It would, of course, be exciting to discover a woman in my family tree with a traceable record of something newsworthy and positive; political campaigning or activism, for instance. I don’t need an “extraordinary” hook in order to find someone’s life interesting – if anything, the opposite is true – but just once, it would be nice to find a woman who generated press coverage without having to be murdered, or embroiled in a custody battle with a toddler-kidnapping ex-husband. Read more
Posts from the ‘women’s history’ Category
When I started this blog I was planning to read Sheila Rowbotham‘s Hidden from History, a feminist text which, it had been suggested to me, was perfect for a family history researcher interested in women.
I found the book in our city library’s online catalogue and logged a reservation for it. It usually takes no more than a week or two for a book to turn up at my branch, unless there’s a long queue of reservations. Weeks passed, and I began to wonder. More weeks passed, and I visited the branch in person to find out what was up. Read more
I discovered A Narrative History of Remsen, New York, 1789–1898 while researching my 3 x great-grandmother, Eveline Allen. As the title suggests, it’s a local history book, self-published in 1914 by one Millard Fillmore Roberts; only 250 copies were printed at the time, but as with many such volumes, it’s been rescued from obscurity in the digital age and granted a new life online. Read more
Erin, of the excellent Alice Martin Bishop blog, has started me off on a good, brain-awakening note on this sunny Edinburgh morning by posting a link to this NYT op-ed piece by Harvard professor Jill Lepore. It contrasts the fortunes of Benjamin Franklin with those of his sister Jane. Read more
Over the past few days I’ve been working on some female ancestors from early American settler families. This has led me from town record indexes on to published genealogies of the type popular with amateur historians around the turn of the twentieth century – for instance, this one on the Brewer family (a bit unusual in that it was compiled by a woman), or this huge one about the Baldwins. Read more