Heroines in your family: International Women’s Day 2012

Photo: Galt Museum & Archives on The Commons

International Women’s Day is March 8, 2012 and we invite you to submit stories about the heroines in your family. We will showcase the best here in our blog.

We’re looking for stories from the major to the everyday achievements of women in your family, whether they saved someone in WWII or raised amazing children as single mothers.

Post your stories and photos on our Facebook page or on Twitter @myheritage with the hashtag #WomenRock.

Here are comments from our own team about what International Women’s Day means to them:

Ania – Marketing Manager, MyHeritage:

“This day we celebrate the amazing women that we all have in our own family histories, those women who devote their lives to giving to their families. We all have stories of the sacrifices these women make for us and it’s important to use this day to remember, take note of their actions and apply them to our daily lives.”

Rhianna – Support team leader, MyHeritage:

“It’s important to stop and take time out from our busy lives to take advantage of International Women’s Day and reflect. It’s this reflection that brings about new understandings.”

Sara – Scandinavian Community Manager, MyHeritage:

To me it’s about bringing awareness to issues and challenges of women whatever they may be at this point of time. I think it’s really important that we devote a day to thinking about these things, to help advance the causes for women all over the world.”

From www.internationalwomensday.com:

International Women’s Day (8 March) is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. In some places like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, International Women’s Day is a national holiday.

Why: Suffragettes campaigned for women’s right to vote. The word ‘Suffragette’ is derived from the word “suffrage” meaning the right to vote. International Women’s Day honours the work of the Suffragettes, celebrates women’s success, and reminds of inequities still to be redressed. The first International Women’s Day event was run in 1911. 2011 was the Global Centenary Year. Let’s reinvent opportunity for all women.

We look forward to reading your stories about the wonderful women in your family.

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  • Linda Smith

    March 2, 2012

    Born in 1912, Agnes Smith was an amazing, forward thinking woman. Graduated college at 17, taught high school in Harlem, NY, Designed posters for Minsky’s Burlesque part time. Moved to California in the 30’s where she got her Masters in Engineering and was the only woman engineer at Hughes Aircraft during WW II. After the war, got her Phd. In psychology. She married my father- in- lawn the early fifties and the spent many years sailing the Blue Bell (after they sold it, it was the scene of a notorious murder). Ardent golfer into her ninety ‘s, she still sought life to the fullest, especially in an era where women were discouraged to express themselves.

  • Sally Harris

    March 2, 2012

    My late Mother in Law Maud Harris (nee Snowball) was a volunteer Fire Fighter in York during WW2 & because she was such a modest & unassuming lady we sadly only found out about this after her death in 2000 when we were sorting through her things & found a medal presented to her after the war ended

  • Christina Fox

    March 4, 2012

    According to family stories, my Great Aunt, Dorothy Bowen, born in 1905, graduated from Stanford University, and went on to work for the Huntington Library in Los Angeles. I remember as a child seeing a picture of her in the National Geographic. Since beginning my genealogy search, I’ve been trying to find out more information about her.

  • Lanny KIMBOWA

    March 4, 2012

    Majority of the countries in this world we live in hold Beauty Pageants that select a representative of their countries to the Miss World competition and or title.

    My Miss Uganda (where I come from) is my Mother. She had every ability not to allow me to create or even grow within her embrace and care, but No! She accomplished all a mother could do for a child. I am the second boy of among her 9boys and 1girl and I am proud to celebrate her every subsequent year. God Bless Mothers of the World, especially ones who stick around their kids through thick and thin.

    They are the worthy and deserving Miss Worlds of they nations.

  • Ann Kissane

    March 5, 2012

    Dr Annie Kissane born Anna Carmelita (1898-1995)

    Annie Kehoe was the first child of John Kehoe and Nora McCarthy born on the 15th July 1898 she was one of seven children. She was initially educated to primary level in Mulrankin, Co Wexford in the school run by her parents. Her secondary education was at Loreto in Stephens Green, Dublin and third level NUI, Dublin. She initially started an Arts Degree but transferred to Medicine while at College against the wishes of her parents. She was said to be a classmate of Kevin Barry and was one of the students who said the rosary outside Mountjoy Jail when he was being executed in 1920 and as a student during the Civil War she helped attend the wounded.

    The UCD register of Graduates for 1943 lists Annie as qualified in 1924. She began working in General Practice in July of that year in Killanne in Co Wexford and in 1928 she was appointed medical officer to New Ross/Ballywilliam dispensary district; she was one of the first female dispensary doctors in Ireland. She did meet with some opposition led by a local priest who petitioned against her appointment; the County Council however later ratified her appointment and Annie took up her position and moved to New Ross where she practised for 40 years.

    On the 18th of Sept 1935 Annie married Edward (known as Eamon) Kissane in St Andrews Church, Westland Row, and Dublin. They met when Eamon was working for the Gaelic League for the Counties of Wexford and Kilkenny teaching Irish. When they married Eamon was T.D. (M.P.) for Kerry North. They choose an unusual destination for a honeymoon at the time, Germany.

    During World War II known as The Emergency in Ireland Annie was the founding member of New Ross Red Cross Society and gave courses in home nursing. She also attended the injured after the bombing of the Co-Op in Campile by the Germans.

    Everyone in the community seemed equal importance to Annie, she often attended births of the local travelling community and in the 50’s and 60’s; started the New Ross branch of County Wexford Mentally Handicapped Association, fund raising and getting volunteers to start up at first a crèche and then a school and workshop for individuals in the community who at the time were generally kept out of sight.

    Annie retired in 1968 at the age of seventy and continued with her interest in her local community and church till her death on the 11th of May 1995 aged 97. Her legacy to the people of Wexford was The New Ross Mentally Handicapped Association this is now the responsibility of the local HSE. Annie is interred in St Stephens Cemetery, New Ross with her husband Eamon.

    Ann Kissane 5th March 2012

  • rebecca labillois

    March 7, 2012

    My Mother Margaret Pictou laBillois recently showcased in the war musuem in ottawa, she was in the RCAF in 1944, aircraft division where they took pictures for the alaskan highway, She was the recruitment poster for women, she also returned back to her home reserve to decicate her life to her culture,to her home the people, and the land where she loved in eel river bar first nation. She married her sweetheart that she met in the war and had 12 children and adopted 2 more to make it 14. She was the first elected chief in new brunswick to hold a seat. She received the order of Canada in 1970 for her accomplishments in bringing back the culture and the language and traditions. She also received the order of New Brunswick and she is the elder for New Brunswick. She always put her community first and accomplished many great things for Eel River Bar First Nation. She is the true meaning of showing humility as a First Nations Mi’qmaq woman in every respect through passing on her wisdom to her children and her community for the clans of the next generation.

  • Pam Guitard

    March 8, 2012

    This is so true a woman who many respected and also she taught kindness patience and everyone was made welcome in her home a great lady !!!

  • Aaron

    March 12, 2012

    Thanks for all your comments. We’d be really grateful if you could email stories@myheritage.com with more information about your stories and then perhaps we’ll showcase them on our blog.
    Thanks again