1 Dr. Comfort Starr came to this country
on the Mayflower from Ashire England in 1620.
2 Thomas Starr was put in prison
for being sympathetic with the Indians.
He was later released and given a tract of land
in Connecticut as compensation.
He raised his family in Thompsonville, CN.
4. David Starr
5. Johnathon Starr was married to Sally Starr.
The couple had three children,
Sara and William J. (third unknown.)
For two hundred years
Women from other families were only
Married into the Starr Lineage,
And were not truly Starrs.
Other family names were extraneous.
By the fifth generation,
Women married into the Starr line
Became Starrs by association.
William J Starr was born Nov. 8, 1843
He died Mar.19, 1907
He married Eliza Jane Reynolds, (Dutch)
In Fallsburg N.Y.
Eliza was born Jan. 20, 18--?
Her parents were Andrew Reynolds
And Catherine Vanbenscoten (Dutch)
Eliza died Oct 7, 1886
Twenty-one years before her husband.
They had thirteen children
In New York State.
Eight daughters, and five sons.
Their farm prospered, and
They were one of the first
Free Methodist families in the country.
Since William outlived his wife,
Either he chose to observe his
Wife’s family history, or perhaps
some of his eight daughters did.
Was there a cultural shift in thinking,
because of educating women who now
Could write down their maternal connections?
Or was it the invention of photography
That affirmed that women existed?
Was this a small act of subversion,
Or was it a Dutch tradition that the
Women stayed in touch with
Relatives no matter how far
removed by patrilocation?
Whatever the reasons, a shift occurred.
Sisters, aunts, cousins, nieces, Grands…
Grandmothers, grand daughters,Greats….
All kept abreast of each others lives,
And proudly passed down their traditions.
Mothers are the keepers of culture.
For a good while, I ignored my own
mother’s stories, but she whispered them
again and again from her spirited lips
to my sleeping ears in dreams,
reminding me of the ways that in life,
she stitched the Mother rite into my body,
threaded it through my brain,
nourished me with stories of
women’s lives, struggles, victories.
She clothed me in a patchwork,
cut from the cloth of their aprons
and wove me into the tapestry of
our mingled family heritage until
I understood I was one of them.
All Poems and Images are the Copyright of Ruth Zachary. Permission is required to reproduce them.