First Bahá’í in Our Family

The first Bahá’í in our family was my great, great grandmother Leonora Georgiana Stirling.  She was born and raised in London and went as a missionary to County Cork Ireland.  From here she emigrated in 1868 to Canada and then the United States.  This photograph was taken in Dublin sometime between 1850 and 1860.  She did not find the Bahá’í Revelation for another approximately 40 years.

Leonora Georgiana Stirling – Dublin – c.1850-1860

This second photo is of my Great Grandmother Stirling at about the time she found the Baha’i Revelation through a friend in Brooklyn, New York.  It was 1906 and she deepened through correspondence with Isabella Brittingham. She met ‘Abdu’l-Bahá when he visited America in 1912, both in Boston and New York, in which during one visit He gave her a white rose.

Great Grandmother Stirling – New York – c. 1900

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Miss Leonora

Passport photo from 1923 - Leonora at age 28

Rua Dr. Soter de Araujo 3

Santos, Brazil

Feb. 19, 1921

 

Dearest Miss Root,

 

You see I am in Santos after all, and I am so happy – just as you said I would be. At least I am happy to be with Guido Gnocchi and his family, and I shall be more happy when I can feel that I am really helping him in the work for the Cause. There seems to be very little that I can do until I know Portuguese pretty well – Guido assures me that then I can do much – but meanwhile, therefore, I am putting all of my time on the Portuguese, and of course I am getting practice continually, as neither Snr. nor Snra, G. knows any English. They are helping me a great deal, and I am also teaching them English now in the class which I have begun and am to have 3 evenings a week. I have translated one of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s talks, and Snr. G. has corrected it, and I hope to do much in this way, for I think the translation of the Teachings is one of the most important and urgent needs.