Discovering Stored Treasures

Discovering Genealogy, One Ancestor at a Time.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Women's History Month Day 1: Fearless Females: Favorite Female Ancestor & Genealogy Guru!

+Lisa Alzo from The Accidental Genealogist has invited the online genealogy community to join her in celebrating Women's History Month by writing about our female ancestors. She has kindly provided us with 31 inspirational writing prompts for the month of March. I just finished the Family History Writing Challenge with +Lynn PalermoThe Armchair Genealogist, and I thought, what the heck! I have time on my hands!

This challenge is different than last month's. Last month, my writing was private and I chose not to share it on my blog. This time, it's public! Currently, I write three posts a weeks. Writing daily, along with my personal writing will be a interesting, but I feel ready. I decided to take this challenge, because  I noticed that my blog has been very male ancestor focused. I will continue my regular posts (only they will be about the ladies!). I will be writing everyday, so do check in more often!

If you're a fellow blogger, do consider joining us in this celebration of women! It's not too late and you don't have to write everyday.

 If you're family, I'd love to hear from you about your favorite female ancestors. Please share your stories in the comment section of my blog or send me a note and I'll include it in the blog! I'd be happy to feature guest bloggers this month from family members!

Here we go!

Prompt #1: Favorite Female Ancestor

Minnie Crane with three of her siblings, (left to right)
Bernard, Harry and William Crane, (printed June 1949).
This is a photo I found after I published the book. It was
most likely taken on the Atlantic City Boardwalk during
one of Minnie's many visits. They look like they are dressed
for a special occasion, a wedding perhaps.
Do I have a favorite female ancestor? Of course I do. This one is easy! My great-grandmother Minnie Crane. Most of you knew I was going to say that. Minnie, my mother's maternal grandmother and I co-wrote a book together, Stored Treasures. I don't write a lot about Minnie in the blog, because almost all I know about Minnie is in the book, her memoir. When I say we co-wrote it, I mean she wrote a journal. Thirty years after she died, I found her writings. I wrote additional sections, collected more stories, photos and documents and put the whole thing together into a book! I couldn't possibly tell you, all about Minnie in a single blog post. If you really want to know about this amazing woman, you'll have to read the book (believe me, it's worth it). What I want to share today is why she is my favorite ancestor.

Minnie was the only great-grandparent I met. The fact that we shared thirteen years on this earth, means that she is the most distant ancestor I've had the pleasure to get to know. She is the farthest link to my past. Best of all, Minnie had the foresight to document her story. She understood that her history was a family legacy. From her journal, I learned about many more ancestors. If she had not taken the time to tell her story, not only her story would have been lost, but the stories of countless other relatives and friends. It took me thirty years to appreciate the gift she left our family. Today, her story lives on and enriches the lives her descendants and her extended family. The book is an inspiration not only to those who are connected to Minnie, but also to all who are engaged in writing family history or interested in learning about history form a personal perspective. I use her writing as a guideline for my research. Usually I can find documents to corroborate her story. When I can't, I know it's because I haven't found the right document yet, not because she was wrong.  Minnie was a genealogy Guru, she just didn't know it! 

Thanks Minnie!

More posts about Minnie Crane:
The True Stored Treasure Surfaces!
The Gift that Keeps on Giving for Mother's Day
LOVE 1920s Style


  1. "It took me thirty years to appreciate the gift she left our family." That says it all! Thank goodness you were wise enough to see the value! How many of these journals are lost because no one realized their value? I like how you said, "When I can't (corroborate), I know it's because I haven't found the right document yet, not because she was wrong."

    1. I shutter to think how many journals/letters get lost and forgotten. The art of writing them is getting lost. Thanks for stopping by and commenting on the blog!


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