Grandmas. Most people have one, have had one, or possibly have that warm figure of elderly wisdom that is thought of fondly. Grandmothers have been the source of many jokes throughout the years, but they can be truly amazing people who have led incredibly interesting lives.
Whether your grandmother is still working or quietly enjoying their retirement, taking the time to listen to their stories is a worthwhile activity. Learning about your grandparent can yield some pretty deep wisdom and life lessons that you simply won’t find anywhere else.
The grandmothers we will be taking a closer look at today have all lived varied and interesting lives that we can all learn from. Here are the seven most famous grandmothers in history:
1. Queen Elizabeth II
One of the most famous grandmothers in history comes from the Royal Family. This Queen of England will without a doubt have some important wisdom for her grandchildren, as she has lived a long life filled with experiences that few could ever dream of. It’s lucky that she has so much knowledge to impart, as she already has a total of 8 grandchildren, as well as 7 great-grandchildren.
Queen Elizabeth II was born in 1926, she served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service during World War II, and she has reigned as the Queen of England since 1952.
2. Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Susan B. Anthony is a commonly known figure in the opening struggles of the Women Suffrage movement of the United States. However, another important and vital figure in this movement was Elizabeth Cady Stanton. She served as a strategist and theoretician during the movement while staying home and caring for her 7 children.
Staton is also known as a famous grandmother. Caring for that many children and living to tell the tale to grandchildren is something to be proud of in the first place, but doing so while helping to organize and drive a massive and historical movement from home is on an entirely new level. Naturally, she eventually became a grandmother while still taking a role as an activist for gender equality, inspiring her children and grandchildren to take the same route.
3. Ada Lovelace
In the world of today, computers are a standard tool that everyone uses, whether it be a desktop computer, a smart phone, or even a gaming console. However, the computer didn’t simply exist one day, it took a long journey to get to the first personal computer in a home. Many people can be thanked for seeing that journey through, but the programmers are the ones who really helped bring the dream to life.
Naturally, the first computer programmer in history should be known and celebrated, and that is exactly who Ada Lovelace was. An English mathematician, Lovelace did extensive work on Charles Babbage’s theorized mechanical general-purpose computer, also known as the Analytical Engine.
The machine was meant to be solely for complex calculations, however Grandmother Lovelace saw something more in the machine, something that could change the world. As such, she wrote and published the first algorithm that was meant to be used by a computer. This has earned her the title of the first computer programmer.
Unfortunately, she was over a century early to the PC party, as her work took place in the mid-1800’s. The fact that she was able to see that far ahead into the future is something special, and the generations of grandchildren that she left behind are sure to know it.
4. Mary Shelley
It isn’t uncommon for a grandmother to tell their grandchild a story. In Mary Shelley’s case, she told us all a story in one way or another. The original author of Frankenstein, Shelley created a legendary character that has existed in all mediums of storytelling and continues to inspire new bone-chilling tales to this day.
Mary Shelley was a grandmother to a single granddaughter, but there’s little doubt that her story has been told to each generation in her family line ever since.
The work of an interpreter is vital to diplomacy, and diplomacy was the key to the Lewis and Clark Expedition. This expedition allowed the team to explore the Louisiana Territory that is now known as the United States.
The interpreter on this journey was none other than Sacagawea, a Lemhi Shoshone woman who traveled with Lewis and Clark for thousands of miles, helping to establish important cultural contacts and keeping the peace for the team with cautious Native Americans that they encountered.
Sacagawea left behind a rich line of descendants, and is celebrated as a important historical figure, famous grandmother, and symbol of women’s worth and independence.
6. Emmeline Pankhurst
Alongside her daughters, Emmeline Pankhurst founded the Woman’s Party in Great Britain. The efforts put forth by the family not only inspired and advanced the standing of women in Great Britain, but also helped in the final push of the struggle for Women’s Rights in the United States, as notable American suffrage activists learned from their example.
The influence of this woman undeniably played a part in the fight for women’s right to vote in Great Britain, and have since inspired many people over the years, including her descendants.
7. Marie Curie
A Nobel Prize winning scientist, this grandmother is known as the “Mother of Modern Physics” and was a pioneer in the study of radioactivity. In fact, “Radioactivity” is a word that she coined, herself.
Her efforts in science earned her two different Nobel Prizes, and cemented her in history as a woman of note. Curie has inspired scientists of all kinds since her death in 1934, and had a line of descendants who continued to contribute to the world in various and wonderful ways.