Tracing Your Female Ancestors (Paperback)
A Guide for Family Historians
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Everyone has a mother and a line of female ancestors and often their paths through life are hard to trace. That is why this detailed, accessible handbook is of such value, for it explores the lives of female ancestors from the end of the Napoleonic Wars in 1815 to the beginning of the First World War.
In 1815 a woman was the chattel of her husband; by 1914, when the menfolk were embarking on one of the most disastrous wars ever known, the women at home were taking on jobs and responsibilities never before imagined. Adèle Emm’s work is the ideal introduction to the role of women during this period of dramatic social change.
Chapters cover the quintessential experiences of birth, marriage and death, a woman’s working and daily life both middle and working class, through to crime and punishment, the acquisition of an education and the fight for equality. Each chapter gives advice on where further resources, archives, wills, newspapers and websites can be found, with plentiful common sense advice on how to use them.
Most family historians will struggle to find information about their female ancestors, especially when we get further back in time. Historical records about births of our ancestors concentrated on recording the name of a child’s father and the child’s mother was only mentioned by her first name, if at all, as she was seen as a mere chattel of her husband. It is refreshing to read a book that concentrates on the women in our past and is also written from the perspective of an experienced family historian.Doncaster & District Family History Society
This book concentrates on the nineteenth and early twentieth century but does not limit itself to birth, marriages and death records. There are chapters covering many aspects of education, health, crime and punishment, all full of interesting tips on more unusual sources to try in your research.
I found the chapters on daily life and employment particularly useful. When we see our ancestors were recorded as servants or charwomen on the census returns, this book provides fascinating facts on what that meant for the individual and paints a vivid picture of what their daily lives would have been.
In addition to the well-researched content, this book is very readable and now has a permanent place in my library.
The tone of the book is friendly and inclusive and treats its readers with intelligence assuming we are aware of how life was for many of our female forbears, but at the same time revealing new facts and ideas on how to research our female ancestors. A very helpful and informative addition to the family researcher’s library.Jean Fowlds, Glamorgan FHS, September 2020
"This is a masterly, detailed work that will delight battlefield visitors as well as the armchair reader who has a military interest."Glasgow and West of Scotland Family History Society
As featured inCumbria Family History Society
As featured byMOOR, 1st January 2020
Featured inNorthumberland and Durham FHS
Featured inGlasgow and West Scotland Family History Society
Featured inClywd Family History Society
Not just a practical guide, it's an absorbing read too, with tips on further resources, archives and other places to visit to develop your understanding. So much so, you'll wonder why you never realised you needed it before.Family Tree, September 2019 – reviewed by Karen Clare
This is a substantial and detailed volume which explores the period from 1815 to 1914. It is wide-ranging and informative, with much emphasis on the daily life and work of women during the period.Bristol & Avon FHS
Adele Emm contributes to 'Peterloo massacre' featureFamily Tree, August 2019
Anyone with British ancestry is sure to find material of interest and relevance.Canada's Anglo-Celtic Connections, John D Reid
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This book details the experiences of women living in a period of unprecedented change, between 1815 and 1914. Generally, of course the trend was towards greater equality and improved living conditions, but many alive in those years still suffered wretched lives. Chapters cover in detail such issues as birth, marriage and death, education, employment and emancipation. The chapter on crime and punishment, for example highlights that whilst only 180 women on the 1841 national census are recorded as prostitutes, one police estimate was for 80,000 in London alone. In the majority of instances, this was the only way a woman could survive if she had lost her partner or employment.Alnwick Family History
Whilst not every aspect of this work will relate directly to your female ancestors, there is almost certain to be material of interest. For example, don’t despair if your great-grandma is missing from the 1911 census; she could well have been a supporter of the suffragettes under their directive for non-compliance “No vote, no census!” The further references given after each chapter to online sources, local record offices, specialist museums and further reading are also very comprehensive.
A unique and information packed instructional reference and guide, "Tracing Your Female Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians" is an extraordinary and thoroughly 'user friendly manual that is unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Genealogy collections and supplemental studies lists.Midwest Book Review
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This is a book that stands readying at a single siting and subtly invites you to take a different world view. an absolute gem!Alde Valley Suffolk Family History Group
As featured byFamily Tree, June 2019