“How dare he! Marvayle at my weaknesse, does he?” She fumed once she fled to the safety of her room. “Men call it a weaknesse when a woman uses common sense to measure what is best for a family.”
Amidst rolling hills, Dorset, England appeared to be a tranquil village in the middle years of the seventeenth century. Sheep grazed on green landscapes, and fields of flax and hemp blew softly along the countryside. Fisherman journeyed to open waters along the Dorset Coast, looking for a day’s catch of cod. Shipbuilders created vessels to use on the open seas. Around the village, production took place as crafters made rope and cloth.
Still, uncertainty bubbled about this small community. As religious arguments emerged between churchgoers, villagers longed to escape religious doctrine. Others desired new lands as the hamlet’s population increased, and as crops failed, for now, work was hard to find.
And then there was Christobel’s husband, John Gallup. Here was a daring man, a man who longed for new lands and new possibilities. This adventurer simply wanted new adventures.
Her heart still cried as she remembered that March day in 1630 when he boarded the ship at Plymouth. She watched the John and Mary sail out of the harbor as tears streamed down her face. She was angry! How dare he leave her and the children, especially before their youngest child was yet to be born! Her heart sank as the ship grew smaller and smaller in the distance. Quietly, the women bowed her head, laid her hands on her growing belly, and prayed that she would see her husband once again.
After her husband’s departure, the lonely wife struggled through her daily activities while trying to keep up appearances so she would not alarm her children. She made small talk with the neighbors but danced around the questions asked about her husband, and a time frame of his return.
More than once she wished she had her parents or siblings to help her fight the daily loneliness and her feelings of abandonment. Her parents died when she was young, and she longed for the support of family.
One early July morning, she knew her time had arrived. The beginning pains of childbirth had begun. Her husband was an ocean away when she gave birth to their tiny son, John, baptized on July 11, just over a month after her husband left her. As she held the little one close to her heart, she wondered if she would ever see her husband again. This wife and mother feared for the uncertainty of her family’s future and hoped this child would one day know his father.
While Christobel longed for her husband, she was quite content to remain in her home. After all, the colonies sounded rather unpleasant. She heard the whispers of savage attacks. Through others from the provinces, her husband sent word of wars and the threat of pirates. “Dear me,” she whispered as she recalled the story of her husband chasing a rogue swashbuckler by the name of Dixy Bull, who escaped her husband and his men. As John and his crew chased the devilish bandits, a storm landed, and the blizzard made it impossible for them to follow the pirate and his band.
Although she missed her husband, she was uncertain about traveling to Massachusetts Bay. She was fearful of what this new land had to offer, and the mother worried about the safety of her children. Then there was John; she missed her husband although she was still angry that he left. How could he uproot their lives? Surely, he would return to his family. She was thankful that her children remained. Although it was comforting to have little ones with her, the mother longed for her family to be reunited.
It had been nearly three years since she laid eyes on her husband. She knew the man loved her and missed her; she also knew he loved the open sea and his life as a trader and fisherman along the coastal shores of the colonies. She knew he fretted that thousands of miles of ocean separated his family. This wife longed to see him and finally have her family together once more. But dare she go? Her fears took over as she worried about her the uncertainty of her family’s future.
Her anger rose once again when she recalled the visit she received from Reverend White in the middle of summer. The Governor of Massachusetts Bay was upset that he might lose John and his invaluable navigational skills and his generous service and loyalty to the blasted colonies. Winthrop had taken it upon himself to interfere in their separation. The minister explained that her husband missed her and the family and wanted to come home until that man had to interfere.
“How dare he! Marvayle at my weaknesse, does he?” She fumed once she fled to the safety of her room. “Men call it a weaknesse when a woman uses common sense to measure what is best for a family.” And then that man’s final insult; money sent for passage for the children with or without her! As if she would lose another family member, especially her children! “Well, we will see about that!” The mother countered.
The loving mother knew what had to do as she prepared for her family’s voyage to an uncertain new world. Even if the thrill of adventure had clouded her husband’s judgment and also if she felt this uncertain wilderness held dangers, this mother would not lose her children. She slowly began conquering each fear as she started to plan for a future in Massachusetts Bay.
Note: A short story based on the life of my 12x great grandmother, Cristobel Brushett
son of Cristobel Brushett
son of John Gallup
son of John Gallup
daughter of Capt. John Gallup
son of Elizabeth Gallup
son of Zachariah Frink
son of Daniel Frink
son of Zachariah Frink
daughter of Elias Frink
daughter of Clarissa Amelia Frink
daughter of Ellsa LaDuke
daughter of Anna Strassburg
daughter of Elva Marie Bryant
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- Lineage Book of the National Society of Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America. Vol. 40, Daughters of Founders and Patriots of America, 2006.
- Mandrell, Regina Moreno Kirchoff. Our Family, Facts and Fancies: The Crary and Related Families. Patagonia Press, 1993.
- New England, The Great Migration and The Great Migration Begins, 1620-1635, Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013, search. ancestry.com/search /db.aspx?dbid =2496.
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- Radune, Richard A. Pequot Plantation: The Story of an Early Colonial Settlement. Branord, CT, Research in Time Publications, 2005.
- “Relative Map.” Relativefinder.org, Brigham Young University Family History Technology Lab, http://www.relativefinder.org/#/main.