March is Women’s History Month and GHL is celebrating. This month, I will highlight a few books in our genealogy collection to assist researchers with their female ancestors.
This week, I will talk about the book The Hidden Half of the Family: A Sourcebook for Women’s Genealogy by Christina Kassabian Schaefer (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1999). The first part of the book discusses the unique ways women are recorded in federal records. The bulk of the book is a state-by-state guide to the location of records regarding women as well as laws concerning women that may also affect the records available for that time period. Each state begins with a timeline of “Important Dates in State History” followed by the laws regarding marriage and divorce and where to find the records. Next are the laws regarding property and inheritance followed by suffrage and when women received the right to vote for that state as some states granted women the right to vote before the passage of the 19th Amendment. Following a discussion of the laws and locations of records, there is a bibliography of books about the women of each state and a list of resource for women’s history in each state.