Are there women in your family tree about whom you know next-to-nothing?
My French-born 5th grandmother Barbe RICHARD is one of those women.
I know her name because it appears in the birth records of the ten children she had with her artist husband Joseph François GURY.
But of her? I really know only that she existed.
The 14 Mar 1794 birth record above was the oldest one (chronologically speaking) that I located for a child who’s père et mère (father and mother) were Joseph François GURY and Barbe RICHARD.
I am working from the assumption that the couple was married about a year prior to the birth of this child, Jean GURY who, coincidentally, is my 4th great-grandfather.
And I’m hoping that combined information from the birth records of Jean and his nine siblings will give me more insight into the life of their mother.
6 thoughts on “Only that She Existed”
When I do family history I’m absolutely amazed how much I’m able to learn about some ancestors – and how little I can find about others. When I begin a search I often have little sense which it will be for any given ancestor.
I’ve had the same experience Sheryl. I’d like to know more of my ancestors’ stories, but that is rarely the case. Thank goodness for the ones that allow us a little insight into their lives!
I have found that when I blog about a family, all too often the only “facts” I have about a woman is her name, maybe dates, name of parents, name of husband, and names of children. Because women didn’t generally work out of the house, it’s hard to learn much more for many of them.
So often it feels like we’re only telling half the story.
I’m a contributor to Find A Grave and have encountered a number of headstones and obituaries that don’t even give the woman’s name! She’s “the wife of …” or “Mrs….”. The poor woman has no identity other than her relationship to her husband. Argh, frustrating!
Yes, I have a lot of women like this. That is why I have written a chapbook of poetry and lyrical prose imagining (using research) the lives of some of these women.
What a wonderful way to bring them to life!
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