Friday, March 8, 2013

Women's History Month: Pattern of Children of My Female Ancestors

Lorine at Olive Tree Genealogy posted an interesting genealogical topic for Women's History Month, so here is my offering.

Make a list of your female ancestors beginning with your mother. Go back as far as you can. Now figure out how many children each female ancestor had. Did the females in your direct maternal line tend to have the same numbers of children each generation? Did they have more? Less? Were they prolific or are there few children born to each woman? Is there a pattern emerging?

I decided to go back 5 generations, and found no particular pattern other than there were more GIRLS born than BOYS!  I found that very surprising for some reason. The photo above on the left is my mother's line: she is the 2 year old Mary, in her mother Marguerite's arms; left is Clara, talking with her mother Hattie, aged about 97.

Maternal Line:
3rd Greatgrandmother Sabra ORMSBEE      5 – 1 boy,   4 girls
2nd Greatgrandmother Hattie GRAVES        3 –    ……   3 girls
Great-grandmother Clara TERWILLIGER      3 – 2 boys, 1 girl                          
Grandmother Marguerite KUHN                   6 – 2 boys, 4 girls
My Mother Mary GILLESPIE                       3 – 1 boy,   2 girls

Paternal Line:
2nd Greatgrandmother Eliza MORRISON      4 – 3 boys, 1 girl
Greatgrandmother Catherine ARMSTRONG  4 – 3 boys, 1 girl
(other) Greatgrandmo Sarah WHITEHOUSE  9 – 3 boys, 6 girls
Grandmother Harriett BUNN                         6 – 2 boys, 4 girls

This makes 43 children total, with 17 boys, 26 girls
As for me:
I had 4 children:  2 boys, 2 girls; and with 6 grandchildren, I have 1 boy, 5 girls!

I'm not finding anything else unusual about these women.  In about 1879 or 1880, my Paternal line moved in one group of 3 generations including my Greatgrandmother Catherine & her mother-in-law Eliza, from Northern Ireland to north-west England for work reasons. My Maternal line lived in New York state and NJ state for a number of generations - I stopped at 5 generations, but can go back on a number of lines another 5 generations.  In 1912 my Grandmother Marguerite moved with her husband to BC Canada  where all the children (but one) were born.  She travelled back and forth across the continent with her 5 living children a number of times to visit with her relatives and many friends in New York state and New Jersey as well.

My Maternal line (up to the 1930s) were relatively wealthy, husbands were entrepreneurs and business builders; whereas my Paternal line was quite a bit poorer - individuals were very good at school but had to leave early to work.  The Paternal line brothers all did quite well in BC Canada, immigrating here in 3 groups: 1907, 1911, and 1914.  There was little travel back to England, although my grandfather's only sister did come out to visit several times from England.  

Try this analysis on your own family tree and ask questions about any patterns you might see, about their child-bearing:  ages of mothers at 1st and last child?  sexes?  twins?  any unusual gaps?  ages of those babies who died young (under 2)?  Think about other activities or events either locally or internationally that might have impacted on your "mothers".  

If you have any questions or want to follow up on any of the information in this post, do contact me either by replying with details in the Comments section, or through  calewis at telus dot net   (you know what to substitute there).  

Sunday, March 3, 2013

+Jill Ball's Geneameme re Social Media... A little late!

Here are the questions from Jill about using social media - pitfalls and possibilities!  - and my responses:

1. Tell us about your favourite social media tool and why you like it.
Google+ is my favourite for many reasons.  It allows me to have circles of totally different groups of individuals passionate about their hobby or occupation, sharing it with the world.  It allows me to meet new-to-me genealogists with their unique strengths and skills in the field.  It allows me to learn so much about the field of genealogy.  And the relationships are priceless.

2. How do you use social media to further your genealogy career or business?
I don't have a business... am retired, but do some genealogy consulting with people searching for local ancestors and their lives, which is very satisfying.  My blogs, website, Facebook, Twitter, all add to my profile as a competent consultant.  I spend just under 2 hours daily doing the rounds of my social media; then go on to my life: genealogy research for self &/or client, work on my current creative writing assignment, talk/meet with friends and/or family members, go for walks, read books, garden, make big pots of food for the freezer including loaves of bread, etc.  
3. What advice would you give the cruiser who said “I must be living under a rock” and is not sure about coming out from under it?
If a grandmother of 70 years old  - ME - can enjoy G+, Facebook, Twitter (and use Tweetdeck), Tumblr, and more... and write a blog, anyone can pick one item and see how it fits into their life for whatever personal reasons there are:  entertainment, connections, education, and more.
4. What aspect of Social Media makes you grit your teeth?
Nothing.  Welllllll... complaining makes me delete the post and move on.  I don't have time for complaints, political or religious rants, or too many cute cats. 
5. How does social media assist with your CGD (continuing genealogical development)?
Ohmygoodness... I've found so much that's helpful using G+, FBk, & Twitter, finding resources to use, people to follow, tips to find, absolutely outstanding webinars, and more.
6. How do you fit social media time into your busy day?
I'm retired.  Every day is "anyday", and I manage to do most of what I want in any day.  Now if only I had money to match my so-many-hours!  
7. Do you have a story of how social media enabled you to connect with a long lost relation or fellow  researcher?
I've found a first cousin, several second and third cousins with photos and more details, made several connections with my Irish relatives.  Hoping for more... which is why I started blogging.  
8. You have a minute to share a piece of advice about genealogy and social media. Go for it
Several people have done webinars on the mechanics of using social media... such as Thomas MacEntee and Dear Myrtle... Go find those and follow them. Pick one item, and start using it daily to see how it might be useful/helpful for you personally.  Then pick another item.  Repeat until you're comfortable and can decide on which tools work best for you.  Oh... and don't forget the most important part:  ASK for HELP!!  People are so helpful and would love to provide directions and ideas to help you master something.  Just ask.   Finally - feel very comfortable deleting posts or deleting people from your social media group of tools - after all, it's your life and you're in charge of how positive or negative it is.  

Cheers.  I used to be quite the social media hermit, but I've learned to use quite a few and am getting more comfortable as the months go by.  Sorry it took me an extra day to get this done, Jill!  


Family, friends, and others - I hope you enjoy these pages about our ancestors and their lives. Genealogy has become somewhat of an obsession, more than a hobby, and definitely a wonderful mystery to dig into and discover. Enjoy my writing, and contact me at celia.winky at gmail dot com if you have anything to add to the stories. ... Celia Lewis