spending her time caring for her son.] It is Julia’s excitement for life that she never lost, which draws me to her. Julia’s nomadic upbringing created some unforeseen circumstances no one ever expected. She overcame them with love, courage, strength and grace, like her grandmother, Shirley. Julia’s education can be included in those challenging moments of her life. Christian schools, home schooling [an aunt called June, that had no skills for home schooling,] and on-line courses. Today she is a Dental Assistant. Julia’s smile brings joy to all around her.


Susan [Sue] Stearns Aeschliman’s courage and strength to go to college at nearly forty years of age, half way across the country, is why I honor her. The first two attempts to go to college were enough to frighten anyone. Sue went from a rural Maine town to a Christian school outside of Chicago. Culture shock for a young, rural New Englander, indeed. The second time, same school, brought health challenges. Third time was a charm, Palmer College in Davenport, Iowa fit Sue like a glove. She grew into herself during her time at college. Most of us do that when we are in our late teens, early twenty’s, not almost forty. The shy, independent woman who left return home a fully confident, independent woman ready to take on the world with gusto and life. Did I mentioned that she was a caregiver for one of her nieces and co-caregiver for our terminally ill mother before she left for college? Our niece stayed with Sue until the final semester, when she came to live with my husband and myself, allowing Sue to concentrate on her studies and graduation. Sue’s faith, love, courage and strength in her daily life gives a safe haven to all who enter her realm.

These Everyday women are the core of my life. They provide love, strength, courage, faith, laughter, hugs and gladly give of themselves daily. Through them we add new family members with each generation via marriage and birth. Those new family members, male and female, are as much of who I am today as the females I honor here.

I honor all everyday women in the past, present and future that are the backbone of this world. Their deeds mostly go unnoticed, yet impact our lives more than we or even they may know.

Women History Month

Women’s History Month Theme and Honorees.


Honoring Female Ancestors: Martha Copp


Honoring Female Ancestors: Martha Copp

Copp William 1635 arrival

The month of March is Women History Month. I will be adding some of my female ancestors. in my blogs to honor the hard work that all the achievements small or large to our society. We may not know the full contributions our ancestors provide during their lifetime. We do now that those achievement are not always honored. I honor the achievements in each blog I do, male or female, you are remembered here.

Today honors my immigrant ancestor, Martha Copp. She was about five years old when she and her family arrived in Boston, 17 June of 1635 on the ship Blessing, commanded by Captain John Leicester that disembarked from London, England. Her family included her father William Copp, her step mother Judith Itchenor, and Sister Ann. I have not found the birth records for Ann or Martha, yet all record found to date, list the same birth year of 1630. Their mother Ann died when they were about three years old (1633,) in Warwickshire, England.

The family settled in Boston, Massachusetts, in the area now known as Copp’s Hill Burying Ground. Named after her father William, a prominent cobbler and early settler of the area. Many of the family members were buried there.

Martha, my 9th great-grandmother, married first William Harvey when she was twenty one years old, 1651. William died in 1658. She had least one child by William, in 1652, named Thomas. I need to do more research on this line to find if any other children were born of the marriage.

She married second, 10 Nov 1659, Henry Tewksbury [my direct line.] Their children were Elizabeth (1660), Hannah (1662), Henry (1664), Naomi (1666) [my direct line]], Ruth (1668), Mary (1670), Martha (1672), and John (1674)

Naomi married John Elliot; their daughter, Elizabeth married Jacob Colby; their son Valentine married Hannah Kimball, my first honoree and 6th great-grandmother. I descended from her son, Hezekiah to his son, Chellis; his son, James M; to his daughter, Kate E [who married Alonzo Chase;] to her daughter. Clara J Chase [who married William F Nelson;] to her daughter, Lillian Mae Nelson [who married Nathan A Stearns;] to her son, Nelson William Stearns-my father.

The image included in this blog post gives an overview of Martha’s family. I’m from hardy stock. Look forward to another honoree, soon.


Boston, MA: Inhabitants and Estates of the Town of Boston, 1630-1822 (Thwing Collection). Inhabitants and Estates of the Town of Boston, 1630–1800 and The Crooked and Narrow Streets of Boston, 1630–1822. CD-ROM. Boston, Mass.: New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2001. (Online database.AmericanAncestors.org. New England Historic Genealogical Society, 2014.)