Exploring my genealogy has been full of exciting moments when I come to a realization that someone in my tree has done something, or was someone, of historical significance. Diving deep into, most likely, his life is almost effortless with many resources available. The research is abundant and I relish getting to know an ancestor in a more personal way.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Too often for my liking, the women in my tree are simply identified by first name as “wife”. While my intellectual brain understands that this was the fact of the matter centuries ago, my emotional heart is wounded. Lost with her last name is a full branch of my tree that I will never be able to explore.

As a daughter, sister and mother, I see the impact that the women in our lives have on the whole family. I know these women, even if just identified by first name, influenced the daily lives of my ancestors and helped shape who they became. For this reason it gives me pause each time I come across “….and his wife Sarah” in a document. I take time to remember Sarah, consider what her life was like and give thanks for her. Because in my tree and in my heritage she is so much more than just a name.

My climb continues with a serendipitous discovery 300 years in the making!