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Women and Genealogy Sort Your Story User Comment

Lorel Kapke, Creator of Sort Your Story had the pleasure of speaking with a user named Janet who had this to say about her female ancestors. As you read her comments, think about your female ancestors. What stories do you have to share? Are you thinking about writing a book about them?

Being the fourth generation of females named Janet in my mother’s family got me interested in learning about the others. One was my mother’s sister and the other was her mother. The first Janet was my GG Grandmother, a Scottish midwife. Janet Downie Hardie was married to a ship’s captain, lived in Edinburgh, Scotland had had given birth to nine children.  She studied obstetrics at Edinburgh University with Dr. James Simpson, the doctor who first used an anesthetic on a woman giving birth. That woman was Victoria, the Queen of England.

I became intrigued with Janet’ story, her becoming a Mormon in Scotland and after the death of her husband, joining a handcart company and with five of her children and her 30 year old sister traveling the six month journey from Liverpool, England to Salt Lake City.  They walked from Iowa City to Salt Lake pushing handcarts. She delivered eleven babies on the trek, the first being on the first day of the voyage. I have researched the handcart trek starting in 1856 until they got to their Promised Land six months later and have written a book about the Journey.

Thank you for sharing your story Janet!

© 2013, Sort Your Story, Sonoma, California


Women of World War II

Sort Your Story blogger, Jennifer Holik, has been writing a series of books called Stories of the Lost. There will be five books total with the first two books and resource guides coming out December 2, 2013. One of these books will focus on the story of a women who joined the Women’s Army Corp during World War II.

Are you researching and telling the stories of your female ancestors? Jennifer and Sort Your Story Creator Lorel Kapke, have been focusing on the women in their families this year. Here are a few tips to get you started in researching your World War II female ancestor.

  1. Did your ancestor fight on the home front as a wife, homemaker, Rosie the Riverter or other role? Every role a female played during the war was important whether she served in the Armed Forces or was at home. Write the stories you know about your ancestors who fought from home.
  2. Did your ancestor serve in a branch of the Armed Forces? Was she a WAAC/WAC (Women’s Army Auxiliary Corp/Women’s Army Corp)? Serve as in the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service)? Did she help in the Red Cross? What about as a nurse? Other groups? Write the stories you know about these ancestors.
  3. For those that served in a branch of the armed forces, look at those histories. Many books have been written about these women’s groups by the military and by those who served. By reading these histories you will discover more about your female ancestor. You might even stumble upon a photo of her!

Looking for resources for Women in World War II?

On FaceBook: Women During World War II Group

United States Women’s Army Museum

Women of the U.S. Army

Women in the U.S. Coast Guard

Army Nurse Corps (WWII)

These are only a few of the many sites that provide information and history on the women who served during World War II. What others do you know about? What stories do you have?


© 2013, Sort Your Story, Sonoma, California