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Go to Mid-America Speakers for more information about Carrie Ann Cook, Speaker.

Hunting the Female Ancestor
1-2PM - Genealogy Saturday
Hosted by the Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center
 Saturday, October, 2011, Enid, OK

Equality of the sexes has come a long way throughout history. However, researchers often lose the record trail of female ancestors quickly, as research extends back in time. The majority of evidence resources used first mainly record commonly accepted male activity and statistics, if not precluding females altogether. This makes the hunt for females more challenging. Resources for secondary proofs to build strong pedigrees, as well as reasoning with a "feminine eye" will be addressed.

    I.    Introduction

a.    Speaker

b.    Standards

  II.    Unique Challenges

a.    Surname may change with each marriage

b.    Hyphenated or combined surnames

c.    Legal name changes – point of marriage and beyond

d.    Using initials, middle or maiden as given – not only female

e.    Some US Female nationality changed by marrying other ethnic husbands.

III.    Unique Solutions

a.    Know what sources should give full name and search them all (i.e.)

                                   i.    Marriage Record (combined)

                                  ii.    Divorce Record

                                 iii.    Social Security Death Index

1.    Not full index

2.    Can be wrong or incomplete

3.    Not related to social security benefits

b.    Consider the “many hats” of any female

                                   i.    Mother

                                  ii.    Daughter/Grand Daughter

                                 iii.    Wife

                                 iv.    Widow

                                  v.    Niece

                                 vi.    Cousin

                               vii.    Aunt

                              viii.    Neighbor

                                 ix.    Friend

c.    May rely on “lesser” general genealogy sources as gold mines for female information.

                                   i.    Newspapers

                                  ii.    Organizations

                                 iii.    Keepsake Books

1.    Scrapbooks

2.    Autographs

3.    Photo albums

4.    Keepsake “files”

d.    Suggested Female Resources

                                   i.    Letters – Diaries

                                  ii.    Wills/Probates

                                 iii.    Church – School

                                 iv.    Land

                                  v.    Medical

                                 vi.    Oral Histories

                               vii.    Social History

                              viii.    Items found in the home

                                 ix.    City Directories

                                  x.    Voter Registration

                                 xi.    Military – Pension

                               xii.    Orphan/Guardianship

                              xiii.    Court

                              xiv.    Institutional

                               xv.    Published Work

e.    Consider further co-lateral research as a wall buster – sometimes a work around does work

f.     Female Oriented Resources

                                   i.    Cyndi’s List

                                  ii.    Militarywoman.org

                                 iii.    Female-ancestor.com

                                 iv.    Jewish Women’s Archive – jwa.org

g.    Where to find Unpublished Records

                                   i.    NUCMUC – Library of Congress

                                  ii.    WorldCat - .org

                                 iii.    PERSI – HeritageQuest, Ancestry, Allen Co./on site

                                 iv.    Favorite Search Engine

h.    Be sure you are acquainted with all types of data for a given time and place, so you don’t overlook something

 IV.    Summary

Brief Bibliography

Carmack, Sharon D. B. A Genealogist's Guide to Discovering Your Female Ancestors: Special Strategies for Uncovering Hard-to-Find Information About Your Female Lineage. Cincinnati, Ohio: Betterway Books, 1998. Print.

Hinckley, Kathleen W. Locating Lost Family Members & Friends: Modern Genealogical Research Techniques for Locating the People of Your Past and Present. Cincinnati, Ohio: Betterway Books, 1999. Print.

Schaefer, Christina K. The Hidden Half of the Family: A Sourcebook for Women's Genealogy. Baltimore, Md: Genealogical Pub. Co, 1999. Print.

Page Last Updated November 11, 2015

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