I am named after my grandmother, my mother's mother. Her name was Sarah Louise but they called her Sally. My mother's middle name was also Louise, and fittingly, my brother married a woman who's middle name is also Louise. And they had a daughter and named her Emily Louise... ok, I'll stop now.
My grandmother was born Sarah Louise Voegtly. I'll never forget when my mother told me my grandmother was 19 years old on November 19, 1919. I can't tell you how many times I've repeated that to people who could care less. I thought it was cool, back in the day.
Turns out my grandmother's family is steeped in Pennsylvania history, which I learned about when I signed up for Ancestry.com earlier this year. This ancestral line apparently links me to Italian royalty! Since I started to search my family tree in late January, beginning with my father's extensive research on his Norwegian relatives, I have connected 545 people to my family tree from both sides of the family.
Sally Voegtly was born in 1900 in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, later known as Pittsburgh, to Adolph Nicholas Voegtly and Nannie Hays. She only had one sibling, a brother, John, born in 1903. He died in 1955, at age 52, about ten years earlier than my grandmother. Here's a photo of Nannie Voegtly with Sally and John. What a beautiful photo.
Sally Voegtly attended Goucher College, an all-woman's college formerly known as the Woman's College of Baltimore, prior to the campus acquisition of 421 acres in Towson, where Goucher is now located. In 1920, only 7.6% of women went to college, and more than 70% of them went to coeducational colleges. She was the first generation of college women, and back in those days there was a genuine fear that a college education would diminish a woman's chances of getting married and having children. More than 50% of woman did not marry or delayed marrying so it explains why my grandmother was 29 when she married my grandfather Carl Oscar Ericke. She wore a simple, dark brown lace dress for the occasion, which my mother has kept all these years.