Germanna descendant Anna Jarvis, the founder of Mother’s Day, devoted years to gaining national recognition for a day to honor mothers, as a fulfillment of a dream held by her own mother—Ann Marie Reeves Jarvis.
Ann Marie was born in Culpeper in 1832, the daughter of Josiah Washington Reeves and Nancy Kemper Reeves, whose Kemper ancestor Johannes had come to Virginia in 1714 as one of the original Germanna colonists whom Lt. Governor Alexander Spotswood settled at Fort Germanna along the Rapidan River frontier. Johannes (or John) Kemper, the immigrant, married Alice Catherine (Ailsey) Otterbach, a fellow 1714 immigrant from the Siegerland, soon after their arrival in Virginia.
Ann Marie’s father was a Methodist minister who was transferred in 1843 from Culpeper to Philippi, now in West Virginia, when she was a girl.
Ann Marie married Granville Jarvis, a successful merchant, and was mother to eleven children, but only four reached adulthood.
She organized Mother’s Day Work Clubs to improve health and sanitary conditions for families in several towns.
When war broke out and the western part of Virginia broke away and formed the new state of West Virginia, Ann Marie Jarvis urged her Mother’s Day Clubs to declare neutrality and provide aid to both Confederate and Union troops. For many years after the war, she spoke of her dream to have a day in which Americans would honor mothers.
After her husband died, she moved to Philadelphia, where she died in 1907.
Her daughter Anna Jarvis (1864-1948) began her campaign for the creation of a national Mother’s Day on the first anniversary of her mother’s death. She gained the support of the Philadelphia philanthropist John Wanamaker, and by 1909 there were unofficial Mother’s Day observations in 45 states.
Official recognition began to follow, and in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson approved a resolution adopted by both houses of Congress recognizing Mother’s Day.
To read the full story on the founding of Mother’s Day, read this article by Germanna Foundation Trustee, Katharine Brown, Ph.D.
This Mother’s Day, we not only honor our mothers and grandmothers, but remember the legacy our female immigrant ancestors left behind.
Elsbeth (Elisabeth) Heimbach Fischbach was the daughter of Johannes Heimbach of Trupbach, and his wife Clara. Elsbeth is a real grandmother to First Colony descendants as several First Colony
families descend through her children:
- Anna Elizabeth, who married John Jacob Rector
- John Fishback
- Harmon Fishback
- Maria Els, who married Melchoir Brumback
- Maria Elisabeth, who married John Spilman
Anna Barbara Schon is one of the matriarchs of the Second Colony. Married three times, she immigrated to Virginia with her third husband and children from all three marriages.
Anna Barbara first married Hans Thomas Blanckenbuhler in 1680; married second to Johan Jacob Schluchter in 1691; married third Cyriacus Fleischmann in 1697. Other families that descend from Anna Barbara through the marriage of her children include Merklin, Thoma, Kaifer, Broyles, and Weaver.
Today we pay tribute and remember the legacy and sacrifice our mothers and foremothers made.
Click here to donate to our Mother’s Day Tribute Campaign and make the donation in honor or memory of a mother who is special to you.
We’ll add their names to the Germanna Honor Roll of Mothers.
You can honor their memory and leave your legacy this Mother’s Day by making a donation to the Germanna Foundation in their name, and remember the Germanna Foundation in your estate plans and will as well.
By including the Germanna Foundation as a beneficiary in your will, you will help us preserve Germanna’s history and heritage for future generations.
You can also name the Germanna Foundation as a beneficiary of your life insurance policy or your retirement plan (such as a 401(k), 403(b), IRA, or other pension plan). By naming the Germanna Foundation as a beneficiary, you maintain complete control over the plan while living, but at your passing the plan passes to the Germanna Foundation free of both income and estate taxes.
The Germanna Foundation can be named as a primary beneficiary for part or all of the assets in the plan, or as a contingent beneficiary, or as a beneficiary at the death of your surviving spouse. Please ask your insurance agent, your employer, or the financial institution managing your retirement plan for the proper forms.
Please consult with your attorney or personal financial advisor regarding the legal and tax benefits of all estate and planned gifts!
By making a planned gift in the form of cash, securities, real estate, or other assets, you will be investing in the continuation of the Germanna Foundation’s vital work to preserve Germanna history for years to come. If you choose to make this kind of gift, you will become a member of our Germanna Legacy Society.
And, by including the Germanna Foundation in your estate plans, you will honor and protect Germanna’s history for the next generation, and generations to come!
For more information on planned giving with the Germanna Foundation, call us at 540-423-1700.
Thank you for honoring Mother’s Day with your gift and for consideration of including the Germanna Foundation in your estate plans. Together we not only honor our mothers and grandmothers, but also remember the legacy our female immigrant ancestors left behind!