JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS DAVE HANSON
Samuel and Susanna Wesley had 19 children (some say 20). Only 10 of them lived to adulthood, seven girls and three boys. So John Wesley, who was the 16th child, had seven sisters. They were very important in his life because the older children helped raise the younger children.
Those seven sisters each had nicknames as well as their given names: Emilia (Emily), Susanna (Sukey), Mary (Molly), Mehelabel (Hetty), Anne (Nancy), Martha (Patty), and Kezia (Kezzy). All of these women had hard, unhappy lives. They were better educated and more cultured than any of the marriageable men in the Epworth area, which was located on an isolated island formed by three rivers.
Hetty was by far the most talented of the sisters. It was she who ran away with a lawyer who then did not marry her. Her father refused to forgive her and compelled her to marry the first man who proposed. John tried to bring forgiveness and reconciliation, but Samuel refused. John even preached a sermon on the subject. This infuriated Samuel so much that he almost made a formal protest to the bishop.
These sisters helped guide John Wesley during his early years and he sometimes asked their advice about “affairs of the heart.” It is good for a young man to have some family member of the opposite sex to turn too about such matters.