Since March is Women’s History Month, the Accidental Genealogist is pleased to be giving a talk on “Silent Voices: Telling the Stories of Your Female Immigrant Ancestors” for the 2018 Maryland State Library Resource Center’s Annual Genealogy Lecture on Saturday, 10 March, sponsored by the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore.
March 3 — 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.
My name “Lisa” is a form of Elizabeth, which was my paternal grandmother’s name My mother wanted to name me “Holly” but my aunt who is also my godmother suggested the name “Lisa” because it was a popular name at the time. Holly is a nice name, but I’m glad that my mother listened to my aunt–because I like my name.
Copyright, 2011, Lisa A. Alzo
All Rights Reserved
I had fun and hope you did too!
March 30 — Did you receive any advice or words of wisdom from your mother or another female ancestor?
My mother taught me to believe in myself and that just because someone else had more money, more advantages, or more opportunities that I shouldn’t feel they were better than me, or that this made me less of a person. She also taught me not to give up just because something seemed difficult or impossible to accomplish. Mom was a very smart woman and while at the time I couldn’t understand the lessons or principles she was trying to teach, I can truly appreciate them now.
March 28 — Do you remember your mother’s best friend? Your grandmother’s? How and where did they meet? How long were they friends? What activities did they share?
I’m not sure about my grandmothers. They were close to many of their neighbors and women they knew from church.
Copyright 2010, Lisa A. Alzo
She was detained for several days at Ellis Island for medical reasons. I wrote about her experience in my March 19th “Fearless Females” post , “Have you discovered a surprising fact about one of your female ancestors? ” and posted an image of the ship’s manifest that documented she was detained.
March 26 — What education did your mother receive? Your grandmothers? Great-grandmothers? Note any advanced degrees or special achievements.
My mother graduated from high school but did not go to college (her parents could not afford it). Mom was very smart and good at math. But she went to work after high school and after she married my father worked part time. I think she sometimes regretted not being able to go to college, and she worked very hard to make sure I was able to, and was so proud that I went to graduate school to earn my M.F.A. degree.
My grandmothers each had what was likely the equivalent of an 8th grade education, but by no means were they unintelligent women. They were at a disadvantage being immigrants and, but somehow they managed their households, raised their children, were able to hold down jobs speaking very little English.
Copyright 2010, Lisa A. Alzo