Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Story of Holy Ann

I will be linking this post with Friday's Hunt over at Eden Hills, thank you Teresa for hosting.
This week the hunt is for the letter "H", my week's favourite and family.
My paternal grandmother was a storyteller and one of her favourite subjects was Holy Ann. Her details were sketchy and family wondered if the woman was fact or fiction. One day I came across an article about Holy Ann Preston and I thought I'd share her story on my blog.
Born in Ireland in 1806 Ann Preston grew up in a family of methodists but she herself was not religious and was, in fact, rather rebellious and argumentative. She left home at an early age to become a house maid to Dr. Robert Reid and emigrated to Thornhill, Ontario in Canada with the doctor and his family.
Dr. Reid was a devout Methodist who believed in three family prayer services daily which eventually piqued Ann's interest and she herself began to pray out loud in earnest. Her practice of speaking out to ask the Lord for direction in all aspects of her life gained her the nickname of Holy Ann by the local Catholic neighbourhood boys who also wrote this name in chalk on the side of Dr. Reid's home.
Ann prayed for hours at a time, day and night and it surprised the good Doctor and neighbours that her requests began to come true.
One summer a drought dried up the family well and the eldest son had to carry buckets of water from half an hour away. He taunted his nanny Ann to bring water back to the well and she took it as a challenge to God.  After praying all night she threw two pails down the well and drew up fresh water which were placed on the kitchen table for the family.
After this Ann prayed for healings and other appeals that were miraculously granted.  Dr. Reid had a wooden shed built where she could pray undisturbed and tend to those in need. Ann was known to have prayed for eggs when the hens weren't laying and sure enough a hen would mysteriously lay a much needed egg.
Ann could quote scripture even though she was illiterate, knowing passages of the Bible better than some clergymen.
She died on June 21, 1906 at the age of 100 and clergy from six different denominations assisted at her funeral.
The well and wooden shed still stand, protected for historical significance with a plaque about Holy Ann.
Ann's headstone which is in Mount Pleasant Cemetery.
My grandmother wasn't born until 1900 so I can assume there were story tellers in our family long before her who may have witnessed, or knew of some of the miracles performed by Holy Ann.
My grandmother (family) at the age of 19 and my favourite photo of her.

28 comments:

  1. Judith, what a great story! I totally believe God chooses certain people to do His work...many times those we would never suspect...and also know that there is so much power in prayer! Your grandmother was a very beautiful woman. Thanks for sharing this with us!

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  2. What a fascinating story of a woman of faith. Thanks for writing this and sharing it.

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  3. What a wonderful tribute and so understandable why that photo is your favorite of your grandmother, Judith!...:)JP

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  4. What a neat post, Judith!

    I love learning things - and devotionals are always needed and appreciated!

    Your grandmother was beautiful - the apple didnt' fall far from the tree. : - )

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  5. What an interesting story, Judith, on Holy Ann. I so enjoyed learning about her and the miraculous deeds that happened from her praying. What a beautiful picture of your grandmother, and I can see the resemblance of her in you.

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  6. What a fascinating story, Judith, passed down in your family from generation to generation. Thank you for sharing! It is interesting to try to imagine how was life in the 19th century when the miracles happened. The photo of your grandmother is very beautiful.
    Enjoy your holiday! :)

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  7. Hello Judith, I enjoyed this story about Holy Ann. It is neat that her prayers request were granted. I love the photo of your grandmother. Great post, enjoy your day!

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  8. What a lovely story. That is an incredibly beautiful photo of your Grandmother.
    Have a wonderful Wednesday!

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  9. A wonderful story. I am sure that you pass the story on to your grandchildren to keep it alive and to inspire faith.

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  10. A wonderful story, Judith! She sounds like a strong woman. And I see why that photo of your grandmother would be your favorite.

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  11. What an interesting post, my dearest Judith, I love stories of the past, as you know, and this is so very lovely !
    Your grandmother was truly wonderful !
    I've enjoyed this post of yours so very much, my sweetest friend, and with so much gratitude I wish you a most beautiful remainder of your week
    sending love and hugs to you
    Dany

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  12. So nice to have a photo of your grandmother at that young age. As I see well, I think you look a bit like her. Also the story about Holy Ann is interesting to read, thank you for sharing this.

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  13. Oh how very interesting. She was a Saint indeed
    There is people in the world today like Holy Ann

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  14. What wonderful history of and for your family! xx

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  15. Wonderful story and history . Thanks for sharing , have a good day !

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  16. Thanks for sharing this interesting story, Judith! This is the first time that I've heard of Holy Ann from Thornhill. I echo Kitty's comments about your striking resemblance to your beautiful grandmother.

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  17. What a wonderful and inspiring story, all the better because it is true. How blessed you are to have had a grandmother who told stories. Storytelling is such a precious gift to share and cost nothing but time and interest, and good listeners !Did your grandmother tell you family stories too ? I notice my grandchildren's eyes light up with interest every time we tell them a bit about their parents, and I hear my grown children passing on family stories they heard from their grandparents.

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  18. Fascinating story. I'm sure that's why your grandmother was inspired to tell the story and very good sleuthing to figure out that the storytellers go back even further. It does make me wonder if anyone will remember my stories. You do your beautiful grandmother proud.

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  19. What a beautiful and inspiring post! Wishing you a wonderful weekend!

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  20. What a lovely story, Judith! Thank goodness for story-tellers!
    Your grandmother was a beauty.
    Thank you for sharing this. I truly enjoyed your post today.
    Have a great weekend, my friend.
    Debbie
    xo

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  21. Your grandmother shared a wonderful family story!

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  22. Wonderful story, Judith. I am glad that you are passing your grandmother's story on. Thanks for taking to place it here also. We have an Ann in our family too, a Mary Ann Smith. We think this wasn't her real name. She married a Corkhill and the came to Wisconsin from the Isle of Man. Her genealogy starts with the marriage. Rumor has it that an ancestor, a part of Kaiser Wilhelm family, had been disowned because of an improper marriage.
    ..

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  23. What a story. These historic stories always interest me a lot. Thanks for telling us about Miss Preston.

    R. Tรคysin arkista

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  24. What a wonderful story! Thank you so much for sharing it with Friday's Hunt. Your grandmother was a beautiful lady.

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  25. Thank you for the inspiring story about this amazing woman. Your grandmother is beautiful

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  26. That is a wonderful story! Many receive their faith in many unexpected ways. Holy Ann received her faith and belief by making the lead to Ontario and her work for the family. Our journeys of faith cannot be calculated, they often come in different ways - but never a coincidence. Nice story!

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  27. What an amazing story Judith! I am so glad you shared it....

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  28. What a beautiful story and picture of your grandma.

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Judith

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