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Discovering Female Ancestors > 2 Sources Created About Women (Oct 22-Nov 4)

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message 1: by Liz (new)

Liz | 379 comments This is the thread where you can post comments on the Introduction and Chapter 2. The reading schedule is only a suggestion. It is a slow read allowing folks to apply the reading to their research. You do not need to be reading the book to make comments.


message 2: by Liz (last edited Oct 29, 2010 06:06AM) (new)

Liz | 379 comments For the most part, this chapter was simply a reminder to conduct very thorough research - no stone unturned! But, there were some discussions that are very specific to women such as childbirth, suffrage, etc.

Some reminders were excellent. I am going to go through the census records and use them to add details to the profiles of my three ladies. For at least one, I will be able to add directory information. Fortunately the directories are now online making a search by street name a snap. Hopefully this process will spur my thoughts into new directions!


message 3: by Liz (new)

Liz | 379 comments This chapter raised some sensitive issues including bastardy, insanity, domestic violence, divorce, etc. How would you handle these issues if you ran across them in your research? Omit the information from your history? Publish it online? How would you feel if someone shared personal information of this kind about one of your ancestors?

Ancestry has recently added the Federal Prison records to their collection. How do you feel about this information being used in family research?



message 4: by Liz (new)

Liz | 379 comments As usual Carmack has included a great many references to other books in this chapter. Are there any in particular that were of interest to you?

Here are a few that intrigued me:
Women and Religion in America: The Colonial and Revolutionary Period by Rosemary Radford Ruether Not quite the right period but it should still be interesting. I would love a resource on this topic for the post-Revolutionary War period.

Coming to America (Second Edition) A History of Immigration and Ethnicity in American Life by Roger Daniels
Coming to America (Second Edition): A History of Immigration and Ethnicity in American Life by Roger Daniels

City of Women Sex and Class in New York, 1789-1860 by Christine Stansell
City of Women: Sex and Class in New York, 1789-1860 by Christine Stansell
After Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898, it will be interesting to learn more of the history from a different perspective.

Women and the Law of Property in Early America (Studies in Legal History) by Marylynn Salmon
Women and the Law of Property in Early America by Marylynn Salmon

Divorce An American Tradition by Glenda Riley
Divorce: An American Tradition by Glenda Riley

Inheritance in America from Colonial Times to the Present by Carole Shammas

Every Day Life in the Massachusetts Bay Colony by George Francis Dow
Every Day Life in the Massachusetts Bay Colony by George Francis Dow
I already have a few great stories from the Mass. Bay Colony. Can't wait to see if there are any I missed!

And as will all book explorations, you run across other title that intrigue:
Common Whores, Vertuous Women, and Loveing Wives Free Will Christian Women in Colonial Maryland (Religion in North America) by Debra Meyers
Common Whores, Vertuous Women, and Loveing Wives: Free Will Christian Women in Colonial Maryland by Debra Meyers

The Lady's Stratagem A Repository of 1820s Directions for the Toilet, Mantua-Making, Stay-Making, Millinery & Etiquette by Frances Grimble
The Lady's Stratagem: A Repository of 1820s Directions for the Toilet, Mantua-Making, Stay-Making, Millinery & Etiquette by Frances Grimble
One of my ancestor's supported herself as a milliner after the early death of her husband. This will be an interesting read!


message 5: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) I think there may be a skeleton in our closet, I think an ancestor of mine was sent to prison, I don't know what crime was committed, I have seen it on Ancestry that most of the people who were sent their crime was small. I think no one mentions it, I won't mention to somebody who is more directly related, I can't stand that people can't be honest and tell it like it is. or was, in this case.


message 6: by Mallory (new)

Mallory | 8 comments Liz wrote: "This chapter raised some sensitive issues including bastardy, insanity, domestic violence, divorce, etc. How would you handle these issues if you ran across them in your research? Omit the informa..."

I think you need to consider your audience and what you should include. If the audience is other family members and you want them to be excited about genealogy, I wouldn't include anything that would offend them. If your producing something simply for documentation then you should include everything you know. That said, my family wouldn't be offended by most things mentioned; some things they might even consider kind of cool in a twisted sort of way, so I would include it.
Now, later in Carmack's book you will read a narrative that makes a lot of assumptions about her ancestor's life. I like her use of social history to add spice to her narrative, but I probably would have left out some of those inferences that were negative. It was kinda reading a book where you don't like any of the characters...


message 7: by Liz (new)

Liz | 379 comments Mallory wrote: "It was kinda reading a book where you don't like any of the characters...
"


Ouch! That is definitely not where you want to go with it. I've had very mixed reviews when I've shared 'sensitive' information. I find the information I've found very cool. It has made me very aware that our ancestors were just regular folks and that human nature hasn't changed much over time.

As far as the social histories are concerned, I have mixed feelings as to how much to include. I'm currently reading Grant by Jean Edward Smith. Smith weaves letters and diaries into the text so seamlessly that it feels like you are reading dialog. But, he manages to do it in a way that maintains integrity. You always know the source of information and can interpret it accordingly.

I'm hesitant to include too much social history into my ancestor's narratives. Without personal diaries, etc., it is difficult to know what their personal experience was. For example, one of my ancestors was in a military unit that experienced heavy losses at the Battle of Bull Run. I could have included diary entries describing the battle in his narrative. But, it turns out, he was sick on the day of the battle! He was in the infirmary the whole time. I would not want to put words in his mouth about how he might have felt about missing the battle - relief, grief, guilt . . . . I imagine a bit of all.


message 8: by Liz (new)

Liz | 379 comments Robin wrote: "I have seen it on Ancestry that most of the people who were sent their crime was small."

You are right Robin, the context is everything. I have run across ancestors who were tied to a stake and stoned because they decided to marry without the permission of the elders. (They hadn't even yet married, nor had they had intimate relations.) In our writing, we must strive to include enough historical perspective to take the reader back in time. Not an easy task but some biographers make it seem so easy!!!


message 9: by Liz (new)

Liz (straea) | 25 comments I guess I don't really understand researchers who wouldn't want to research every possible avenue and lead. Perhaps because the Colonial Dutch era in North America is so little taught in our schools here in the US, it had never occurred to me that many of the Dutch colonists were slaveholders until I found a document about a massacre that included the offhand comment that the slave of one of my ancestors had been killed along with said ancestor. I was stunned by what I found, but I shared it with my family. They were stunned too, but it never would have occurred to them to ask me not to share such things.


message 10: by Robin (new)

Robin (goodreadscomtriviagoddessl) Maybe what I said earlier shouldn't be divulged in a memoir,it is not relative of the person I am doing research on. So at least, I know but I wish there was some way that I could tell my mother without offending her. Tricky situation. Some things are better left unaired.


message 11: by Mallory (new)

Mallory | 8 comments Liz wrote: For example, one of my ancestors was in a military unit that experienced heavy losses at the Battle of Bull Run. I could have included diary entries describing the battle in his narrative. But, it turns out, he was sick on the day of the battle! He was in the infirmary the whole time.

I was going to ask how you found out he was in the infirmary. Then I received my compiled military record from NARA. My ancestor, who was in the 24th Michigan, the unit that suffered the most losses of any Union regiment at Gettysburg, was in the hospital during the battle! Another example for your point.

Although we should both feel very lucky; might not be here if our ancestors didn't get so sick ;)


message 12: by Liz (new)

Liz | 379 comments Mallory wrote: "Although we should both feel very lucky; might not be here if our ancestors didn't get so sick ;) "

Agree!


message 13: by Liz (last edited Nov 05, 2010 08:22PM) (new)

Liz | 379 comments Robin wrote: "Tricky situation. Some things are better left unaired..."

I think that the more recent the incident, the better it is to share only with immediate ancestors, if at all. Documentation can be maintained for the future.

For more historical events, providing ample context can help. This is especially important as some actions that were commonplace in the past are reprehensible in modern society.

Bottom line, remember the golden rule!


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