Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Celebrating Women in History

While almost all Americans can find themselves, their ancestors, or community through archive research, in celebration of 'women in history' , I urge you to take research a step further, document the influence of women on  your heritage through identifying, recording and sharing family stories.
It was through participating in a national celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s legacy that I understood for the first time, the impact of my family’s heritage, Quaker.  Basically, the Quaker culture views itself as a caretaker, not owner of property - a role which implies providing for the present without sacrificing the future. In my book – A Path Worn Smooth, which is dedicated to the people of my community Laurel Historic District - , I invite readers to walk on a path worn smooth by generational expectation. Savor nostalgia for the places that are near and dear to my heart, recall family traditions and more importantly, renew experiences. Challenging all to celebrate heritage because heritage is more than a possession, it is a gift: the birthright of our children.
So, to emphasize this gift, I want to share with you a few facts/stories that illustrate the influence of my legacy. Due to the influence of a Quaker value - equality, my grandmother directly inherited property from her father and transferred property to her daughters establishing a tradition that influenced the transfer of property directly from my Dad to me. 

As a result, the women of my Dad’s family were self reliant and saw themselves as a ‘caretaker’ working the land along side their husbands.  In my book, I share stories of these women and their influence from initial settlement of the Bolton property in 1838 to the present.  To hear an author interview, link to the Renee Bobb Radio Show -  
or view an interview, link to Henrico County Hunt for History -   .
During 2011, my book was recommended by the National Women in History Project. Instead of highlighting national figures, the NWHP encourages individuals to discover stories about women in their own families and communities. Why? They believe awareness of the challenges these women faced, grappled with, and overcame can be an enormous source of strength to all of us.
Because I am a child of the era ‘tell instead of read’ me a story, I'm aware story-telling provided a rich resource for my family history. So, in my e-book edition, I included research tips and strategies which help enable identification as well as publication of family histories.  So, in celebration of 'women in history', won't you join me in an effort to encourage others to research and highlight their legacy. Together, let's insure family histories gathered through story-telling are recorded for the next generation. 

Sylvia Hoehns Wright resides in central VA on 7th generation property. For details of her activities, link to

1 comment:

  1. Celebrating the women in our own family trees is a wonderful way to honor Women's History Month.

    My motherline traces back to the Warsaw Ghetto (I know, you'd never be able to tell by my Irish name)and, ultimately, all the way back to Abraham and Sarah.