I Come From a Long Line of Spinsters


I never knew this woman, but she was my great-grandmother.

My last surviving uncle recently discovered email and decided to hunt me down so he could correspond with me since I’m the only relative that:

a) lives far enough away to make emailing me worth his while; and

b) has email; and

c) is still fluent enough in German to be able to read and write emails

Not that Uncle has much to say for himself, but he has sent me some photos of ancestors I’ve never seen before,  including this one of my great-grandmamma.

She was a nice German woman who refused to marry all the nice German boys her friends and relatives tried to set her up with. She was content to remain a spinster. By the time she was in her late 20s everyone had given her up as a hopeless. (Psst – word is she had a “j.o.b.” !! Shocking!)

Then somehow (no one knows the whole story even though I’ve begged and pleaded for them to find out) she met a swarthy Spaniard and eloped. From as much as anyone knows it was a terribly romantic story.

So right away the great-grandmamma had a lovely daughter who was the spitting image of her who they named Augusta. (Pssst: This may or may not have happened before the elopement).

Then the great-grandmamma got knocked-up became with child again, but the swarthy Spaniard was mysteriously killed. Details are vague. It was a long time ago.

Great-grandmamma (I really must find out her  name. The uncle doesn’t know it and I have no idea how to find it myself.) raised the two girls (Augusta and Louisa) on her own, by herself, with no family to help at all. Because she was disobedient enough to marry a foreigner.

Augusta grew up to have a career in finance and never married and left a bundle of money behind when she died to the delight of her three remaining relatives. Louisa grew up to have a career in the fashion industry (of which Germany is, of course, renown…NOT!)

Anyway, Louisa was a designer of some sort and had also decided to remain single.


she met a dashing soldier and married him at the ripe old age of 32. (That was pretty scandalous even in flapparific Germany.  There was talk that she even spend some time in Berlin, which as you may know was the Sodom and Gomorrah of the free world in the 1920s)

If it wasn’t for the fact that Louisa had developed quite a reputation as a hussy by the time she hit 30, she would have been forever labelled a spinster.

Louisa had 4 kids in rapid succession; one of whom was my Papa. Three boys, one girl. Before the youngest (the email uncle) was out of diapers, Louisa’s husband was killed in the war (WWII), so she raised her kids alone.

Louisa’s poor daughter died when she was only 5 or she would surely have grown up to be a spinster, too.  The 3 boys grew up to have 8 kids between them – only 3 of which were girls.

Granny Louise only ever got to know one of those girls – me before she died.

Another one  of the girls is my cousin B. who is a Lesbierin, which is a form of really dedicated spinsterhood. She has no offspring and I reckon is now beyond the age of contemplating any.

Neither my sister nor I have never married. She has no kids. My brothers all have only male children, so I reckon it’s up to XUP Jr. to either carry on the family spinsterdom or break the trend forever.

Long live spinsters!

PS: I learned a new term recently: “Leather Spinster”. It sounds kinky, but it just means, A heterosexual or asexual woman who is happily unmarried and has no desire to seek a mate.


Some spinster-related links:

Leather Spinster

Spinster Chronicles

Planet Spinster

Spinster War Diaries