Monday, March 24, 2014

Women’s History Month Challenge: #5 – Maternal Ancestors

Earlier this month, Olive Tree Genealogy Blog issued herself and blogging genealogists a Women’s History Month Challenge to “write a minimum of 10 blog posts this month [March 2014] about women who have made a difference”.

So far, I haven’t participated in this terrific challenge, but l looked over the suggested prompts and thought I would give idea #5 a try. It says:

“Make a list of your direct line maternal ancestors beginning with your mother. So you will list your mom, her mom, her mom's mom and so on, back as far as you can. Now figure out how many children each female ancestor had. Did the females in your direct maternal line tend to have the same numbers of children each generation? Did they have more? Less? Were they prolific or are there few children born to each woman? Is there a pattern emerging?”

I’ve already written a post about my six-generation matrilineal ancestry (see here), so now I’ll provide a brief outline of this ancestry.

Step 1. List your mom, her mom, her mom's mom and so on, back as far as you can.

1. Jacqueline Belair (*1933)
2. Juliette Beauvais (*1901+1947)
3. Olivine Hotte (*1879+1926)
4. Marguerite Lacasse (*1839+1907)
5. Thérèse Durgey dit Doyer (*1810+1900)
6. Marie Marguerite Carpentier (*ca 1782+1874)

I can only go back to Marie Marguerite, because I haven’t found her parents, although I have an idea who they might be.

Step 2. Figure out how many children each female ancestor had.

1. My mother had three children (one son, two daughters).
2. My grandmother Juliette had nine children (two sons, seven daughters).
3. My great-grandmother Olivine had sixteen children (twelve sons, four daughters).
4. My great-great-grandmother Marguerite had eleven children (six sons, five daughters).
5. My great-great-great-grandmother Thérèse had nine children (three sons, six daughters).
6. My great-great-great-great-grandmother Marie Marguerite had twelve (or fourteen) children (five sons, seven (possibly nine) daughters).

Step 3. Did the females in your maternal line tend to have the same numbers of children each generation? Did they have more? Less?

Except for two maternal ancestors, who had the same amount of children (nine), most had different amounts. Three ancestors had 9 or less children (#1, 2 and 5), while three others had 11 or more children (#3, 4 and 6).

Step 4. Were they prolific or are there few children born to each woman? Is there a pattern emerging?

With five of my six maternal ancestors having 9 or more children, I’d say that they were very prolific. This pattern of large families is probably due to factors like religion (all were Roman Catholic), language (all were Francophone), residence (all, except for my mother once married, lived in rural areas of Quebec and Ontario), and occupation (all their husbands worked at manual labor occupations).

There's still one week left in March, so if you’d like to participate, see Women's History Month: A Challenge to Geneabloggers!

Copyright © 2104, Yvonne Demoskoff.

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