Monday, June 25, 2018

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – 25 – Same Name

It seems I'm late again, but here is a post for last week.

As shown on the title of this blog my name is Joanne. I looked up what Wikipedia said about my name and found that Joanne is a variant of Joanna, which is the feminine form of the name John. I looked at the first names of my ancestors and could not find anyone named Joanne. But I did find one Joanna.

Joanna was so far back in my ancestry that I haven't yet entered her into my on-line tree.
She was my 9th gt-grandmother, Joanna Greenslade, the wife of James Avery. I feel very fortunate that a well-documented family history has been written about that early Avery family, (Taylor, Maureen A. Editor, The Avery Family: The Ancestors and Descendants of Christopher Avery, Boston: Newbury Street Press, 2004). It tells me that Joanna was baptized 4 Feb 1621/22 at St. Sidwell, Exeter, co. Devon in England, the daughter of Thomas Greenslade. Joanna had immigrated to the “new world” by April 1643 as she was admitted to the First Church of Boston the 18th day of the 4th month 1643. It was that same year, on 10 November 1643, when Joanna and James Avery were married in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Their first 3 children (Hannah, James and Mary) were born in Gloucester. About 1650 the family moved to New London, Connecticut, when 6 more children were born (Thomas, John, Rebecca, Jonathan, Christopher, and Samuel)I find it fascinating that the home which James built in Groton, (the part that is now in Ledyard) in 1656 stood for 238 years until it burned in 1894. Due to its long life there are photos of this home where Joanna has lived. It was probably in October of 1697 when Joanna died.

There is also a Joanna found in the New Testament in the Bible. A number of years ago (1981) I wrote a poem about that Joanna. Here it is:


Let's notice Joanna in the Scriptures, a lesser-known woman of the Jews.
She shared in Jesus' ministry, a first-hand witness of the good news.

Luke tells us she was married, her husband worked for Herod the king.
She could afford to help Jesus financially and did this very thing.

At the end of Jesus' ministry when he's hanging on the cross
I believe she's one of the women standing afar, sorrowing for their loss.

But we know her actions on Easter, where she was at the beginning of the day.
She was one of the women who came to the tomb where they thought Jesus lay.

To their surprise the tomb was empty and the stone had been rolled away.
He is not here, he is risen” were the words they heard the angels say.

Then she and the others hurried to the disciples this resurrection news to tell
But the men disbelieved the women till they saw the empty tomb as well.

We'll not find Joanna's name again as we read the Holy Book,
But due to her recorded deeds we can guess the turn her life took.

I think she would have been at Pentecost when the first Gospel message was preached
And she believed and obeyed the word, a part of the three thousand reached.

So, even if I haven't found my name Joanne in either my ancestor list or in the Bible, I am claiming Joanna as the “Same Name.”

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