In honor of National Women’s History Month, Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist presents Fearless Females: 31 Blogging Prompts to Celebrate Women’s History Month, and I'm going to play with her prompts weekly, just to keep myself sane, as I don't think I could manage daily.
March 1 — Do you have a favorite female ancestor? One you are drawn to or want to learn more about? Write down some key facts you have already learned or what you would... like to learn and outline your goals and potential sources you plan to check.
This one's hard for me, but I think if I were to answer without thinking on it too hard, I'd have to say Dora Hillinger nee Kresch, my paternal grandfather's mother. I know quite a bit about her later life, but almost nothing about her life before she came to Frankfurt in the late nineteen-teens. I have a guess at a town, but I have yet to find anything that has made the name of the town definite for me yet. I know her parent's names (Benzion, possibly Benno, and Feige Golde (Reich) Kresch), and that she had at least one sibling, whom she named her first daughter for. Unfortunately, with her, I have my work cut out for me, but my plans are to write to/talk to two of my grandfather's sisters (soon) and see what they know about their mother, particularly when she was young.
March 2 — Post a photo of one of your female ancestors. Who is in the photo? When was it taken? Why did you select this photo?
This is a picture of my great-grandfather's grandmother Ivare Larsen nee Christensen and her sister Katrine. We've got a number of similar shots, and I love them all—focusing on a pair of sisters, but this one is a special favorite of mine for a few reasons. Because it's a new shot I'd not seen before this past year, and also because it's so old. Ivare lived until 1932, but even so, having a photograph of someone six generations removed from me is just incredibly special to me, and I treasure every one of them I do have.
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.
I don't. I have a very unique first name, but it's not a family name. We do have a number of odd/unique names in my family, depending on your point of view. The Welsh and Irish sides are all fairly common names, but the Norwegian, Dutch, and Jewish sides all have some interesting names, if more common within those communities.
I think I'll go with my great-grandmother, Oline, pronounced Ol-ee-nah. I'd never so much heard the name before starting to research her. It was actually her middle name, but it was the name she used every day. Looking up the name, I don't find an exact match, but it seems to be a form of the name Olin, which means "ancestor's heir," which I find even more interesting.
March 4 — Do you have marriage records for your grandparents or great-grandparents? Write a post about where they were married and when. Any family stories about the wedding day? Post a photo too if you have one.
I know where both my grandparents and all four sets of great-grandparents were married, and when, and I have wedding photos for all but two pairs, though I do have a shot of the wedding invitation for one of them:
Alex Hillinger and Dora Kresch were married in Frankfurt, Germany on October 31, 1919. Unfortunately, I don't know much about Alex and Dora, given what they went through with the Nazi rise and leaving the country to escape what would eventually happen there. (the invitation translates roughly to: "We hereby have the honor to announce, on Friday 31 October, at 1 O'clock, The Wedding of our children Dora and Alex. We respectfully invite you. Mrs Kresch, Leon Seneft, Frankfurt a.M. in October 1919." and location and contact information.)
Holger and Oline Hansen were married September 14, 1918, in Cleveland, Ohio. The two settled there together and raised three children together before my great-grandmother's death in 1929.
Bjarne Bordewick and Mary (May) Park (pictured here with his brother and her sister on the left of the photo) married on June 14, 1917, in Vancouver, BC, Canada. The two had both been born outside of Canada, and only fate had brought them both to the West-coast city, where they met, married, and raised two boys.
Daniel Jones and Eliza (Bessie) Howells were married on May 23, 1911 in Vancouver, BC, Canada. They met there, despite having both been born in Wales, only because my great-grandfather tossed a coin and decided to come west.
George Bordewick and Merle Jones, my maternal grandparents, were married November 10, 1939, in Vancouver, BC, Canada, right before my grandfather was sent to the east coast to finish his training before being sent to the war. The two met as teenagers, and aside from the war, spent the rest of their lives together until my grandfather's death in 1991.
Sam Hillinger and Margaret (Maggie) Hansen, my paternal grandparents, married in Frankfurt, Germany on June 12, 1948.
March 5 — How did they meet? You’ve documented marriages, now, go back a bit. Do you know the story of how your parents met? Your grandparents?
My parents met at the University of Washington in an English class, and began to talk. They fell in love and ended up marrying March 29, 1969 in Bellevue, Washington.
As I said, my grandparents, George and Merle, met as teenagers when my grandfather joined a youth group that my grandmother was already part of. The two began to date, and never dated anyone else, marrying in 1939.
Sam and Maggie met when they both decided to take the USO up on a trip to Switzerland. The two met on the train there, and spent most of the trip together, where they learned to ski, a love which followed them through their married life together until Sam's death in 2000.