I'm lucky because my friends and family know my interest in researching female ancestors and the material culture that goes with it, items like quilts and recipes. My friend and fellow genealogist and author Jean Wilcox Hibben of Circlemending gave me this recipe that fell out of one of her mom's cookbooks. She knows it's not her mom's handwriting so the question is who gave her this recipe?
Part of genealogy is not only finding ancestors but documenting family heirlooms so they can be enjoyed by future generations. For Women's History Month I want to encourage everyone to document the lives of female family members and the heirlooms they left behind. Scan their recipe cards, notate their photos, take photographs of their needlework and quilts. Write down the stories that go with the objects.
Inheriting family heirlooms is an awesome responsibility. It not only means taking care of the item but also curating it for future generations. One reason that women's voices get lost through the generations is that their "women's work" is not documented. Start today to document the story of the women's lives in your own family tree, even if that means beginning with you.
Need some help with ideas about how to curate your family heirlooms? Check out the Family Curator's blog and book.