<b>GENEALOGY CHALLENGES</b> (week 34) :: FamilyTreeCircles.com Genealogy
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Journal by ngairedith

of all the 'mindboggling' challenges there are in researching ancestors, I have found that the women, by far, are the toughest challenge.

one woman who sticks in my mind was 'the wife of'!! Mr Feodor Vassluyev, a Russian peasant woman, who in the 40 years from 1725 to 1765 lived in Shuya, Russia, became pregnant 27 times, not once did she have a single-child birth and yet, nothing was ever recorded about her - NOT EVEN HER NAME

she had a TOTAL of 69 CHILDREN
- 16 sets of twins
- 7 sets of triplets
- 4 sets of quads

As someone said, HALF of all our ancestors were women
The reasons and politics behind this neglect of women's roll in history can be (and often has been) argued and debated and each one of us has a sad story to relate on amazing female relatives who have gone unsung

It was very difficult for me to choose just one woman to highlight in this weeks journal as all of them are heroes in my eyes, all of them went through the most amazing hardships in their lives but we seem to focus a lot on that, when, I'm sure, they also had a lot of joy and delight. We are aghast at their huge families of a dozen and more children but each child had a role to play and became a great help. The boys worked outside with their fathers and learnt to plough the fields. The girls worked inside with their mothers and learnt how to run the house and to turn the house into a home, how to wake early and make the bread, go out and milk the cow to make the butter, learnt how to sew to make everyones clothes, to chop the wood to light the fire to boil the water to wash those clothes, then how to starch the clothes for everyone. How to plant the garden and grow the veges to cook all the meals (the said stove never went out, just keep the wood supply up). How to climb the trees to pick the fruit to make the jams and preserve the rest for winter and to make the apple pies. How to tell poisonous plants from herbal ones to make into remedies to administer to sick members of the family whilst you nursed them 24/7. How to clean the house without aerosols and micro-cloths, vacuum cleaners or a tap in the house which you could just turn and water came out ... :o) couldn't resist THAT plug for women everywhere!!!

Anyway, I have chosen ELIZA ROIL. She was a daughter of *Thomas Royall & Sarah Sewery and with her parents and 4 siblings arrived into Nelson, New Zealand 2 Nov 1841 on the BOLTON. *mainly becaue of illiteracy, various spellings of the surname were used and up to the early 1800s ROYAL, ROYALL, RYAL, RYALL, RIAL, RIALL etc were used. However, the predominant spelling was ROYALL

Now, although Nelson (the second-oldest settled city in NZ) is one of the most beautiful and picturesque places on the planet, it had a major drawback: it lacked suitable arable land because of its situation on the edge of a large mountain range. Surrounded by mountains on three sides, on the shores of Tasman Bay, in those days there would have been an abundant of fish, which brought many fishermen to the area

Eliza was 15 when she arrived in Nelson. There she met a Fisherman, in fact, a larger than life Whaler James Hayter Jackson. She married him a year after arriving in the colony. Emma was 16 and James was 43. She had 9 children with him and survived him by 33 years, yet, try as I might, I found little about her.
James Hayter Jackson (Captain Jimmy Jackson) was a Mariner/Whaler. An amazing man, so interesting and exciting to research. A hard working, hard drinking man and much has been written about him
... He is said to be one of the first 50 settlers in New Zealand, arriving in 1829 in command of the brig BEE. He spent the early years on Kapiti Island Wellington living with the Maori rangatira (chief), and war leader Te Rauparaha. He set up his own whaling station in (what is now called) Jackson's Bay, Tory Channel, Marlborough
The Dictionary of New Zealand's Biography on James is a good read on his life .. Jackson first came to New Zealand in 1829, as mate of the schooner Waterloo , which was under the command of Captain John (Jacky) Guard. The schooner left Sydney on 31 May 1829 and ended its voyage at Te Awaiti, on the south-east coast of Arapawa Island, in Tory Channel. Jackson became second in charge under Guard at New Zealand's first shore-based whaling station, situated at Tar'white, as Te Awaiti was called by Europeans. Like many other whalers at Te Awaiti, Jackson entered into a form of marriage with a Maori woman, with whom he is said to have had several children .. ANOTHER woman, so important in his life and in the shaping of early New Zealand, that we know nothing about

I did find that Eliza (who later became known as Granny Jackson) "became as tough as any whaler's wife and could, according to the family, swear in two languages with great proficiency on the slightest provocation." (a family legend of course, as there were no swear words in Maori)
There is some info on Eliza if you can get your hands on the illustrated book:
Colonial tears and sweat : the working class in nineteenth-century New Zealand, written by Julia Millen

have you ever tried to research Mrs J. Smith when you know that J. was HIS name and not hers?? some of the very helpful sites when researching women:
... The individual identities of women who lived prior to the twentieth century are often very tangled in those of their husbands, both by law and by custom. In many places, women were not allowed to own real estate in their name, to sign legal documents, or to participate in government. Men wrote the histories, paid the taxes, participated in the military and left wills. Men were also the ones whose surname was carried into the next generation by the children. As a result, female ancestors are often neglected in family histories and genealogies?listed with only a first name and approximate dates for birth and death. They are our "invisible ancestors."
the links on that site are:
? Women in Marriage & Divorce Records
? Women in Cemeteries
? Women in Census Records
? Women in Land Records
? Women in the Family Tree
? Top 10 Places to Find Maiden Names
? Her Story - Uncovering Womens Lives
? 5 Tips for Tracking Down Parents
? Was Your Female Ancestor Famous?
? Family Trees of Famous Women
? Biographies of Notable Women
? Tracing the Women
? Female ancestors
? Maiden names


52 Weeks of Abundant Genealogy
week 33

week 34

week 35

week 36

week 37

week 38

week 39

week 40

week 41

week 42

EMMA JACKSON, daughter of James Hayter JACKSON & Eliza ROIL
Emma married twice and had 14 children

by ngairedith Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2012-08-18 20:54:28

ngairedith has been a Family Tree Circles member since Feb 2008.

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by TLBoehm on 2012-08-23 14:21:31

bravo. I'm in no way a "Feminist" but it has been the work of three different women in my family that has encouraged me to study my family's genealogies. What a great tribute to Eliza. I hope your post inspires others to dig into their archives for gems like this. I know I am inspired by your post.

by juliepenfold_70 on 2012-08-26 19:46:02

Re Invisible women ancestors.
I only popped into the office to check my emails during a respite with the housework. I am now keen to get back into the computer and check out your suggestions and links to the site on how to trace a first name ancester with just the birthdate and death date. This particular person has been of interest to me since 1980 and has caused me no end of frustration because of a lack of detail - especially without a maiden name.
The article of Invisible Women Ancesters 10/10 I was intrigued and wanted to find out more. Although originally from Kent England we emigrated to Blenheim (near Nelson) and the Marlborough sounds so your article on the Roil and Jackson families was also a superb article.

Julie Penfold - Taranaki NZ 27/8

by angelag on 2012-08-27 13:56:16


by DonnaEllis on 2012-08-31 19:30:06

The word "feminist" has gotten a bad rap....We should all protect the genealogy of the WOMEN in our families just as much as the men's. My husband and I had done some research in Great Britain in the 70's and a researcher had phoned me, asking if he could use some of my data in a book he was writing. I told him, "Of course". Then he told me that "All he wanted was the MEN'S data, because the book was only going to list the MEN of that line, NOT the WOMEN!" I was silent, speechless in fact. When I caught my breath, I asked what genealogist would BUY a book which only had HALF the story? He then stammered that it was due to the PUBLISHER, who was setting limits on his space and there simply wasn't ROOM for the women's data. I asked him if he realized how offensive that sounded to someone who had spent the last 30 years researching mostly her HUSBAND's lines, and because I had SURRENDERED my own name, I had GIVEN up that privilege of carrying on my own family name. He sputtered, but I told him he did NOT have permission to use my data in his book after all, because it would not contain women, and I still feel that way. If that makes me a feminist, then so be it.

by ngairedith on 2012-08-31 20:13:11

true FEMINISM (not to be confused with sexism) is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women

A feminist is a supporter of equal rights for women

HOWEVER, on a genealogist's point of view it has made research life easier that women take the man's name after marriage :)

by TheSandlapper on 2012-09-16 01:34:32

I always knew growing up that women were still put last.This Eliza Jackson was an amazing woman to have14children!Just think bath time was a circus.We probably though have been fortunate to be able to vote.Being a woman then was very laborious and physical demanding.Hats off to Eliza Jackson

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