Celebrate the women in your family throughout history during Women's History Month!
Each day in March (Women's History Month), the editors of Family Tree Magazine will spotlight one woman who's made an impact on history, whether large or small. Submit your own female ancestors to us via Facebook or Twitter, and we may feature her on our list!
Day 23: Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth II has been the queen and matriarch of the United Kingdom since 1952. Despite her royal lineage, she insisted on being allowed to serve as an auxiliary mechanic and truck driver in World War II. Read this old newspaper article to discover more about her. Learn more about her with this article. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons/the Associated Press.
Day 22: Elizabeth Blackwell
Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman admitted to medical school when she attended Geneva (NY) Medical College in 1847. She graduated at the top of her class. Photo courtesy Wikimedia/the Hobart and William Smith Colleges Archives.
Day 21: Mourning Dove
Hum-ishu-ma or Mourning Dove (Christine Quintasket), born on the Colville Indian reservation in 1884, was forced to give up her native language at the mission school she attended. She worked most of her life as a migrant laborer, writing at night. Her 1927 novel Cogewea, The Half-Blood, was among the first to be published by an American Indian woman. Her later books include Coyote Stories, legends told by her grandmother and other tribal elders. Photo courtesy the Washington State University Library.
Day 20: Florence Owens Thompson
Florence Owens Thompson (the "Migrant Mother") was 32 when Dorothea Lange photographed her and her children for the Farm Security Administration in March, 1936, in a pea picker's camp in Nipomo, Calif. Lange later said that Thompson had sold her car's tires to buy food for her family. Photo courtesy the Library of Congress.
Day 19: Margaret Bourke-White
Margaret Bourke-White was an American photojournalist and the first female war correspondent in World War II to work in active combat zones. Her photo of Mohandas Gandhi at his spinning wheel was the first LIFE magazine cover photo to be taken by a woman. Photo courtesy the Library of Congress.
Day 18: Mina Loy
Mina Loy was an English poet, artist, mother, feminist, playwright and actress. One of the defining members of the Modernist era, she was known for her somewhat frank and shocking poetry that utilized intimate details of her own life. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
Day 17: Mrs. O'Leary
Catherine O'Leary is the Irish immigrant who legend blames for allowing the cow she was milking to kick over a lantern, starting the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Historians lay the blame elsewhere, and the Chicago City Council exonerated Mrs. O'Leary in 1997. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
Day 16: Gwenllian Evans
Gwenllian Evans, a widow from Wales, was Montana's first female homesteader. She filed for her land in 1870 and received her patent in 1872. Photo courtesy the Library of Congress.
Day 15: Lydia Chapin Taft
According to legend, Lydia Chapin Taft was the first woman known to legally vote in America, during a town meeting in 1756 in Uxbridge, Mass. She voted in place of her deceased husband and son.
Day 14: Nellie Bly
Nellie Bly (real name Elizabeth Cochran) was an influential journalist, best known for faking insanity to expose the abusive conditions in a New York asylum and for taking a trip around the world in 72 days. Photo courtesy the Library of Congress.
Day 13: H. Greene
While we don't have a picture of her, a woman named H. Greene kept a diary in 1886 and 1887 that reveals her life seeing to the domestic and farming work on her parents' Ohio property after they passed away. You can read it on the Harvard University Open Library website. Photo courtesy Harvard University Open Library.
Day 12: Eleanor Roosevelt
Eleanor Roosevelt redefined the First Lady's role in the White House and served as the first chair of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
Day 11: Maud Wagner
Day 10: Frances Perkins
Frances Perkins, an American sociologist and worker-rights advocate, was the first woman appointed to the US cabinet, serving as the U.S. Secretary of Labor from 1933 to 1945. Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
Day 9: Frida Kahlo
Day 8: Mary McLeod Bethune
Mary McLeod Bethune was the daughter of former slaves and the only one of 17 siblings her family could send to school. Her belief in the power of education led her to become a teacher and found the Daytona Normal and Industrial Institute (now Bethune-Cookman University). Photo courtesy the Library of Congress.
Day 7: Jackie Mitchell
Pitcher Jackie Mitchell signed with the Chattanooga Lookouts minor league baseball team in 1931, mostly as part of the manager's publicity stunt. In an exhibition game against the New York Yankees, the 17-year-old left-hander struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in succession, in seven pitches. Photo from Canonsburg, Pennsylvania's The Daily News, courtesy of Newspapers.com.
Day 6: María Messina Greco
An early 1900s midwife in Tampa Bay, Florida, María Messina Greco kept records in her native Sicilian of the 6,734 babies she delivered. Photo courtesy the University of South Florida Libraries Special Collections/Tumblr.
Day 5: Trieu Thi Trinh
The "Vietnamese Joan of Arc," Trieu Thi Trinh raised an army to fight against Chinese occupiers in the third century. Photo courtesy Amazing Women in History/Wikimedia Commons.
Day 4: Laura Ingalls Wilder
Author Laura Ingalls Wilder detailed everyday life as a pioneer in the American west and the books that document her life continue to inspire young girls.
Day 3: Abigail Adams
In a 1776 letter, future First Lady Abigail Adams encouraged her husband John, then a member of the Continental Congress, to "Remember the ladies ... [we] will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation."Photo courtesy the Library of Congress.
Day 2: Francisca Ladenkotter
Editor of Family Tree Magazine Diane Haddad's great-great-grandmother Francisca Catherina raised seven children with her husband in Cincinnati. Francisca was born to German immigrants and had a hard life, with two of her children dying in infancy.
Day 1: Kady Brownell
Brownell served as a vivandière with her husband's 1st Rhode Island Infantry regiment during the Civil War. Col. Ambrose Burnside named her Daughter of the Regiment and color bearer. She participated in the battles of Bull Run (first) and New Bern, and is the only woman to have received Union Army discharge papers. Photo courtesy the Library of Congress.