Friday, February 6, 2015

A Genealogist's Guide to Discovering your Female Ancestors : featured library resource for February 2015

Thanks to an anonymous gift we are adding a third "genealogist's guide" by Sharon Carmack to our Library collection. This one, A genealogist's guide to discovering your female ancestors, was published in 1998. Subtitled "special strategies for uncovering hard-to-find information about your female lineage," it could motivate you to extend your search for that elusive woman in your family tree.

The chapters are as follows:

  • Sources created by women
  • Sources created about women
  • Additional sources for ethnic women
  • Methods for determining maiden names and parents
  • Writing about female ancestors
  • Case studies
In addition, there is a glossary (did you know that relict means a widow?), a bibliography, an index, and these appendices, all of which take up about a third of the volume:
  • An overview of women's legal rights in America
  • Matrilineal research and genetics
  • Source checklist for researching female ancestors
The book got mixed reviews from readers, some of whom were incensed by Cormack's use of social history to embroider the facts in her case studies.  But if this is an area that interests you, there is value to be gleaned from her compilation of the many different sources that can be used to track down information about women's lives in America.

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