Thursday, March 03, 2011

Fearless Females: Thirza

March 3 — Do you share a first name with one of your female ancestors? Perhaps you were named for your great-grandmother, or your name follows a particular naming pattern. If not, then list the most unique or unusual female first name you’ve come across in your family tree.

Probably one of the most unusual female names in my family history is Thirza SMALLEY (c1775-1861), who was my maternal 5th-great grandmother.  According to the website, Behind the Name, the name is the Dutch variation of the name TIRZAH.  Tirzah comes from the Hebrew meaning of 'favourable'.  It occurs in the Old Testament as the name of a daughter of Zelophehad; also as a place name for a residence of the kings of the northern kingdom.  I have seen the name spelled as both Thirza and Thirsa.

Thirza was born circa 1775, probably in Thetford, Worchester County, Massachusetts.  She was the daughter of Francis and Sarah (HUTCHINSON) SMALLEY.  Thirza married in 1796 in Thetford, Orange County, Vermont to Gordon PIERCE.  They had 5 children together, and she died in 1861 in Pitcher, Chenango County, New York.

My line of descent from Thirza is as follows :

Thirza SMALLEY m. Gordon PIERCE

Francis S. PIERCE m. Rebecca PAGE

Edmund G. PIERCE m. Catherine GROENENDYKE

William Francis PIERCE m. Clara PENISTEN

Edna Muriel PIERCE m. Virgil Lee WRIGHT (my great-grandparents)

Once again, in honor of National Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist blog presents Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month.

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