Friday, March 10, 2017

Fearless Females 2017 :: Week 1

Favorite female ancestor:
Do you have a favorite female ancestor? One you are drawn to or want to learn more about? Write down some key facts you have already learned or what you would like to learn and outline your goals and potential sources you plan to check.

I have many favorite ancestors, the women seem harder to follow because there are so few records for them. So many have just one name, their maiden surnames lost to time. Right now I am stuck on my 2nd great grandmother, Jennie (Jane) Whitford. Twice divorced, I recently discovered a half brother to my great grandfather that no one knew about (on either side of the family). Her burial location remains a mystery. I'd like to learn more of her life prior to her marriage to my 2nd great grandfather. Who her parents were, why she divorced two times and where she is buried. She was last alive in St Paul, MN in 1887.

Post a photo of one of your female ancestors. Who is in the photo? When was it taken? Why did you select this photo?

This is a photo of my paternal grandmother (far right) with who I think are her three girlfriends. The back of the photo just says Butte Aug 15,1922. My grandmother must have taken a train trip with her friends. This was a month before her 20th birthday. She lived in Chicago all her life. I love this photo for many reasons. One, I never knew this woman, she died when my dad was just 16, so all I have of her are a few photos. And two, it looks like they are having fun - I have always wanted to take a train trip across the US myself.

Do you share a first name with one of your female ancestors? Perhaps you were named for your great-grandmother, or your name follows a particular naming pattern. If not, then list the most unique or unusual female first name you’ve come across in your family tree.

I do!! I am named for my paternal great grandmother Anna Elizabeth O'Connell Faulkner. My middle name, Elizabeth, is a traditional name used in my family. On both sides. Both my grandmother's, my mother, and a maternal great grandmother all share Elizabeth.

Marriage Records:
Do you have marriage records for your grandparents or great-grandparents? Write a post about where they were married and when. Any family stories about the wedding day? Post a photo too if you have one.

No photos. I have some marriage records - the ones I was able to find on Ancestry and FamilySearch. Oddly, no family stories either. My paternal grandparents wedding was always, always a mystery. As I said above, my paternal grandmother died a month before my dad's (an only) 16th birthday. My paternal grandfather never spoke of her after that. My dad really didn't know much - he knew they were married before he was born, guessing sometime between 1926 and 1930.  Last year, 9 years after my dad's passing, I decided to relook at this mystery. You can read about my discovery here - long story short they were married in Chicago on Oct 2nd 1928. I plan to visit the church sometime this summer.

How did your grandparents meet?
How did they meet? You’ve documented marriages, now, go back a bit. Do you know the story of how your parents met? Your grandparents?

My parents met in college at the University of Illinois. A frat party I believe. My maternal grandparents were High School sweethearts. My grandmother's parents were also school sweethearts, maintaining a long distance relationship for two years while my great grandfather was away at University.

 Describe an heirloom you may have inherited from a female ancestor (wedding ring or other jewelry, china, clothing, etc.) If you don’t have any, then write about a specific object you remember from your mother or grandmother, or aunt (a scarf, a hat, cooking utensil, furniture, etc.)

I do have several pieces of jewelry that belonged to my maternal grandmother, the wedding china that belonged to my paternal grandmother and my mother's wedding dress, but my absolute favorite heirloom is this painting, painted by my grandmother's mother Carrie Elizabeth Twining Potwin (see there, Elizabeth!) It has passed from woman to woman in my family and the cool part? Every owner was an Elizabeth! I love that story!

Favorite Recipe:
Share a favorite recipe from your mother or grandmother’s kitchen. Why is this dish your favorite? If you don’t have one that’s been passed down, describe a favorite holiday or other meal you shared with your family.

Oh lord no! I do not come from a line of good cooks. My step-step-step (yes, three steps) grandmother was an amazing baker, but direct line cooks? Not so much. My aunt's 'famous' desert was vanilla ice cream smothered in Creme De Menthe! For everyone! We did have some memorable Thanksgivings when I was a young child .....

Letter Collection:
Did one of your female ancestors leave a diary, journal, or collection of letters? Share an entry or excerpt.

I have a few letters that my grandmother wrote to her mother when she was living in Canada in the late 1930's. My grandfather had been relocated for his job so the entire family made the move from Iowa to New Brunswick. My mother was born in Canada. This is an excerpt from a letter my grandmother wrote to her mother after my mom was born:

"Thursday afternoon October first. Dearest Mother and all, you won't mind pencil I know. I'm back in bed having been up twice today (for the first) Of course I was a bit giddy at first but felt alright the second time. Wish you might see our little girl, she is very wee - today she weighs five pounds and thirteen ounces. She may tomorrow have her birth weight back. I have a very good nurse and we've gotten along fine. She will stay until Saturday or possibly Sunday. I am to go downstairs on Sat." ..... 

My mother was born on September 21st. It sounds to me as if my grandmother had not been out of bed until this day, the first of October! Oh my, how the times have changed!

....................until next week................

©Anne Faulkner -, All Rights Reserved

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