Genealogy: You Are Not Just the Surname of Your Father… There Were Women in Your Tree Too

I do a lot of genealogy. I’ve got family lines going every which way. They are all patriarchal lines. Every single one of the females has, as far as I know, taken the surname of her father. That’s just the way it was. I carry the surname of my father and odds are… you do too. It sure bothers me though when people shut down to knowing anything about their other ancestral surnames. How closed-minded is that? We become so familiar with our surname it becomes who we are. But we are also the myriad of surnames that came before our current last name. Those surnames belonged to all the women in our family tree and their mothers and fathers. We need to give them a little credit too.


Enter Native American genealogy. In the Pueblo and Iroquois culture it’s the opposite. The mother’s family is where a descendant traces their origins. Women are held in high esteem. In the Pueblo culture, a Pueblo woman owns her home. When she marries, her new husband comes into her home. Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret Genealogy IV – Native Americans Hidden in Our Family Trees. Available here:

eBook or computer download through Smashwords:

Kindle COVER Secret Genealogy IV


Published by

Suellen Ocean

With a Bachelor of Arts degree from Sonoma State University, Suellen Ocean does her writing from the hills of Northern California. She began writing professionally for print and radio broadcasting in the late 1980's. Her first self-published book led to her becoming "officially" published, when in 1998 she was asked to participate in the anthology, "The Simple Life" through Berkley Books, New York. She is the author of sixteen books on diverse subjects.

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