Sunday, January 14, 2007

History + Women = It Sucks

I am amazed as I am working some of the genealogy information of my ancestors, namely the New York Dutch families such as Putman, Mabie, VanAntwerpen, etc. how royally screwed women were back in the late 1600s and early 1700s. Even the turn of the last century such as 1916 when The Descendants of David Putman and His Descendants was written by G.W. Putman.

This is what I realize: the details offered for the birth, birth place, christening, and death of women is very scarce. However, the marriage info is always included as well as the information on offspring. But if their siblings are male, then there are reams and reams of information to the point of mind boggling minutiae.

So it appears that either a) information for women was simply not recorded or important or b) the researchers at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century simply didn't care enough to delve into the same level of detail as they did for the male members of the family.

This reminds me of some famous quote on a woman's name being in the newspaper: when she's born, when she marries and when she dies. Sad.

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