Monday, March 10, 2008

Women and Family History

In my on-going search for my family history, I've noticed one striking absence: the Women.

In my previous post, Researching Family History: It's Really Just a Title, I noted that for the most part, genealogy is just the history of a surname as it is passed from male to male in an unending line.

But, what about the histories of the women who marry and whose history is utterly ignored? It is easy to follow a male line. For me, anyone with the last name "Crymble" is almost certainly somewhere on the family tree and I need merely to find the common male in both our pasts to know what the relation is. But what of my grandmothers? Where did they come from?

I realized I know eleven generations of my family tree on the male line, dating back over four centuries.

I know two on the female, and both of those are still alive.

Even on my maternal grandfather's side, I know the history of his family name back to the 18th century. Of my grandmother: I know she was born Gertrude Wendt on August 1, 1927. Beyond that, it is lost to me. Who were my grandmothers?

Perhaps it is they whose history I should be pursuing? Whose stories I should be seeking to uncover.

Maybe I will.

1 comment:

William J. Turkel said...

Hey Bud, you should read the chapter on Hannah Barnard's cupboard in Laurel Ulrich's book The Age of Homespun. Come to think of it, read the whole book! Bill