Underground Railroad Research Forum
Re: Ancestors of Harriet Tubman
In Response To: Ancestors of Harriet Tubman ()
Harriet had eight brothers and sisters, Linah, Mariah Ritty, Soph, Robert, Ben, Rachel, Henry and Moses whom she led out of slavery.
One brother, called Ben in slavery, and later James Stewart in freedom, settled first in Canada and then lived much of his free life in Auburn as well.
Years later, one of Ben’s sons moved away from Auburn and settled his family in Boston, Massachusetts.
Ben, (James), ran away from slavery at Christmas, 1854, with two brothers, Henry and Robert. Harriet helped them escape, as she did all members of her family.
Ben left behind two free boys, whose mother was probably dead. When he ran, Jane, his fiancée also ran from slavery. They married and lived at first in Chatham, Ontario. As a free woman, Jane changed her name to Catherine Kane, and then to Catherine Stewart, after her marriage.
Their son Elijah (my great grandfather) was born in April 1856, in Chatham, Ontario while his parents were living with the Bowley family.
Catherine, wife of James (Ben) moved to Auburn NY with 3 children, Elijah, Hester (Esther) and the baby, Adam. Adam died in 1863. Hester's birth and death dates are not known. Catherine died in the 1870's.
Elijah married twice. He married Georgia in the 1880's in Auburn, NY, and had two children, Ben and Hester. In 1888, Elijah and Georgia moved to Boston, and Georgia died there in the early 1890’s.
Elijah later married Mary Brothwick, an Irish Protestant from Tipperary, Ireland. She came to the United States as an indentured servant around 18-20 yrs of age. Mary worked as a maid, and was still in bondage when Elijah wanted to marry her. Elijah cleared her debt, and they married soon after.
Mary Brothwick became an American citizen around 1892, a period when few immigrant women sought it out, because there were few rights a woman gained as a citizen.
Elijah had 8 more children with Mary; Hilda (my grandmother) Viola, Reginald, William, Robert, Alfred, Bessie, and Howard. According to my grandmother, Harriet used to stay at Elijah's home quite often, and they would have regular debates about women's rights.
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