March 12, 2014

Working Girls

In celebration of National Women's History Month, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at what my female ancestors did for a living. 

I'll start with myself. I work for a software company. Yawn. But in past lives I've been a writer, editor, paralegal, department store detective, and skating rink DJ. I've also worked in a Waffle Shop, libraries, and a group home. 

My mother, Gladys ALLEN STANCIL, taught 6th grade special education at a time when teachers were not required to have college degrees. She loved it. She taught at Summersill Elementary School in Jacksonville, NC. She also worked in the accounting office at Sears, as a bank teller, in a Five and Dime, and the hardest job of all - homemaker and mother. My mom was a pretty smart gal.

My Aunt Lib (Grace Elizabeth ALLEN LEE) worked most of her life for the State of NC as a clerk. In her retirement years, she worked for Rex Hospital in Raleigh as a liaison between families and nurses/docs. 

My cousin Teresa is a Physician's Assistant.  Her sister Deborah works in a hospital. Both are very loving caring women, so no surprise they wound up in healthcare. Another cousin Donna is also a nurse. 

My maternal grandmother, Ethel DAVIS ALLEN, worked at Dix Hospital in Raleigh, NC for a time and at Caraleigh Cotton Mill, also in Raleigh.

My great aunts Meona DAVIS, Cora DAVIS FINCH, Ovie DAVIS LOWERY, and Mary DAVIS ALLEN all worked at Dix Hospital as well. They worked in the hospital laundry and on the wards. Dix was a state mental hospital. I'm sure they had stories to tell!

My great grand aunt Sallie STANCIL worked for a newspaper in Morehead City, NC.

My other great grand aunt Mamie ALLEN worked as a seamstress. She could sew like nobody's business.

I don't know that my paternal grandmother, Ada Lou JOHNSON STANCIL, worked outside the home. But I betcha she worked her fingers to the bone INside the home.

The same can be said for all the rest of my female ancestors. In general, both sides of my family were poor and extremely hardworking people. No one ever handed us anything. If hard work builds character, then my family has it in spades. 

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