"The Life of Margretta" is the story of a 20th Century woman who was born, lived and was buried in a small village, named Broadalbin, in Upstate New York.
When her grandchildren were grown and had moved from their parent's home, she decided to write a reminiscence of her young life up to her marriage in 1939. Over the years, she would write her story, chapter by chapter, and send it to her son in Michigan to word process on his computer and send back to her for editing. Her story begins with her first childhood memories and ends at her marriage in 1939.
Within her book, she writes about how the name, Margretta, has been passed down in her family beginning from the marriage of a young woman named Otstock (born of a Mohawk woman and Frenchman by the name of Hartell) to a Dutchman, named Cornelius Antonissen Van Sleyck, who emigrated to the colonies in 1634.
Otstock was given the Dutch name "Margretta" and her husband was given the name "Broer" or brother and adopted into the Mohawk tribe after their marriage. The first North American Margretta and her new husband spent long periods of time in Canajoharies, the home of the Mohawks. As a family tradition, the name, Margretta, has been passed down as a middle name to girls thereafter....including the author's daughter, Jill Margretta.
As the only child of two career parents, Margretta's story resonates with today's children of full-time working parents who seek a better work/life integration.
She went on to raise four children, born in the 1940's, and her book is dedicated to their children. It is a duty for each generation to record their own doings in order that those of the future may use them as a guide for emulation or avoidance. As Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis pointed out, "If you bungle raising your children, nothing else that you do matters much." She and Margretta lived that truth.