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Joanna Thomas (nee Harrigan) was the wife of Bert Thomas, the mother of Eliza, Trudy, Margaret, Horace, Edward, Harry, and Noah, the Shirley family's hired lady and the first guardian of Anne Shirley.
At sixteen years old, Joanna Harrigan married Bert Thomas. Young and graceful, she was a good dancer and admired Bert's dancing. She asked her parents if she could marry him. Her parents discussed the matter and thought of two things: Joanna's mother thought that Joanna might not have another chance to marry and might become old and ugly, and Joanna's father thought Bert looked smart and reliable. In reality, Bert had dropped out of school early and was lazy and unreliable. However, they consented to the marriage and Joanna believed she would dance for the rest of her life. When they were living together, Joanna discovered that Bert had a drinking problem, unpredictable tempers, and was an unreliable husband. Then Joanna had a painful pregnancy and morning sickness, and knew that she could no longer dance.
She said Anne that God had given her with deliberate red hair. She wasn't friendly to her.
Joanna is a female given name and variant of Joan, name of Hebrew origin which means God is gracious.
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