Sunday, March 1, 2015

Fearless Females, Day 1: A Favorite Female Ancestor

Lisa Alzo has used the month of March for her "Fearless Females" blogging prompts for the past 6 years. She has posted her daily prompts and has also included free access to her "Tips and Tricks for Tracing Female Ancestors" Webinar for the month.

March 1st prompt: 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. 

Sisters Mary, Julia & Sallie Dickson in Perry County, Tennessee
My ancestor: Sallie Harriet (Dickson) Ward, my great, great grandmother

Her Story

Sallie was the youngest of 9 children born to Matthew James Dickson (1820-1904) and Lenora "Nora" J Mays (1823-1909) in 1860 in Perry County, Tennessee. She married Reuben Houston Ward, a farmer who later became a Methodist minister. They had 9 children together, though one died as an infant. Reuben was murdered in 1906 and I've recently told his story

One of their daughters, Lenora "Nora", married a cousin, James Bedford Dickson. They had five children, including my grandmother who was less than 9 months old when her mother, Nora, died. James raised the older four children, but his mother-in-law, Sallie, raised the baby, my grandmother.

Sallie lived as a widow for more than 50 years and died in 1960 at the age of 99. She'd lived in the same county, surrounded by family, her entire life. My grandmother thought of her as her mother.

Research Plan
  • Talk to my mom and see what she knows
  • Try to locate her on the 1940 census
  • Try to find newspaper clippings
  • See if death records are available for 1960
  • Check FamilySearch for Sallie


  1. Love the photo. Hopefully your mother will have some interesting tidbits.

    1. That photo is one of my favorite of my ancestors. I even wrote about it for a class, though I wasn't very happy with my finished project. I actually visited Perry County, Tennessee, with my mom and aunt just a year or two after I started doing genealogy and we uncovered that photo at the library.

  2. Hey, nice photo of our great-great grandmothers. Really nice.

    1. Thanks, Wallis. It is one of my favorite all-time genealogy photos of my/our family I've uncovered!


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