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A Catch of Grandmothers

"This little book is for every mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother—and the rest of the family, too. In lyrically beautiful verse, the author and Rockland County native Firth Haring Fabend tells us about nine generations of her "grandmothers," back to the first to come to Rockland – "a wolf-ridden forest"—in the 1680s.


"You will learn of their joys: a baby's baptism, rocking the cradle, a great-grandmother's holding a new-born babe, a summer picnic under the trees, a farm whose bounty fed the family, Rockland's pristine scenery. You will also learn of heart-breaking sorrows: deaths of infants and children, the burdens of being a mother and farmer's wife, even with the help of slaves in the early days, widowhood, and the destruction of homes, barns, livestock, orchards, and stores of foods—by armies on both sides, and by marauders—during the Revolution.


"Firth Fabend's vignettes of her female ancestors are based on the same solid scholarship that has marked her books and many articles on the Dutch in New York and New Jersey. In the past, historians have focused most of their attention on the original male settlers. Convinced that wives and female relatives deserve recognition as well, Mrs. Fabend wrote "A Catch of Grandmothers" to pay tribute in poetry to her nine foremothers and, by extension, to all their nameless sisters, whose role in our history has gone unrecognized and unappreciated."


Comments from readers:

"How beautiful and moving! It brought tears to my eyes. What a sweep of time it covers, and what a unique vision of history it records through women's lives."


"Such strong women! I thought of each of them as waiting behind a door for me to find them. I love it."


"A story of survival as armies on both sides marauded during the Revolution. A tale of family, and the women who held family together."


"I was meant to have this book and will be sharing it with my daughters and granddaughters."