The birth of my tenth grandchild earlier this week made me wonder how many grandchildren the women in my family had in the past. I combined this with when they had their first child and how many children they had. Here is what I found.
I was born in 1946. My oldest daughter was born in Detroit in 1970 when I was 23 years old. My youngest son was born when I was 41. My first grandchild was born when I was 52. I was 68 when my youngest grandchild was born. I have six children and ten grandchildren.
My mother, Doris Graham Cleage, was born in Detroit Michigan in 1923. She gave birth to two daughters. The oldest (me) was born when she was 23 in 1946. My sister was born in 1948 when my mother was 26. I had 6 children and my sister had 1. My mother was 47 when her first grandchild was born and she would have been 64 when her youngest grandchild was born. Doris had two children and seven grandchildren.
My maternal grandmother, Fannie Mae Turner Graham, was born in Lowndes County, AL in 1888. She gave birth to 4 children, all in Detroit. The first was born in 1920. The fourth was born in 1928 when she was 40. Both boys died in childhood. Fannie’s oldest daughter (my aunt) had 3 children and my mother had 2. My grandmother was 56 when her first grandchild was born. She was 65 when her youngest grandchild was born. Fannie Mae had four children. Two died in childhood. She had five grandchildren.
My paternal grandmother, Pearl Reed Cleage, was born in 1886. Her first child was born in 1911 when she was twenty five. Her youngest child was born in 1924 when she was thirty nine. Her first grandchild (me) was born when she was sixty years old. She was seventy six when the youngest grandchild was born. Pearl had seven children and nine grandchildren.
Pearl’s mother, my great grandmother Anna Allen Reed She was born about 1849. She gave birth to her first child when she was 16, in 1865. She gave birth to my grandmother Pearl, her youngest child, when she was 37. Anna was 40 when her first grandchild was born. She had been dead for 15 years when her youngest grandchild was born in 1924. Anna had eight children and thirty-six grandchildren.
My great grandmother, Celia Rice Cleage Sherman was born about 1855 in Virginia. She was taken to Tennessee as a small child. Her first child was born in 1873 when she was eighteen years old. Her youngest child was born in 1883 when she was 28 years old. Celia’s first grandchild was born in 1897 when she was 42 years old. She was 69 when her last grandchild was born in 1924. Celia had five children and twenty-one grandchildren.
My maternal great grandmother, Jennie Virginia Allen Turner, was born free in 1866 in Montgomery, AL. She gave birth to three daughters. The first two daughters were born in Lowndes County. My grandmother was the oldest, born in 1888 when Jennie was 22. Daisy was born in 1890. In 1892 Jennie’s husband died. She later remarried and her youngest daughter was born in Montgomery, AL in 1908 when she was 42. Of her 3 daughters, only my grandmother had children. Jennie Virginia Allen Turner had three children and four grandchildren.
My maternal 2X great grandmother, Eliza Williams Allen was born into slavery about 1839 in Alabama. She gave birth to 13 children. Eight survived to adulthood. All were born in Alabama. The oldest daughter was born into slavery in 1856. Eliza was about 17 years old. Her other children were born free in Montgomery, AL. Her youngest child was born in 1879 when Eliza was 40. Eliza had thirteen children and eighteen grandchildren.
My 3X maternal line great grandmother, Annie Williams, was born into slavery about 1820 in Virginia. I only know of one child, Eliza above, who was born in Alabama in 1839 when Annie was about 19. Annie died before the 1900 census so did not answer the question “How many children did you give birth to?” There is no oral history of Eliza having siblings. Annie had one daughter and eight grandchildren.
My 2X great grandmother Emma Jones Turner was born into slavery about 1842 in South Carolina. She was later taken to Alabama. She gave birth to ten children. Six of the children survived to adulthood. Her first child was born when she was about 18 years old and the youngest was born when she was 30. Emma had ten children, and sixteen grandchildren.