Friday, November 6, 2009

Strategies for Finding Female Ancestors

An recent article in the Broomfield Enterprise, "Genealogy: Tips for finding females that matter to you" explores the issue of finding female ancestors through the men in their lives and provides a list of 10 sources to check. As the article observes, "Often the answer to identifying a woman can be found in the records of her husband, son, or brother." This proved true in my own experience. I found one female ancestor's second married name, not among legal documents, but in letters she had written to her son. The letters were found through a message board correspondent -- and not a relative. Interestingly, my respondent was not a family history researcher and was not on the message boards. Rather, he found my message board post through a Google search. 

While letters and diaries is # 8 on the list of 10, don't forget to put those puzzles out on the message boards. It may take some time. My post was out there four years, but the person responding had a wealth of information, including a collection of personal letters.

For more insights on researching female ancestors, check you may want check our previous blog post, Love the Ladies, and, in honor, of Veteran's Day, Women Veterans.

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Societies & Fraternal Organizations -- what can we learn about the women?

Fraternal organizations and societies, we know, can reveal something about our ancestors, their beliefs, interests, and activities. And in her article, "Conducting Research Through Societies and Fraternal Organizations," Judy Rosella Edwards provides background and explores the value of those organizations. One point the article makes, which I think is worth mentioning here at the end of Women's History Month, is how a typically patriarchal institution might help you learn more about a female ancestor. As the article observes, "Many member-based organizations are gender-based, but include an auxiliary for the opposite sex. Most of the older organizations are patriarchal and the auxiliary was for the ladies. Because of the auxiliary, this may be the only place where you'll learn much about a woman's life aside from being listed as spouse on a census." The article suggests ways to look for female ancestors within that context.

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Love the Ladies, Searching for Female Ancestors

March is Women's History Month. In his article, "Love the Ladies," Kevin Cassidy explores the issue and offers ways of reseaching the elusive female ancestor, through the example of one New York family and tracking the multiple marriages of a female ancestor. 

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Monday, June 25, 2007

New insights for researching women's maiden names

In searching for female ancestors, the challenge is not only in determining a woman's maiden name, but also how the maiden name may have been used after marriage. A recent article in the Terre Haute Tribune Star, "Genealogy: To help your research, here are 10 things you may not know about women’s maiden names," provides some good information on how maiden names have been used in various countries and cultures. For example, it may help you to know that Quaker women often used their maiden name as a middle name after marriage or that in Europe, German and Polish Catholic women’s deaths were recorded using only their maiden names, not their married names. These and other very useful insights are presented in the article.

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Friday, December 1, 2006

Researching Ancestors Through Museum Collections

Christina Inge contributed the article, "That Quilt in the Corner", which explains that museums can be a rich source of genealogical material, especially on female ancestors.


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