Monday, March 1, 2010

Fearless Females - Day One

From The Accidental Genealogist: "March 1 — 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."

My favorite female ancestor at this point is [my great-great aunt] Marion Constance Greenleaf (1871-1900). I think a lot of that is that given what I've learned about her so far, I can relate to her. The oldest of our siblings we're each unmarried. Granted, she died at age 29, and I'm currently 39, but since it's 110 years later, I'm willing to put us both in the "spinster" category. I have a good deal of information about her immediate family, parents and siblings, one of whom is my great-grandfather, as well as their family home in Lenox, Massachusetts. Her obituaries described her as an accomplished singer and news articles I've gathered from society pages give me a sense of her friends and relationships. One of the reasons she's one of my favorites is that I have a better sense of her as a complete person than I do any other other ancestor. And I'm sorry to say that part of this is probably due to her short life. For a more complete summary, see my earlier Tombstone Tuesday post on Marion.

The Runners-Up:
  • Great-great grandmother, Adeline Emma Stone Greenleaf (1849-1936)
  • 5th Great grandmother, Hannah Lambert Cadwalader (1712-1786)
So where do I go next? Well, it depends...
  • Marion. I know the basics. I'm curious to learn more about her life, both through society articles (of which there are plenty), but also through learning more about the world in the years she lived. Marion was born in Hamburg, Germany and died in Lenox, Massachusetts.
  • Adeline. Marion's mother, I know most of the facts and am now at the point of wanting to reconstruct more of her family relationships (with her children, spouse, parents, and siblings). As well as consider the world she lived in: Civil War through World War I.
  • Hannah. Hannah lived long enough ago that her identity is very much integrated with her husband and father. Given that she lived in he eighteenth century, I really don't know the best way learn more about who she might have been.
For all three, for as much as I've learned, I'll happily take ideas for where to go next. For Marion and Adeline I've got census data and some society column articles from the period. For Hannah, I'm not sure what the best course of action is.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Sara, I have a nice picture of Marion as a ten year old, which I found amongst many pictures of the Channing family of Lenox. I am very interested in talking to you about your most exciting research into all these Greanleafs, Stones and Cadwaladers. My phone number 413-243-0161, cbgilder at

    Best wishes, Cornelia B. Gilder (Houses of the Berkshires)