In honor of women’s history month, I’ll be writing a number of posts honoring the female half of my family tree. Today’s post is part of the Fearless Females blogging prompt series created by Lisa Alzo, The Accidental Genealogist.
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.
A favorite female ancestor? How could I pick just one? I would feel so disloyal to all the others. But I can pick one that I want to learn more about.
This is Anna (Carnes) Forrester, my great-great-great-grandmother. A note written by my mother on the back of this photo reads “Mama’s Grandma Ward’s Mother – Anna Cearns Forester – lived 100 years.” I always think of her as “Anna,” but the census enumerators captured her name as “Anny” or “Anie,” so I know that she went by the nickname.
Annie lived in North Georgia, for most, if not all, of her life. I don’t know anything about her prior to her marriage to Coleman Forrester in 1842 in Lumpkin County. In 1850, she was living with Coleman and their children in Union County, Georgia. By 1860, they had moved to Fannin County, where she remained until her death in 1914.
The 1900 census reports her as a widow, who had borne ten children. Nine of them were still living, which I think is a feat, in and of itself.
I would very much like to learn about Annie’s life before her marriage. I don’t know her parents’ names. There was a Martha Carnes living in her household in 1850; I assume this is her sister.
I haven’t focused much on Annie yet, so there are lots of opportunities for research. I need to look at records for Lumpkin County, since she and Coleman were married there. I’ve seen her last name spelled Cearns as well as Carnes, so I need to research both those names in the various North Georgia counties where she lived. I’m lucky to know about Martha, because she gives me another name to research. I need to look for all her adult children in the census – there may be a grandparent living with one at some point.
Anna (Carnes) Forrester. One of many Fearless Females in my family tree.
This post was written for Women’s History Month. To see all posts in this series, click here.