Fearless Females, Day 1: Sophia Laundree

Lisa Alzo over at The Accidental Genealogist blog has come up with a way to get our blogging to relate to National Women’s History Month, which starts today. For the next 31 days, Lisa will be providing blogging prompts to help us get in touch with our family tree’s feminine side. Day one’s prompt is to write about a favorite female ancestor, or one you are drawn to and want to learn more about. For me, that is Sophia LAUNDREE.

Sophia was born in Wisconsin about 1839. I know very little about her; not even her maiden name. She was Native American, and because of where she lived I assume she was Chippewa. Sometime before 1860, she met and married Joseph LAUNDREE. Together they had three children, Elizabeth (in Jan 1860), Josephine (17 Jul 1865), and Joseph Carl (14 Jan 1871) all born in Wisconsin.

In 1874, when Joe Jr was just 3 years old, Sophia died from consumption. She was maybe 35.

That’s it. That’s all I’ve got. I find her on the 1860 and 1870 censuses with Joseph and children, but other than that, and the small death notice from the local paper, I’ve got nothing to prove she ever existed. No death record, no marriage record, no idea where she was buried. No family stories handed down. She is my ghost, the person I can’t quite pin down, but I know she existed.

The wonderful people at the UW-River Falls library have dug through their archives for me numerous times, and we still come up with nothing. She lived her entire life in Polk County, Wisconsin (as far as I know). I don’t know where to try next, so if any of you have a suggestion, I’d love to hear it.

Published in: on March 1, 2011 at 3:17 pm  Leave a Comment  

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