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Ask Ancestry Anne: It’s Time for Wedding Bells!

Women’s History Month continues. Today’s prompt:

Do you have marriage records for your grandparents or great-grandparents? Write a post about where they were married and when. Any family stories about the wedding day? Post a photo too if you have one.

I’m pretty sure this is a photo taken about the time of my great grandparents wedding.  Wyatt Paul Gillespie and Laura Cecile Donald were married January 24, 1894 in Lexington, Virginia.

Tall men and short women seem to be a theme in my family. :-)

When I was researching this couple, I learned the value of looking for the marriage record and then looking to see if their names appeared elsewhere in the database.  Well, guess what.  Wyatt’s did.  I talk about in Returned not used: How I Almost Wasn’t

OK, now it’s your turn!  Post a URL to a blog post where you talk about a wedding in your tree or tell us a story in the comments.

Happy Searching!

— Ancestry Anne

Ask Ancestry Anne: Who Were You Named For? Or Use the Favorite Woman in Your Life!

Women’s history month continues.  Today’s prompt:

Do you share a first name with one of your female ancestors? Perhaps you were named for your great-grandmother, or your name follows a particular naming pattern. If not, then list the most unique or unusual female first name you’ve come across in your family tree.

I am Anne Elizabeth,  and I was named for both my grandmothers, Ann Irene Feazell and Jennie Elizabeth Payne. 

I have always been confused why my grandmother spelled her name Ann and mine is Anne, but that is what it is.  Oh, and she always went by Judy. 

My other grandmother, Jennie Elizabeth Payne, had a life that I knew nothing about until I it uncovered in census records and other documents.  I blogged about it in How Eight Children Ended Up Living Alone in 1930

And now it’s your turn.  Who were you or your wife, your mother, your sister named for?  Post a URL in the comments, or tell us your story.

Happy Searching!

— Ancestry Anne

Ask Ancestry Anne: Do You Have A Photo of A Female Ancestor?

Women’s History Month continues. Today’s prompt:

Post a photo of one of your female ancestors. Who is in the photo? When was it taken? Why did you select this photo?

For me that’s easy.  I have this great picture of my Great Grandmother Laura Cecile Gillespie Donald with her dog.  You can read about in Wisdom Wednesday — Granny’s Dog (OK, it’s not my snappiest title. :-) )

So now it’s your turn.  Post your blog links, or tell us about your favorite picture of a female ancestor.

Happy Searching!

— Ancestry Anne

Ask Ancestry Anne: You Didn’t Ask, But It’s Women’s History Month!

It’s Women’s History Month, and it’s time to explore the “fairer side” of our family tree.

Lisa Azlo, who writes the blog The Accidental Genealogist, has written a series of blogging prompts for the month, and maybe it will inspire us to dig a little deeper in our trees.   To play along, post a url to a blog post you’ve written, or reminiscence in the comments.

You can find the blogging prompts at: Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month.

Today’s prompt:

Do you have a favorite female ancestor? One you are drawn to or want to learn more about? Write down some key facts you have already learned or what you would like to learn and outline your goals and potential sources you plan to check.

It’s really hard to pick one, isn’t it? I have many that inspire me and make wonder more about their lives.

Elizabeth Jane Wallace, my g-g-grandmother always pops to mind.  She was  born in 1844 in Rockbridge County, Virginia, the daughter of Charlton Wallace and Martha Jane Cash.  She married James Calvin Donald on March 20, 1860 in Rockbridge.

James, like many other Virginians, went off to fight in the Civil War, for the Confederacy.  From time to time, it appears that he was able to come home, most notably in March of 1864.  (His unit is documented as being in Lexington at this time.)  In June of 1864, he is captured and spends the rest of the War in Camp Chase, a Yankee prison camp, being released in March of 1865.

In Dec 1864, Elizabeth and James’ first child, James Henry Donald is born.  I can only imagine how 20 year old Elizabeth felt.  Her husband is in a prison camp; most of their married life he was away at war.  Was she scared?  How was she getting by?  Life in the south was grim at best in 1864 and even most ardent believer in the Confederate cause must have known the war was coming to the end.

Did she even know if her husband was alive at that point?

When we look at how the Civil War impacted our ancestors, it is often on the male side of our tree.  Who fought and what happened to them. 

But our female ancestors lived through the war as well. And the birth of Elizabeth’s first child gives me a glimpse of who she was and how her life was impacted on a very personal level by large historical events.

So who inspired you? Who do you want to learn more about? 

Happy Searching!

— Ancestry Anne