Howe Julia Ward

Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910), 5th cousin 5x removed

Here’s a YouTube video about Julia Ward Howe and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” narrated by Orson Welles (1915-1985), my 7th cousin 2x removed:


Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910)

Julia Ward (Howe) was a prominent American abolitionist, social activist and poet, most famous as the author of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”.  The hymn used the music from the song “John Brown’s Body”.  Howe’s more famous lyrics were written in Nov 1861 and first published in The Atlantic Monthly in Feb 1862.  The song links the judgment of the wicked at the end of time with the American Civil War.  Since that time it has become an extremely popular and well-known American patriotic song.  After the Civil War Howe focused her activities on the causes of pacifism and women’s suffrage.  In 1870 Howe was the first to proclaim Mother’s Day, with her “Mother’s Day Proclamation” (originally known as “Appeal to womanhood throughout the world”).  From 1872 to 1879, she assisted Lucy Stone and Henry Brown Blackwell in editing Woman’s Journal.  After her husband’s death in 1876, Howe focused more on her interests in reform.  She was the founder and president of the Association of American Women, a group which advocated for women’s education, from 1876-97.  She also served as president of organizations like the New England Women’s Club, the Massachusetts Woman Suffrage Association, the New England Suffrage Association and the American Woman Suffrage Association (AWSA).  During the last two decades of her life, she was interested in the cause of Russian freedom.  Howe supported Russian emigre Stepniak-Kravchinskii and became a member of the Society of American Friends of Russian Freedom (SAFRF).

Julia Ward Howe, in later life

Two daughters of Julia Ward Howe, Laura Elizabeth Howe (1850–1943) and Maud Howe, were accomplished authors, and they won a Pulitzer prize in 1917 for their collaboration on their mother’s biography, Julia Ward Howe, 1819-1910.  They are my 6th cousins 4x removed.

Julia Ward (1819 – 1910), 5th cousin 5x removed – Samuel Ward (1786 – 1839) – Samuel Ward (1756 – 1832) – Samuel Ward (1725 – 1776) – Mary Tillinghast[1] (1690 – 1767) – John Tillinghast (1657 – 1690) – Pardon Tillinghast (1622 – 1718) – Hannah Tillinghast (1682 – 1731) – Lillis Haile (1714 – 1797) – Jesse Mason (1737 – 1823) – Lydia Mason (1765 – 1812) – Lydia Baker (1788 – 1851) – Fayette B Hamlin (1812 – 1866) – Henry Fayette Hamlin (1834 – 1901) – Clarence Clark Hamlin (1868 – 1940) – Elizabeth Gunnell Hamlin (1901 – 1982) – Tor Martin Hylbom (1939 – 2009) – Tor Martin (Majerus) Hylbom


Julia Ward Howe is also my 5th-6th cousin 5-6x removed through John Green (1597-1659) in various ways (due to marriages of cousins) and through Roger Williams (1603-1683):

  • Through his 2nd great granddaughter Catherine Ray, who was also the great granddaughter of two sons of John Green: John Greene (1620-1708) and Thomas Greene (1628-1717).  Catherine Ray married Gov. William Greene[2] (1731-1809).  William Greene was also a 2nd great grandson of John Greene (1597-1659), through the same two sons, John Greene (1620-1708) and Thomas Greene (1628-1717).
  • Through his 2nd great granddaughter (and Catherine Ray’s sister), Anna Ray (1728-1770).  Anna Ray married Samuel Ward (1725-1776).
  • The daughter of Catherine Ray and William Greene, Phoebe Greene (1760-1828), married the son of Anna Ray and Samuel Ward, Samuel Ward (1756-1832), which means that the paternal grandparents of Julia Ward Howe were 1st cousins to each other.
  • Due to the significant intermarriage in her family tree, Julia Ward Howe’s paternal grandfather has at most 44 ancestors going back five generations, instead of the theoretically “correct” number of 62 ancestors, and her paternal grandmother has at most 48 ancestors going back five generations.

[1] Through Mary Tillinghast, Julia Ward Howe is also a descendant of Roger Williams, my 10th g-grandfather.  Mary is Roger’s great granddaughter.

[2] William Greene (1731-1809) was the second governor of the state of Rhode Island, serving in this capacity for eight years, five of which were during the American Revolutionary War. From a prominent Rhode Island family, his father, William Greene, had served 11 terms as a colonial governor of Rhode Island. His g-grandfather, John Greene, Jr. served for ten years as deputy governor of the colony, and his great g-grandfather, John Greene was a founding settler of both Providence and Warwick. Greene served the colony for many years as a Deputy to the General Assembly, a justice and chief justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court, and then as governor. As a governor during the American Revolutionary War, his biggest concerns were the British sacking of the Rhode Island towns of Bristol and Warren, and the British occupation of Newport, which lasted for three years. After eight years as governor, Greene, who supported the use of hard currency, was defeated in the May 1786 election by John Collins who was an advocate of paper money.


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