March is National Women’s Month in the United States. It has been observed annually since 1987 to honor women’s contributions to society, history and culture.
American women have achieved many firsts; here are a few:
- The first convention held to advocate women’s rights was at Seneca Falls, New York in 1848.
- In 1869, Wyoming Territory was the first US territory to grant women the right to vote.
- The first woman elected to an American political office was Susanna Salter, mayor of Argonia, Kansas in April 1887.
- Elizabeth Blackwell was the first accredited American female doctor and founded the first medical school for women.
- Edith Wharton became the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for her novel - The Age of Innocence - in 1921.
- In 1928, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to successfully fly more than 20 hours across the Atlantic.
This year’s theme is “Women Inspiring Innovation through Imagination,” which recognizes the contributions and achievements of women in the fields of science, mathematics, technology and engineering.
In honor of International Women's Day next week, we will publish some of our favorite inspirational stories of women in your family tree.
Do you have women in your family who were pioneer inventors? Do you have any stories of women ancestors' contribution to society, culture and innovation? We'd like to hear your stories. Share them in the comments below, or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to this article in News OK, it's more difficult to find female ancestors.
Some reasons are that women had no voting rights, no land ownership rights, and their names changed after marriage.
Thus, there were fewer documents containing relevant information, or it was hard to find the connections between existing documents and a later marriage, with a new surname.
This makes it hard to locate our female ancestors as well as their extended families.
Today, in most countries, women are equal citizens in every way, and enjoy full property ownership and voting rights. Many women either retain their maiden names or the new couple creates a double-barreled surname. These social changes could arguably make researching our female ancestors a bit easier - at least in the future.
People like genealogy because of the challenge of finding new family members.
Have you had problems locating female ancestors? Are there those you have not yet identified? Were you able to find them? What resources did you use to overcome a specific challenge?
We'd like to learn about your experiences via the comments below.
We’ve had a terrific response to our “International Women’s Day: Heroines in your family” post, where we invited you to submit stories about the incredible women in your families.
The stories we received highlight how women left their mark on their families while remaining a shining example for future generations.
Here are a few examples to inspire you as much as they inspired us. Thank you for sharing them.