Sort Your Story creator Lorel Kapke was talking to me about women and the census recently. She had this to say, “This brought to mind the maternal side of families…. women listed in the census as “homemakers” …. were they creating quilts (worth big money today on Antiques Road Show,) or recipes they created…enabling future generations to become famous “food network” chefs recreating their g-grandmothers recipes…. making money, how about taking care of the homestead…. from sunup to sundown… gathering herbs for remedies to help heal their children…possibly learned from the indigenous population.”
When you look at the history of the women in your family, what do you see? Only the homemaker listed in the census or much more than that? Women may have been listed as homemakers but they were, and still are today – MUCH more than that. They are…..
Business women; chefs; presidents of companies; attorneys; bankers; mothers; wives; friends; pastors; teachers; politicians; government worker; pilots; travelers; caretakers; cooks and bakers; doctors; construction workers; paramedics; police; firefighters; nurses; librarians; researchers; writers; photographers……..
The list goes on an on. How do you identify your female ancestors? WHO were they? WHAT did they do? WHEN did they do it? In a time when women weren’t doing “those” things like running a business when the majority were at home with children? What about attending the university when women were hardly ever admitted? WHY did your ancestor choose this path? WHERE was she living when she assume “this” role?
Answering these questions and looking at women as more than homemakers will open up a whole new world of story possibilities for your female ancestors. What are you waiting for? Start writing!
© 2013 Sort Your Story, Sonoma, California
March is Women’s History month and many are focusing on writing about their female ancestors. Are you? Need some ideas on what to write about? Lisa Alzo of the Accidental Genealogist has 31 prompts for the month to help get you started.
Need a few other ideas on ways to write your ancestors’ histories? Consider these!
- Create a scrapbook of photographs and stories about your female ancestors.
- Write a biography of one of your female ancestors.
- Pull out old family recipes then cook or bake something. Write about the experience and any memories you have of those recipes with ancestors.
- Gather your children together and make a poster board of photographs, quotes, and their stories about one or more female ancestors.
- For young children, make memory cards of female ancestors. Take a copy of a photograph and paste it to a playing card sized piece of construction paper. On the back write some information about that ancestor such as vital statistics, favorite hobby or quote, book, whatever you want.
- Start a blog! Blogging allows you to build a collection of stories over a period of time. Should you ever start writing your entire family’s history, you will already have a lot to work with!
- Write the stories in Sort Your Story and add photographs to bring them to life.
How will you celebrate Women’s History Month? What will you write about?
© 2013 Sort Your Story, Sonoma, CA