Hints for tracing women

By Sharon DeBartolo Carmack Premium

Women’s Words a glossary

? Administratrix: a woman assigned by the court to administer an estate where there is no valid will

? Concubine: a woman who lives with a man to whom she is not married

? Consort: companion; term for when the woman predeceased her husband

? Dower: a legal provision for a woman’s support and that of her children after her husband’s death; typically one-third of the husband’s property; also known as “widow’s thirds”

? Dowry: property the bride brings to her marriage

? Executrix: the woman named in a will to distribute the estate

? Grass widow: a woman whose husband had deserted her; also used to refer to a woman who has illegitimate children or to a discarded common-law wife

? Relict: a widow

From the Source

Look for these family items, which are primary sources typically created by women:

• needlework, quilts, linens, other textiles

• diaries, letters

• family Bibles

• recipe books, which may contain more than Mom’s apple pie recipe. You may also find folk remedies for illnesses and “recipes” for household cleansers.

• household ledgers, recording her weekly or monthly budget, or other important things she wanted to remember: addresses, birth dates, anniversaries, etc.

From the April 2001 issue of Family Tree Magazine