Have you ever wished it was easier to learn more about your female ancestors? It’s International Women’s Month so naturally my heart was turned to the women in my family tree, and how I can help you explore and honor your female ancestors as women of faith. A woman of faith is not identified by her religion, but by her character. I am a member of The Church or Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, but half of the women in my family tree were not. I do not honor them any less than the ones who were.
Like yours, many of my ancestors were hard working women who instilled their children with good morals, work ethic, strength, and confidence who were raised to stand for truth and goodness in this world. I believe that women are powerful and their influence knows no bounds. My faith is rooted in a God that honors and respects womanhood, and because of His great confidence in us He has given us the divine responsibilities and capabilities that start in the home and spread to fill the whole earth.
I am excited to share with you some simple ways to discover and explore the amazing women who came before you, and give you a free template that will help you share their stories and honor their legacies. I believe this power extends to children as they learn the stories of those that came before them, which is why I have designed fun activity kits that help kids learn their family stories through games, crafts, and other fun activities. Kids will also enjoy these free printables to help them preserve their own memories and connect with family.
Free Canva Template
I made this template in Canva to highlight the women in my family tree, and I made a template just for you so you can make one too! Just click on the button below to get yours! This template is square so you can easily share your creation with your friends and family on social media and help them learn about your female ancestors.
They would also be so cute printed and framed in a little girl’s room! Can you imagine the strength she would feel being surrounded by the strong women who came before her? It would be an easy way to help her learn their stories as you share what you have learned from them and love about them.
Learn About Your Female Ancestors
FamilySearch has a fun way to learn about your female ancestors! This is a super easy activity to do on your phone whenever you have some downtime with the kids. They can flip through and see right away photos and a brief summary about the women they came from!
Scroll down a bit to learn about your female ancestor’s birth, marriage, and death events. You will see how old she was for these events…how old was she when she got married? Did she live to old age or did she pass away young? This gives a lot of insight into her life.
Map of Life Events
Want to learn about what happened in your female ancestor’s life? On the home page right under her name, click on “See Time Line” in the blue box. By default it shows you a map of the major life events recorded in FamilySearch. It’s kind of fun to see how far she traveled in her lifetime!
Deselect the map option in the upper left hand corner to see a time line for your female ancestor. See how old she was at the time of each major event recorded in FamilySearch, which helps make those dates more meaningful. You will also find a link to other family members involved (with their profile photos)!
It’s always fun to see how you are related to someone! On the first page, click on view relationship under your female ancestor’s name. You’ll find a pedigree chart that shows which parent you are related to her through. Your exact relationship is listed at the top of the page.
Who do you look like?
Learn About Your Female Ancestors, Women of Faith
If you are a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, FamilySearch has an easy way to learn more about your female ancestors who were involved in early church history. This has been such a fun thing to explore! Here are all the awesome things you will find in this campaign for the women of faith in your family tree.
When you sign into FamilySearch it features women in your family tree who were a part of early church history in various ways. The blue button shows which records she was mentioned in such as the BYU Nauvoo Project, Pioneer Treks, Early Relief Society Records, and Missionary Service Records.
Scroll down to see a timeline spanning from 1930 when the church was first organized to 1900, right after the first women missionaries went out. This is a fun way to see which major church history events your female ancestor lived through and may have experienced depending on when she joined the church.
Under your ancestor’s name, click “View Relationship” to see how you are related to each of your featured female ancestors. A pedigree chart pops up that shows how you are related. It’s also a fun way to see which parents and grandparents lead you to this ancestor.
Check out which records your female ancestor was mentioned in! The Early Relief Society Records seem to be rare (at least among my ancestors) but it was fun to see which meetings this ancestor was in attendance at and the things that were discussed there.
One of my favorite areas to explore is the Pioneer Trek Records and these seem to be pretty common. You can learn so much about your ancestor through these!
Get a sneak peek into your ancestor’s journey across the plains! If your ancestor has one of these records you will see which company she traveled with. You will also see how old she was at departure, which would greatly affect the type of experience she had on the trek. Was she a child or elderly? You will also see the family members she traveled with and their ages at the time. I can see here that Phylotte’s husband was not traveling with them, and upon further exploration I learned that she was a widow traveling with her adult son’s family.
If you click on the Pioneer Company (in this case the Heber C. Kimball Company) you can see more details about the trek.
What was the Journey Like?
This shows details about the pioneer company as a whole. It will show how they were traveling, how long their journey was, how many people were in the company, where they started from, and more.
Learn more about your females ancestor’s pioneer experience by exploring some of the sources at the bottom. There are links to news articles and journal entries from people who were traveling in the same company with your female ancestor. While they might not be about her specific experiences, you can learn what the journey may have been like for her and some events that occurred while she was traveling.
Famous Women You Might Be Related To
If you scroll down below the women in your family tree, you will see some famous women who have impacted history. FamilySearch includes a link to a historical record for them, and I’ll show you how you can see if you’re related to them!
There are several famous women that are highlighted in this section. Explore them all by clicking on the green arrows on either side and scroll until you see one you’d like to learn more about (and see if you’re related!) Click on the record link at the bottom. For Rosa Parks, her obituary is listed. Click on it to view.
Don't Use the App
Open in a web browser. I tried opening this with the FamilySearch app but it didn’t work well. If you are given the option, select to open the record in Chrome so you can see how you are related to the famous woman you selected.
Ready to learn more about your famous woman? You will be taken to her record so have fun exploring and see if you learn something new! If she has been entered in the FamilySearch family tree, you will see who the record is attached to at the bottom of your screen. Click on the name to see more information about her.
Do you recognize the name? If not, don’t worry! It’s probably her maiden name. Each person in FamilySearch is listed with their given name at birth, and for women this is their maiden name. In this instance of Rosa Parks, her maiden name was McCauley. Click on the name again to go to her full profile.
Did you know you can find photos and stories in FamilySearch? When you get to your famous female’s full profile, you can scroll through and view a time line of her life, family relationships, pictures, and stories that have been uploaded by others to FamilySearch. This is one of the neat things about a shared family tree!
Are You Related?
I bet you are related to at least one of these women! I was shocked to see I was related to Rosa Parks. To see if you are related, click on the squiggly line with a dot at each end (see previous photo). This is located at the top of the page under her name and to the right. If you are related, a pedigree chart will pop up with your relationship at the top. Rosa Parks is my husband’s 10th cousin twice removed!
If you are not related, it will tell you that no relationship was found.
Scroll up (back in time) to see the ancestors you have in common with your famous female. I had to scroll back several generations to find a common ancestor with Rosa Parks. It turns out to be John Buchanan and Janet Peacock, born at the end of the 1500’s and early 1600’s!
If no relationship was found you can start over and try another famous female or you can try out Relative Finder.
Relative finder can show you lots of famous people you are related to, and even show if you are related to your friends! When you sign into Relative Finder with your FamilySearch account, it will automatically show you some famous people you are related to, why they are famous, and how you are related to them. If you click on the tab “Show Groups” you can sort your relatives by royalty, movie stars, sports figures, entertainers, and more!