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Ancestry Encourages Canadians to Reflect on the Achievements of Women in their Family History

It’s International Women’s Day on March 8th! Did you know that in Germany on March 8th, 1914 was held International Women’s Day? From this time, it is always being held on March 8 in all countries. Women throughout history have changed the world with their strength, intelligence, and determination to create a better future. This International Women’s Day, Ancestry is encouraging Canadians to seek inspiration from the achievements of women in their family history!

I am excited to have the possibility to have my own DNA tested, as well as receiving a yearly subscription from Ancestry Canada to learn more about the women in my family history! Prior to my mother passing away 2 years ago, she had started our very own family tree. I remember how important it was for her to share and find her ancestors with me. I am continuing her search and can’t wait to add more names to our tree!

Ancestry Encourages Canadians to Reflect on the Achievements of Women in their Family HistoryPin

Ancestry Encourages Canadians to Reflect on the Achievements of Women in their Family History

A recent survey from Ancestry reveals that Canadians find female historical figures, such as Viola Desmond and Laura Secord, to be the most inspiring kind of women (35%), ahead of female celebrities (15%) or women in public office (24%).

Indeed, Canadians are more aware of the achievements of Canadian women from history than those of the women in their own family: 

  • 44% know the story of Laura Secord who warned the British of a surprise attack by the Americans in the War of 1812, 
  • 40% know that Viola Desmond is featured on the $10 bill, 
  • A similar proportion (37%) are aware that Roberta Bondar was Canada’s first female astronaut.
Ancestry Encourages Canadians to Reflect on the Achievements of Women in their Family HistoryPin

Canadians (68%) say knowing more about the females in their family tree would be a source of inspiration and empowerment, yet only 15 per cent are currently very familiar with them. In fact, Canadians are more familiar with the Laura Secord story (44%) than their own grandmother’s birthday (33%) and a mere 14% know how many siblings their great-grandmother had. 

By comparison, whilst half of those surveyed (49%) believe that the women in their family history have made an impact on women’s rights and equality, the majority (70%) are not aware of any stories from these women regarding the achievements they reached or challenges they overcame. 

Ancestry Encourages Canadians to Reflect on the Achievements of Women in their Family HistoryPin

Family Tree

Lesley Anderson, family historian for Ancestrycomments, “We know that Canadians are eager to learn more about the women in their family tree so this year, to mark International Women’s Day, we are encouraging everyone to discover more about these women and draw upon their legacy as a source of inspiration and empowerment. Whether they changed the world, changed a community, or simply changed a life, these women and their incredible stories are worth honouring and celebrating this International Women’s Day.” 

Ancestry Encourages Canadians to Reflect on the Achievements of Women in their Family HistoryPin

Dunnville, Ontario resident Chris McEvoy wanted to learn more about his family history and after conducting research and building his family tree he discovered a familiar name – Secord. He then learned that his 6th great-grandmother, Mary Secord was an aunt to the famous Laura Secord: 

“I was amazed to discover through building my family tree that I was connected to Laura Secord who is such an inspiring historical figure in Canada,” said Chris. “But what was even more fascinating to me was learning about my 6th great-grandmother Mary. Her story is one of courage and resilience. She survived three husbands, two wars, a hard and long journey from the US to Canada, a refugee camp, and then went on to live to 106.”

Lesley continues, “To get started, ask your oldest living relative about the women in your family tree, get as much information as you can – birth, marriage and death dates and places, and occupations. Listen to their stories, take notes, and then head onto Ancestry.ca to build a family tree and learn more about their story from the historic records available.”

Ancestry Encourages Canadians to Reflect on the Achievements of Women in their Family HistoryPin

As we unite this International Women’s Day to support a gender equal world, Ancestry is encouraging Canadians to reflect on the collective achievements of the women that came before us. We all have these stories of incredible women in our family trees and they’re just waiting to be discovered!

Visit Ancestry to explore your own family tree!

This article is sponsored by Ancestry Canada.

Lyne Proulx
Lyne Proulxhttps://ottawamommyclub.ca/
Lyne Proulx is a Certified WEBB Bodywork Pet Practitioner, Certified Infant Massage Instructor (CIMI), Certified Professional Wedding Consultant, and an Event Planner. She loves all things Disney and is an avid teaholic and chocoholic. She coordinated the Annual Infant Information Day/Early Years Expo for the City of Ottawa for 8 years. She was the Queen B of the BConnected Conference, Canada's Digital Influencer and social media Conference in Ottawa and Toronto. She was also the co-chair of the Navan for Kraft Hockeyville 2009-2011 committee that organized five community events within 6 months, and helped Navan reach the top 10 finalists in Canada. In April 2011, she received the City of Ottawa Mayor's City Builder Award.

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  1. My Mom has always inspired me. She never gives up and doesn’t make a big deal when life throws speed bumps at her.

  2. My Aunt-in-law is very inspiring. She is extremely youthful and positive. She took charge of her life and was very successful. She is very social and active, and I admire her.

  3. my grandmother was the most inspiring woman I know. She raised my dad while my grandfather was at war. She rode a motorcycle. She raised me.She always had time to play. She held numerous jobs when she was younger

  4. My mother. She raised seven children and decided to go back to school to pursue a career (in nursing) when she was in her forties.

  5. My mom inspires me. She has retained her dignity in spite of many challenges with illnesses. She is a cultured and classy lady.

  6. I have done some genealogy and all my great great grandmothers led hard lives and inspire me to be grateful for my life.

  7. My mother and grandma were inspirations for my life now and forever. I would love to pass on the history to my daughter

  8. My mom was, and still is, the most inspiring and beautiful woman I have ever met. She passed away over a decade ago, but has influenced my life in so many wonderful ways <3

  9. My maternal grandmother who kept secret that she was a residential school survivor. She lived life to the fullest and was the kindest grandmother a person could have!

  10. My mom was an inspiring woman in my life as she always put others first and looked after all of her family and friends for all of her 94 years.

  11. My mom is an inspiring woman to me. She has taught me to be a strong woman, exercise patience and to always stand firm in what you believe in.

  12. My grandmother was and still is a big inspiration. She always encouraged my sisters and I to be the best people we can be.

  13. After my abduction at age six my mother worked two jobs to earn enough money to fly to Belgium to attempt to recover me. Finally my grandmother was able to hire a con artist to recover me and get us on a Air Canada jet where the RCMP stopped local authorities from taking me back stating the plane was considered a part of Canada and that they had no jurisdiction to take me off the plane.

  14. my maternal grandmother, a strong woman who went through so much in her life and eventually her and the family made their way to Canada from Europe!

  15. My mom was a hard worker on a farm and raised 5 kids in a small farm house. She always made us feel loved and tried to keep us happy.

  16. My best friend who unfortunately passed away in 2014 was and still is my inspiration. She taught me no matter what life throws at you, you can overcome it

  17. My maternal grandmother married the love of her life even though he was a different religion and culture. Sadly she was widowed at 45, but carried on to become a successful businesswoman while raising four children. She was loved by everyone who knew her.

  18. An inspiring woman in my life is my daughter. Despite having had an AVM and seizures during her first pregnancy, and then a brain surgery to remove the malformation, she managed tol heal and be a wonderful mother to my 3 grandchildren. Her patience, persistance and sense of humour amazes me.

  19. I tried this and, as I am adopted, it was amazing and helpful information. Would like my husband to try one as well.

  20. My grandmother always inspired me she went through a lot being Native in a time when they were not treated well.

  21. My paternal grandmother is an inspiring woman because she’s endured so much during her life and is still going strong at 83! She was hit by a transport truck when she was just 3 yrs old and broke her leg, she raised her 3 younger siblings and had to leave school at 16 yrs old to take care of them. Not long after that she was kicked out of the house and homeless and was taken in by a woman who ran a maternity home in Toronto. She lived there until she met my grandfather. She then married, bought a house and had 8 children, one of whom was my dad. Sadly the last baby born only lived a couple hours. That’s a very small snapshot of her life but I’m sure you can see why she’s such an inspiration to me and my family. I’d love to learn more about the other women in my family too. I don’t know much about my mom’s family at all.

  22. to my birth mother who gave me up, to another who lost her husband 6 months after adopting me…i have strength from both

  23. My Grandma was that woman in our family that was the glue. She was everything to me and I hope, when the time comes, that I can be half as good a grandma as she was.

  24. My aunt who is in her 80’s and still delivers meals on wheels and also volunteers at a nursing home 2 days a week. She is so energetic and loves helping other people. I hope I have her energ.

  25. My great grandmother, Baba Bessie. She was my Dad’s grandmother and lived to 104. My visits with her are cherished, and so are the memories of her poppyseed cookies. Amazing cook and baker. I have a picture of my two daughters with their great, great grandmother and very fortunate to have that!

  26. My mom is my hero – she’s raised me to be strong and independent and has supported me through all times good and bad. Grateful for her love and inspiration every day

  27. I have already got an Ancestry subscription and it is the best thing I’ve ever done. I’d like to give this to a close friend.

  28. My mother inspires me – she left home at 16, made a wonderful life for herself, is an accomplished artist and one of the smartest people I know.

  29. The amazing woman in my Is my Mom , she has lost her husband and been fighting a deep depression since but keeps trying.

  30. My grandma was my hero. She is passed on but I have done a lot of research into her ancestry & a subscription dna kit would be awesome.

  31. My mother inspires me so much. She has been through so much in her life from a young age. She has looked after my father who has been in a wheelchair unexpectedly for 5 years no. Then last year through dillerium and now hes been diagnosed with Dementia. She has her own health issues but she is such a fighter and has taught my sister and I to be kind to others and help where you can. We also help her with my father. BUT cannot right now with the COVID as it could kill both of them. Inspiring Mother for sure.

  32. My mom inspired me everyday. She lived many thousand of miles away from her family when she married my dad. She raised 5 kids and lost 1 that was only 18 from cancer. She was our rock thru everything. I try to be as good a mom to my kids as she was to us.

  33. My mum was the most positive person I have ever known She left us in 1993 and the rest of her sisters have also passed. She always told my sisters and I that we could do anything we wanted to do in life and that the word can’t was not in the dictionary. She was our rock and we miss her.

  34. I love family treeing! i made my gramma a little biography of some people in our tree and found photographs she hadnt seen in years. it made her cry! so much meaning and value in family history! 🙂

  35. My mom is someone who continues to inspire me. She is so caring and selfless. She married my Dad 45 years ago, and despite being an uncommon thing for the time, she never changed her last name and always kept her maiden name.


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