March 22, 2013
Women's History Month: A Pioneer Female Pilot
Celebrate Women's History Month! Time for Stories
4. Do you have a female relative (direct ancestor or collateral lineage) who played an active role in women's issues? Perhaps one who was a Suffragette or was a pioneer in a male-dominated role or occupation? Perhaps she sailed to the New World to start a new life in the 1600s or was a refugee from a war-torn or religious-intolerant location. Tell her story in a blog post or comment here on this blog.
So many to choose from! There are my Palatine female ancestors who fled the Palatinate area of Germany over religious differences and sailed to New York in 1710. Out of approximately 3,000 who fled to a new land, almost 500 died on the way. Once in New York their mistreatment continued, this time at the hands of the British who forced their husbands and sons to work on British Tar Ships in situations not unlike slave labour. Their children were taken from them and given into indentured servitude to wealthier families.
Or my Irish female ancestors who left Ireland during the Potato Famine in the 1840s? My 2nd great grandmother Fanny McGinnis (nee Downey) was one of those women. The hardships many of my female ancestors endured is beyond imagination and I admire their courage and resilience.
Eileen received numerous honours over the years, including the Amelia Earhart medallion in 1975. In August 2008 over 250 people gathered to mark her contribution to aviation on the 100th anniversary of her birth in Wiarton.
You can read more about Eileen and her historical contribution as a pioneer in a male-dominated world at Carnival of Genealogy: Famous Canadian Ancestor Eileen Vollick, first licenced female pilot in Canada