Name changes and a society that emphasizes men in the records can make finding female ancestors tough. Note that I said "tough," not "impossible." Let's consider some valuable sources that we might be overlooking.
Jane E. Wilcox of Forget Me Not Ancestry specializes in female research and researching in New York state. (That's a combination!) Both of those topics means that she has learned to get the most out of all available records. Here is her advice and some sources for finding female ancestors.
Key Takeaways for Unusual Sources for Finding Female Ancestors:
- Look at the ephemera (letters, diaries, journals, etc.) that you might already have
- Look for records dealing with everyday life (doctors, midwives, store ledgers, church records)
- Research the men in their lives
You might also want to check out my post on "3 Practical Strategies for Finding Female Ancestors."
The key is to keep looking and to learn about all of the records that are available in any given location where your ancestor lived. That includes going beyond just the "regular" records like vital records and church records. What else exists? Explore and dig. (Jane describes herself as a digger. It's a strategy that pays off!)
Have you used an unusual resource for your female research? Let me know in the comments.