Our female ancestors often present many challenges in our research. They aren’t really hidden, but they can at times seem to be invisible in the documents. The Research: Grandmothers, Mothers & Daughters – Tracing Women course offers Strategies and Guidelines to researching women’s history. Documenting the women in our tree may seem daunting, but she has left clues. You just need to uncover them.
As with all research, we start with our Home Sources. What do we know and How do we know it? Many clues can be gleaned from Diaries, Journals and Letters. These are a wealth of information and provide a glimpse into your ancestors’ daily life.
Heirlooms and Keepsakes are cherished family treasures. Do you know the stories behind them? Have you written it down so it will not be lost once you are gone?
Clothing and Jewelry show her style. Have you found photos of her wearing those pieces? It is even better when we can tie them together with a story or their origin.
Recipes and Traditions, especially around the holidays, have been passed from generation to generation. However, have they been written down? Do you know why certain food are prepared for specific holiday meals? Too many oral traditions have been lost once out of living memory. Ask elderly family members. What are their memories? How did they celebrate when they were children? For family recipes, be sure to record the recipes. A pinch of this and a dash of that – Have you tried to make it yourself? It may turn out differently in our modern ovens compared to using a wood stove or prepared over a fire!
Further information on researching your female ancestors can be found in the National Institutes for Genealogical Studies course: Research: Grandmothers, Mothers & Daughters – Tracing Women