01 March 2010

Fearless Females: Day 1

Lisa Alzo in her blog "The Accidental Genealogist" has suggested 31 daily prompts for National Women's History Month. The first prompt is:

"March 1 — Do you have a favorite female ancestor? One you are drawn to or want to learn more about? Write down some key facts you have already learned or what you would like to learn and outline your goals and potential sources you plan to check."

My favorite female ancestor is my maternal grandmother, Julia Mary (KAIN) HUIGENS. This is a picture of us together when I was 15 months old. My birthday was two days before hers, so I felt a special connection to her growing up. All four of her grandparents were Irish immigrants, so it's also appropriate to honor her to kick off Irish-American Heritage Month.

What do I know about her? She was born 19 May 1894 in Knox Co., NE to Francis and Margaret "Maggie" (KENNEDY) KAIN. They were probably living around Bazille Mills when Julia was born. She was their second child. She is on the right in the picture below. Her brother Richard is in the back in the middle. Nora is the sister on the left and Francis Jr. is in the front in the middle.
She married Joseph Andrew HUIGENS on 18 Feb 1914 at St. Ludgers Catholic Church in Creighton, Knox Co., NE.
They had 7 children, the youngest my father Joseph Anthony HUIGENS. The family moved west to Sheridan Co., NE in Jan 1926, about a year before my father was born.

My grandmother died at Parkview Nursing Home in Rushville, Sheridan Co., NE on 29 Apr 1979, shortly before I graduated from college. I was unable to get home for her funeral, but I visit her grave every time I'm back in the area where I grew up.

What else would I like to know about her? Exactly where her family was living when she was born, where and how long she attended school, the cause of her death (I remember she was sick for a long time with some disease of the blood).

What is on my research list for her? Order the state death record for her, investigate church records from St. Ludgers in Creighton or Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Rushville, use Knox Co. land records to pinpoint where her family was in 1894, order her SS-5 application, get a copy of her marriage record from Knox Co., find out the location of where the family farmed in Sheridan Co. I also need to track down the photo I have of her grave marker.

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