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 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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.