Looking for the women in your tree

Last year, I helped organize a casual get-together at the Quebec Family History Society. We called it Celebrating Our Female Roots Day. It was part of a successful monthly Roots Day program that friends and I created and managed for about a year. The purpose of this social event was to encourage members and visitors to share ideas, learn about the library’s resources, and help the society retain and increase membership.

We promoted Female Roots Day in local newspapers and on Facebook, blogs, and the website, and sent email messages to members. To prepare, we put together a large display, pulled books and journals from the library shelves, produced a handout, displayed photos and heirlooms, and served our home-made baking. And only women came. Well, that’s not entirely true. One man came with his wife.

I asked a male member why he chose not to come. He said, “Because it was about women.” Sigh… I asked if his direct ancestors were like mine, i.e., half were women and half were men. He said they were. Even when I explained that learning about our female ancestors can help us break down some of our male brick walls, he was not convinced. Sigh…

Whether you are a man or a woman, here are some resources that I hope will inspire you to look for your female ancestors and celebrate the role they played in your family tree.

Cyndi’s List — Female Resources  Cyndi Howells lists more than 200 links in the Female category for researching and learning about female ancestors.

Finding Female Ancestors  Donna Przecha explains the steps to take to find a female ancestor when her maiden name is unknown.

Finding Women Who Have Vanished Into Thin Air  Ancestry Anne writes a step-by-step description about how she searched for an elusive mother of three sons.

Herstory  This University of Saskatchewan project provides information about arts and leisure, professions, society, and politics from Canadian women’s perspective.

Invisible Women Ancestors: How to Research the Women in Your Family Tree  Kimberly Powell provides links to several resources to find female ancestors.

Les Filles du roi 1663 – 1673  This website lists the names of the young women, called the King’s Daughters, who arrived in New France.

Your Guide to Finding Female Ancestors  Barb Snow provides several resources to help family historians learn more about their female ancestors.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Copyright © 2014, Gail Dever.

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About Gail Dever

Gail Dever is a Montreal-based genealogist and blogger and a webmaster for the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa.
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2 Responses to Looking for the women in your tree

  1. Susan Gingras Calcagni says:

    Happy Mother’s Day Gail. Thank you for a great line up today, you’ve served up a real Mother’s Day treat for all of us, “crème brûlée”!

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