Fearless Females: March 3 – Name sharing

March 3 — Do you share a first name with one of your female ancestors? Perhaps you were named for your great-grandmother, or your name follows a particular naming pattern. If not, then list the most unique or unusual female first name you’ve come across in your family tree.


I do not share my first name with any of my ancestors; though it is far from unique, I am the only one with this name on my family tree.  I do however share my middle name with my great-grandmother Ada Mae (Wetzel) Strausser.  There are currently 25 of us sharing Mae as a middle name.  I suspect there are more but I am still working on determining many of the ladies middle names though there are plenty of M middle initials and Mary and Marie are not commonly used names in my family.


Mae never went by Ada and everyone was surprised to find out that her first name wasn’t Mae.  Being partially named after my great-grandma has always strengthened the connection I felt with her.  Since she died when I was very young, I am happy to share something with her that will last a lifetime.

Fearless Females: March 1 – Favorite Female Ancestor

To celebrate Women’s History Month and honor our female ancestors, Lisa Alzo from The Accidental Genealogist has posted a series of 31 blogging prompts for the month of March.


March 1 – Do you have a favorite female ancestor?  Absolutely!  My great grandmother Ada Mae Wetzel is my favorite female ancestor; she is also the only great grandparent I have ever known.  Though she died when I was very young, I fondly remember my visits her and Aunt Gussie in North Philadelphia.


The woman I knew and have felt connected to throughout my entire life was a mystery for much of that time.  I did not grow up hearing stories or other memories about my great grandmother nor was anyone open to talking or answering my questions about her.  I am certain that the secrecy surrounding her life and relationships only enhanced my desire to know more about the woman she was and the life she lead.

Bid in the doorway of her North Philadelphia home around 1950.

Bid in the doorway of her North Philadelphia home around 1950.

Over the past three years I have not only learned a tremendous amount about Ada Mae but I have also been fortunate to meet “new” cousins of the removed variety that knew this amazingly strong woman and have helped to fill in many blanks as well as provide pictures and their memories of her.  Many of my posts throughout this month will be dedicated to this remarkable woman most simply knew as “Bid”.

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