The women of our family has Cecil Norton Sisson Broy to thank for working to ensure women's rights for us and our descendants today.
We are distant cousins and are related as follows:
( Numbers denote generation, starting with the oldest known ancestor)
With the help of Cecil, women received the right to vote on August 18, 1920. The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was first introduced in the early 1920's by the National Women's party and "asserted that women should be on equal terms with men in all regards,...." The ERA may have been introduced in the 1920's, but it wasn't passed until March 22, 1972.
The following is Cecil's obituary which was published on February 22, 1977 in "The Washington Post" newspaper and gives more detail of her life:
Pioneer Activist for Equal Rights
Cecil Norton Broy, 86, long active in equal rights and community service affairs, died Saturday at her home in Reston.
She was a member of the National Council of the National Woman's Party until her death and had served as its political chairman for 25 years. For many years she had worked for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.
Born in McLennan County, Tex., Mrs. Broy grew up in Sperryville, Va. She came to this area with her family as a young woman and graduated from the old Wilson Normal School. She also attended George Washington University.
Prior to World War I, she taught in D.C. elementary schools and became a volunteer worker in community clubs at the Grover Cleveland School, which became an experimental community center.
There Mrs. Broy became a close friend of Margaret Woodrow Wilson, daughter of the President, who also was a volunteer worker. The activities of the experimental Margaret Wilson Community Center[WORDS ILLEGIBLE] duplicated in 22 public school buildings.
Mrs. Broy was appointed organizing director of community and civic centers by the board of education in 1916 and continued to serve as director for seven years.
She was married to Rep. Thomas Upton Sission, (D-Miss.), who died in 1923. She then married Charles Clinton Broy, a Foreign Service officer.
They lived in London for seven years, where Mrs. Broy was presented at the Court of St. James, and in Brussels, Belgium. Mr. Broy died here in 1943.
Until her death, Mrs. Broy was one of two members of the legislative committee of Diplomatic and Consular Officers Retired and had represented widows of career Foreign Service officers at Senate hearings.
A former member of the Baptist church, she belonged to Redeemer Methodist Church in Reston at the time of her death.
She is survived by three children, Anne Broy Miller, of Reston, James William Broy, of Phoenix, Md. and Beverly Broy Leidel, of Bethesda and 10 grandchildren.
The family suggests that expressions of sympathy may be in the form of contributions to the National Woman's Party.
The following Law details the death of Cecil's husband, Charles:
Private Law 959 CHAPTER 1204
AN ACT For the relief of Mrs. Cecil Norton Broy.
Mrs. Cecil N. Broy. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the Secretary of the Treasury be, and he is hereby, authorized and directed to pay, out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, the sum of $3,000 to Mrs. Cecil Norton Broy, of Arlington, Virginia. Such sum shall be in full settlement of all claims of Mrs. Cecil Norton Broy against the United States for medical and hospital expenses incurred by her husband, Charles Clinton Broy, and for his subsequent death as a result of his having been struck by a train operated by the Imperial German Government and the German National Railways at a railroad crossing in Bergheim, Germany, on August 29,1940, while he was an employee of the United States Government in the diplomatic service: Provided, That no part of the amount appropriated in this Act shall be paid or delivered to or received by any agent or attorney on account of services rendered in connection with this claim, and the same shall be unlawful, any contract to the contrary notwithstanding. Any person violating the provisions of this Act shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be fined in any sum not exceeding $1,000. Approved August 31, 1954.
"The Descendants of Mercer (Messer) Norton 1750?-1800? and His Wife Martha"; compiled b Erma Dell Melton Smith and Mildred Dulaney; 1983
National Woman's Party website; URL: http://nationalwomansparty.pastperfectonline.com/photo/944F45C2-7EC1-45A6-A281-332855172815
"The American Foreign Service Journal, Vol II, May 1925 No. 5", page 159
"The Washington Post", February 22, 1977
Private Law 959 CHAPTER 1204 August 31 , 1954 [H. R. 7886]