Gena’s first presentation was entitled was entitled Wives, Girlfriends, Widows, Exes and Mistresses: Documenting Women.
Gena showed us some great examples of how events in our ancestor’s lives produce a variety of sources of information that we may not have thought of. Gena talked about using genealogy databases, vital records, libraries/archives, digitized books/articles, using finding aids and relationships to locate information. She also talked about not using the general ‘search’ options within databases but to search for a particular ‘type’ of record and then search within that record.
- I wanted to use some of Gena’s suggestions to see what I could find on Hannah Petty Warner from my last blog post. Searching in Ancestry using the Card Catalog and taking a chance, I searched Presbyterian Church records and was able to locate the baptismal records of 4 of Hannah and Daniel’s children including my direct line ancestor James:
- I also now know that the family attended the local Presbyterian Church.
- Searching in Google Books for “Hannah Warner” I stumbled upon a book entitled The Descendants of Andrew Warner published in 1919. While the ‘Hannah’ I was looking for is not the Hannah I found in the book, Andrew Warner IS my 8th great-grandfather and this is an amazing find!
Gena’s second presentation was entitled Her Name Was Not Known: Researching Your Female Ancestor’s Life.
During Gena’s presentation she talked again about how elusive our female ancestors may seem but we can still find out so much about them if we know how to search. She discussed the five aspects of a Woman’s life that need to be considered when you are researching to help develop a better understanding of your ancestor: the woman herself, her family, the locality where the woman lived, the time period she lived in and information about her neighbors and community (FAN club-friends and neighbors). When searching have a list of Keywords to search, such as all the variations of a woman’s name, a location, etc. and search each one.
- If I go back to my post entitled Bible Records for Hannah Petty Warner and use some of Gena’s considerations for researching her what can I find to add to Hannah’s story? I decided to look at the 1800 US Federal Census in a different way and I believe I find Hannah living with her son David Warner (her husband had died in 1787) based on her age at the time of the census. If this is correct, I can tell by the census she was living in Riverhead, that her son Benjamin and family were living close by as where families named Woodhull, Corwin, Benjamin, Tuthill, Terry, Reeves, Youngs, Wells, etc. These were her neighbors and coincidentally other family names I might be researching for other family lines. This is good information to know. Her son James, my direct ancestor, was living further away but in the same town. I previously wouldn’t have looked at the Census since usually it’s hard to find women before the 1850 Census.
- Riverhead, founded in 1792, had a total of 1498 inhabitants in 1800. This all adds some more information to Hannah’s life story.
Gena gave us some amazing suggestions for searching for women by the records that were created around their lives. Already I am realizing first hand that women’s records and information about their lives are available just not in the same way we search for our male ancestors. Gena reminded us that “Thinking outside the proverbial genealogy box will assist you in finding clues to those ancestresses lives.”
If you have any corrections, additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,