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Gena Philibert Ortega
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Started this discussion. Last reply by Declan Chalmers Jul 27, 2009.

Gena's Genealogy

Join Me for a Legacy Webinar!

On July 22nd I'll be presenting 50 MORE Websites Every Genealogist Should Know. A follow-up to my previous webinar on 50 Websites...we will take a look at some websites that just might be new-to-you.

You can read more about the webinar at the Legacy News blog

The Women's History Month Winner is....

So I posted over a week ago that I was going to give away some reading materials. I've picked the winners and I'm excited to get them their packages.

I decided to pick 3 winners instead of two. Winners were randomly selected by the computer using King Sumo.

The winners are ....

Rosemary Rowland
Gaynol Fales
Marie Capaldi


Thank you to everyone who entered and read my blog. I appreciate you!

Women's History Month 2020: Suffrage and Genealogy Resources Part 2

Image by Tami Osmer Mize, Conference Keeper
So the real question after a month of suffrage posts is, "where do you find the records?" The answer is they can be anywhere and nowhere.

I hate that answer but it's the reality of historical research.

First, we are looking for a variety of records. Yes, voting registers. But also poll tax receipts. If your ancestor was a suffragist than there are records for that too in archival collections.  And don't forget newspapers. They provide everything from mentions of your ancestors to social history which is so important to telling a story. 

Second, records are housed in all kinds of repositories including genealogy websites and archives. Start with the FamilySearch Catalog and conduct a Place search. Don't forget their Digital Library.  Then go to Ancestry (or your other favorite subscription websites) and do a location search to see what records they have for your ancestor's location (For Ancestry, click on Search at the top black toolbar then All Collections then scroll to bottom and choose a place from the map).

Below I've listed  a few more resources to peruse.

To close out Women's History Month I want to say that research is a process. Researching women requires us to look at all aspects of her life. It is a lot of work. But in the end, it allows us to truly understand her.

Good luck!

Digital Collections

Library of Congress – Digital Collections – Suffrage 
Women’s Vote Centennial

Libraries and Archives

Digital Public Library of America
FamilySearch Research Wiki – United States Genealogy – Voter Records
FamilySearch Research Wiki – United States Genealogy –United States Taxation
LibGuides Community
LSE Digital Library – Women’s Rights Collection


Accessible Archives – Women’s Suffrage
Chronicling America
Fulton NY History
Online Historical Newspapers
The Ancestor Hunt

Digitized Books and Periodical Indexes

Google Books
Google Scholar
Hathi Trust
Internet Archive

Women's History Month 2020: Suffrage and Genealogy Resources Part 1

Lucky for us we live in an era where we have bountiful resources for our genealogical research, both online and off. I want to start discussing resources by sharing one book that I think is a must for everyone. In fact, I'm a big fan of all of this author's books.

The Hidden Half of the Family: A Sourcebook for Women's Genealogy by Christina K. Schaefer. (Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999)

Ok, so you're saying "But Gena that book is OLD!" Yes, I guess it is but it has resources you need to do a better job researching your female ancestors. This isn't a book of websites, instead it's a reference book of states, timelines, and what records you can expect to find for women. It takes into consideration how the laws of the time impacted women's appearances in certain genealogical records.

This book is organized by state. Here are the pages for Colorado.

Now you may notice that my copy has a coil binding. It doesn't come this way, I did this so I could lay the book flat. If you're interested in doing this to some of your genealogy books, you take the book to your local print place (I went to an big box office supply store) and ask them to cut the book's binding off and coil bind it. You can also ask them to add a plastic cover and back if you want. 

Do you have this book? It's a vital US genealogy resource because it not only provides info about suffrage but it also takes into consideration other records and women's place in society during different time periods.

Women's History Month 2020: Not Everyone Voted: More Considerations

Schlesinger Library, Flickr the Commons
We've covered quite a bit this month and this week has been important because whether or not she had the right to vote and then could vote determines if you can find genealogically relevant records.

As we've explored this week  there are reasons why you might not find record of her voting. She may have had lost her citizenship as a result of her marriage. She may not have been able to pass the required literacy test. Paying a poll tax could have been beyond her means. She may have been denied the vote because she was living in a US territory or she was Native American. Native Americans were not granted citizenship until 1924 and then, according to the Library of Congress website, "it still took over forty years for all fifty states to allow Native Americans to vote. For example, Maine was one of the last states to comply with the Indian Citizenship Act, even though it had granted tax paying Native Americans the right to vote in its original 1819 state constitution...Even with the lawful right to vote in every state, Native Americans suffered from the same mechanisms and strategies, such as poll taxes, literacy tests, fraud and intimidation, that kept African Americans from exercising that right." [1]

Now even if she could vote and did vote, you still may not be able to access records. Not all voting registers are extant. That's why looking at poll tax records might be important. So it's important to do a thorough search of the catalogs for  FamilySearch, historical societies, and archives as well as digitized book websites Internet Archive, Google Books, and Hathi Trust. Don't forget to look at the FamilySearch Research Wiki to find articles on possible voting records. 

So as you start thinking about your female ancestors and their vote, consider their situation and where they lived. Then identify what records exist. 

[1] "Voting Records for Native Americans," Library of Congress ( accessed 28 March 2020).

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October Genealogy Virtual Meetings

Virtual Meetings are a way for you to learn more about genealogy from The National Institute for Genealogical Studies instructors.  Everyone is welcome and the meetings are FREE. Join us! Note: NO USER NAME or PASSWORD is REQUIRED. After clicking on…
Oct 16, 2019
Gena Philibert Ortega replied to Jeanie Brewerton's discussion Spam
"We have removed the member who was posting spam messages to members. Thank you for reporting it. Gena Philibert-Ortega Director Genealogy Services The National Institute for Genealogical Studies"
Oct 1, 2019
Gena Philibert Ortega posted a note


Occasionally, we do get members on GenealogyWise who are here to do one thing, spam other members. Ning, the platform we use, has no way to detect a spammer prior to them bothering our members. The only way we have to find spammers and terminate…
Sep 30, 2019
Gena Philibert Ortega replied to Jeanie Brewerton's discussion Spam
"Another member already reported James Pollard for spam. He has been removed from the website. "
Sep 12, 2019
Gena Philibert Ortega posted a note

September 2019 Genealogy Virtual Meetings

Have  questions about your genealogy research? Join the instructors from The National Institute for Genealogical Studies for FREE virtual meetings where we discuss resources, records, and answer questions. Below is a list of virtual meetings. Attend…
Sep 6, 2019
Gena Philibert Ortega posted a blog post
Aug 27, 2019
Gena Philibert Ortega replied to Susan Dzialo's discussion How to find ancestors that performed in show business?
"You don't mention where Mildred lived but the first place you should look, if you haven't already is  newspapers. Several online digitized newspaper websites should be checked including and GenealogyBank. Conduct…"
Aug 23, 2019
Gena Philibert Ortega posted a note

June 2019 Genealogy Virtual Meeting Schedule

Have any questions about your family history  research? Join instructors from The National Institute for Genealogical Studies for Virtual Meetings. These online presentations are FREE and everyone is invited. Below are the June scheduled…
Jun 6, 2019
Gena Philibert Ortega posted a blog post

MyHeritage Expands to Health; Launches New DNA Test Offering Powerful and Personalized Health Insights for Consumers

MyHeritage Expands to Health; Launches New DNA Test Offering Powerful and Personalized Health Insights for ConsumersThe new MyHeritage DNA Health + Ancestry test provides comprehensive health reports for conditions affected by genetics including heart disease, breast cancer, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s diseaseTel Aviv, Israel & Lehi, Utah — MyHeritage, the…See More
May 20, 2019
Gena Philibert Ortega posted a note

May Genealogy Virtual Meetings

Have any questions about your genealogy research? Join The National Institute for Genealogical Studies this month for our Virtual Meetings. Join an instructor for Q+ A, lecture, and more. Below are the May scheduled…
May 10, 2019

Profile Information

What surnames are you interested in researching?
McNeil, Smith, Nikolaus, Hibbert, Philibert, Harsbarger, Montgomery, Randall, Earlywine, Chatham, Lewis, Ortega, Ochoa, Marquez, Aquino
What countries and other locations are you interested in researching?
USA, Mexico, England
What is your level of genealogy knowledge?
Professional Genealogist
If you are a genealogy expert, what are your specialties?
American Records
For what reason did you start genealogy research?
I love family history and learning more about my ancestors.
Do you have a genealogy website or blog?

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Virtual Genealogical Association Conference

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Valerie & Myrt’s Excellent Genealogy Adventures debuts today

Valerie & Myrt’s Excellent Genealogy Adventures debuts today
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The Virtual Genealogical Society is a global organization serving family history enthusiasts of all levels, geared…


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March 24, 2018 | Utica, OH

Email Terri O’Connell for contact details, photos, and an author bio.




Posted on March 26, 2018 at 10:19am

Comment Wall (109 comments)

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At 6:41pm on May 4, 2016, Susi (Susan C Jones) Pentico said…

Yup the correct word is NOT CONNECTED????

At 6:40pm on May 4, 2016, Susi (Susan C Jones) Pentico said…

Gena Philibert Ortega,  for some reason the system says my chat is shut off? I keep clicking to go into chat room and it says not available?

619 623 5250

At 10:36am on March 6, 2016, Joe said…

Hello Gena, Thanks for trying to address my email issue. When I click settings...Profile...change email, it gives me a link to click on in my new email. when I do click on it, it takes me to my page. when I re-enter my profile the old address is still there

At 6:49pm on September 15, 2011, Erin Bradford (freeaainnc) said…
Hi!  I tried emailing you about the possibility of starting a new chat, but it bounced and said your box was full.  When you have some space in your email, could you email me  Thanks!
At 2:49pm on August 29, 2011, Hal Horrocks said…


Is there nothing your not involved in?


Hal Horrocks

At 7:55am on July 14, 2011, James P. LaLone said…


Check out Monica Diesma posting the same message to many people, I think it is spam to get in contact with people. Jim.

At 10:29pm on May 12, 2011, Lawrence Wright said…
Thanks for the comment and encouragement Gena.  This is a wonderful site.  I have to confess that I feel a bit overwhelmed.  Trying to find the right pedagogy to learn this has left me feeling like a deer looking at an oncoming car at night with bright headlights on.   Larry
At 11:16am on February 9, 2011, Ellen Healy said…
Gena, So glad to see you here again. I didn't know you had been gone until it was mentioned one night on the chat. Good news!!!
At 8:26pm on November 10, 2010, Ellen Healy said…
Hi, Gena, I really love the lists of sites you have been posting in the newsletter. They are very helpful, and I just copied the ones from todays' newsletter on military records. One question I have is do you know of any good sites where records of the Spanish-American War are listed?
At 5:31pm on October 27, 2010, Sharon Rollins Pustejovsky said…
Thanks for the welcome! I look forward to using GenealogyWise and getting to know other users, and helping each other as much as possible.

Sharon Pustejovsky




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