#52Ancestors – Week 6
A Favorite Name
By Marilyn Sears Lindsey
Miranda Freelove Trask (1869-1893)
What a name! So different…so special…the name of one of my ancestors who, unfortunately, lived a very short life. She was my Great-great grandmother on my mother’s side.
“This year, more than 120 million babies will be born on earth. Those who survive will sooner or later undergo the initiation process of receiving a name. Names are a part of every culture and they are of enormous importance both to the people who receive names and to the societies that given them.
Despite their universality, there is a great deal of difference from one culture to another in how names are given. Among most preliterate peoples, names are determined according to very definite and specific rules. Generally, in cultures with a keen sense of ancestry, children get their names from the totems and family trees of their parents. In some cultures, names are taken from events which happen during the pregnancy of the mother or shortly after the birth of the child, and in others, names are divined through magic and incantation. In some cases, the name given at birth is only the first of several names a person will bear throughout life.” ~ H. Edward Deluzain at BehindTheName.com
Miranda Freelove’s parents’ names are George and Susan – very common names around the time of Miranda’s birth in 1869. By then our Civil War was over and our country was pulling itself back together from the atrocities of bombings and illnesses. What was the situation in Uxbridge, Worcester County, Massachusetts where Miranda was born? The north hadn’t been ravaged as much as the south had but still… “During the American Civil War, Union and Confederate commanders made the capture and destruction of enemy cities a central feature of their military campaigns. They did so for two reasons. First, most mid-19th-century cities had factories, foundries, and warehouses within their borders, churning out and storing war materiel; military officials believed that if they interrupted or incapacitated the enemy’s ability to arm or clothe themselves, the war would end. Second, it was believed that the widespread destruction of property—especially in major or capital cities—would also damage civilians’ morale, undermining their political convictions and decreasing their support for the war effort.” ~ Megan Kate Nelson from AmericanHistory.Oxfordre.com There must have been a lot of building and re-building in Uxbridge.
Miranda’s father, George Nelson Trask, was born in 1846 in Cumberland, Providence County, Rhode Island. Cumberland was peaceful from its founding when settlers purchased land from Indigenous Americans and then continuing with William Blackstone (Blaxton) who preached a brand of tolerant Christianity. George was only 18 years old at the end of the Civil War and on a later US Census he stated that he hadn’t served in the military.
Susan Hardy, his wife, had 4 children from her first marriage when she married George on 24 Nov 1868. Miranda Freelove Trask was born on 6 Nov 1869 and was only 7 months old at the time of the 1870 US Census. She was one of 63 babies registered in Uxbridge that year and the records were haphazardly placed in the register. It seems people registered a child’s birth as they were able to get to the town office.
(Miranda’s record is #3 in this register.)
Miranda means Miraculous… Freelove means Peace and Trask is a form of Thirsk which comes from a place in Yorkshire, England called Thirsk. Was it possible that these names gave her the feeling that she was a miracle and gave her the peaceful strength to:
- help raise three younger siblings (2 brothers and a sister)?
- take on a job as a servant as a young woman?
- get married at 15 years old on 25 Dec 1884 to Embert Reuben Greene?
- give birth to 3 daughters, Minnie, Bertha and Freelove, by the time she was 19?
- become a seamstress and then?
- watch her youngest die of meningitis at the age of 5 months?
(Embert and Miranda’s Marriage is the last one on this page.)
Miranda had Bright’s which is a kidney disease that was described as having symptoms of high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney failure and convulsions and was often found in patients with diabetes. It often is a response to an infection such as strep throat or an abscessed tooth.
She was 23 years 3 months and 27 days old when she passed away on 5 March 1893 – just 4 years after her youngest. Her daughter, Minnie, was only 7 and her younger daughter, Bertha, was only 5 when Miranda died. Their father Embert married Annie Arthur in 1896 and 4 more children.
(Miranda’s death is listed on Line 14 in this register.)
Maybe Miranda Freelove’s strength was passed down to me through DNA and I have them to thank for being alive today and all the blessings that I’ve been given. It’s so strange to realize my life depended on so many people before me but as I study genealogy, I’m beginning to realize it’s true.
There were lots of other Trasks – certainly more than a beginning genealogist can count.
There were other Freeloves in Miranda’s family tree too. Freelove Weatherhead her great grandmother, Merribie Freelove Weatherhead her other great grandmother, Freelove Amanda Greene, her daughter, and Ethel Freelove Ballou who was her granddaughter.
There was another Miranda in her family – her Aunt Miranda who was her father’s sister. But that’s another story…