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April 2020 General Member Meeting
Presentation on Mothers, Daughters, Wives: Tracing Female Lines
Originally recorded on April 14, 2020
Speaker: Judy G. Russell
Bio: The Legal Genealogist Judy G. Russell is a genealogist with a law degree who writes and lectures on topics ranging from using court records in family history to understanding DNA testing. On the faculty of numerous genealogy institutes, she is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Board for Certification of Genealogists®, from which she holds credentials as a Certified Genealogist® and Certified Genealogical Lecturer℠. Her award-winning blog is at
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Presentation Description

Mothers, Daughters, Wives: Tracing Female Lines. The women of our families are at best only a tick mark in the census until 1850. The moment a woman married, the name she was born with was lost in the married name she took on and – worse from a genealogical perspective – she lost her separate legal identity under the English common law followed in most of America in colonial times and thereafter. There were exceptions (the law in Dutch, Spanish and French colonies was kinder to married women) but, generally, women had good cause to wish, as Abigail Adams did, that their husbands would “remember the ladies, and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors.” But while they are among the hardest of our ancestors, there are ways to trace our female lines – for us as genealogists to “remember the ladies” of our own families.

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