One of the stumbling blocks for family historians is researching before 1850 when the US census is limited to only the names of the head of household. Compounded by laws that affected women, such as coverture, and those female ancestors can be fairly invisible to the researcher. So how do you research your female ancestor? What records document their lives? Using case studies, we will take a look at how to approach this research and what records are available so you can be successful in finding your female ancestors.
Gena Philibert-Ortega is an author, researcher, and instructor whose focus is genealogy, social and women's history. She holds a Master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Psychology and Women's Studies) and a Master’s degree in Religion. Her published works include two books, numerous articles published in magazines and online, as well as four editions of the Tracing Your Ancestors series from Morsehead Publishing. She is the editor of the Utah Genealogical Association’s magazine, Crossroads. Her writings can be found on her blogs, Gena’s Genealogy and Food.Family.Ephemera as well as the GenealogyBank and Legacy Webinars blogs. She is a course instructor for The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. She has presented to diverse groups worldwide including the Legacy Family Tree Webinar series. Her current research includes women's repatriation and citizenship in the 20th century, foodways and community in fundraising cookbooks, and women's material culture.