Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wishful Wednesday - Who was Martha Jane McColloam?

Martha Jane McCollum was my great grandmother. Somehow, I can't seem to let her go. I want, or more so, need to understand who she was. I have five letters she wrote to my grandfather. I have read them over and over again. Still, she eludes me.

The other day at baseball practice when I was refusing to get out of the car, I wrote down the things I know about her from the letters. Maybe they don't add up to a lot but it's a start.

She had a strong tie to her children.
Her children did not want to disappoint her.
She had a great love for her grandchildren.
She was a hard worker.
She managed the farm.
She did not remarry after her husband was murdered.
She was on good terms with her daughter-in-laws and son-in-laws, at least those who lived in town.
She was money savvy.
She was business minded.
She was observant.
She believed in God.
She was in tune with the weather.
She could read and write.
She worried about her children.
She shared into about the community but was not a gossip.
She was never unkind in her comments but some were made with humor.
She was well aware of the event going on in the world.

This is a Wishful Wednesday post so what do I wish? I want to post this and have it all rearrange itself into a full and complete person who I can understand.

Part of the problem I am having is that I have no frame of reference, no setting. In three weeks, I am going to Tennessee, to Sneedville. I will be able to see where she lived. I will be able to walk in her steps. I need to take what I know and add it to what I will see, what I will find. Then maybe, this ultra-strong, self-reliant woman will reveal herself to me. When I have that down, I will be able to move onto the others who are crowding my mind, demanding a hearing.


  1. She sounds like an amazing woman, Ann. I'm sure it will all come together for you soon.

  2. I think that reading the local newspaper during her time might give you some idea of the activities & events that shaped her life. Regards,
    Theresa (Tangled Trees)