Female Profile Instructions and Questionnaire

The Women’s Room Project: AC Female Profile Questionnaire, 2021

The Women’s Room History Project recovers and highlights the stories of women who, at one time, resided in Aurora County, South Dakota. This crowd-sourced project invites the community to compile and share details about these women for inclusion in the Women’s Room exhibit at the Sweep-VanDyke Railroad Museum & Cultural Center, Plankinton, South Dakota. This new collection of stories will help showcase women’s contributions to life in Aurora County, and therefore, create a more accurate, inclusive, and representative history of the area.

I invite you to participate in this project and help accumulate these stories. Please print this page or download the Word Version AC Female Profile Questionnaire. For Google Docs, download the Word Doc, then upload to your Google Drive, and save as a Google Doc. In doing your research, you might find this Family Group Sheet useful for recording facts about birth, death, spouses and children.

For examples of how to provide details, review the sample profiles assembled in the section, The Women, especially the Character Profile portion. Your information will later be converted to a similar format. Forms can be returned handwritten or entered electronically (preferred) and sent as attachments via email. Complete information is not required, just provide what you can. Given enough detail, I might be able to find more facts through my resources. Obituaries are a good place to start collecting the data.  Two good sources for family relations and census records are familytree.com and ancestry.com.

If information for any section is not known, just enter ‘unknown.’ If no answer, enter ‘none.’

Enjoy! I’m sure you’ll learn many interesting things about your female ancestors. Also, this questionnaire can be used to conduct an oral history with your mother or grandmothers while they can still answer in person – or even use it to record your own life story!!

Note about location information: If the subject lived on a farm, try to list the township. Whenever noting an Aurora County city or township, leave out ‘South Dakota,’ as that will be the default. In addition, leave out state for major cities such as Chicago, New York, etc. Use state or country names if city unknown. Abbreviate Township to Twp.

Return project to: Ruth Page Jones, rpjhistories@gmail.com, 262-366-3803

or mail to: Ruth Jones, % Plankinton Preservation Society, Inc., P.O. Box 367, Plankinton, South Dakota 57386

Questionnaire

Name (First, middle, birth last name, married name 1, married name 2…)

Other names used (nicknames and alternate spellings):

Significant Dates & Locations:

Birthdate and City/State/Country:     
Death date and City/State/Country:
Cause of death (if known)
Burial Location (Cemetery and City):

Marriages:

Spouse 1

Name:   
Marriage Date and City/State/Country: 
Birthdate and City/State/Country: 
Death date and City/State/Country 

Spouse 2

Name:   
Marriage Date and City/State/Country: 
Birthdate and City/State/Country: 
Death date and City/State/Country 

Note if any of these marriages were dissolved via divorce

Include information on any other spouses as well.

Spouses Occupations. Provide information on each spouse’s military and work background and any significant leadership roles in the community.

Homesteading: If subject or spouse homesteaded in Aurora County, identify who and list township and section number. Search by name and county at glorecords.blm.gov/search. This site uses township numbers, not names. See translation table at the end of this form.

Parents Names and Ethnicity: What was the ethnic heritage of her parents? If living in the country several generations, use Yankee, Euro-American, etc.

Example: Patrick Michael Kelly-Irish, Bertha Jane Benet-Austrian and French

Siblings: Note if step-siblings. For married sisters, provide married name. If name is gender-neutral, identify gender.

Example for Mary Peters with one stepbrother and two married sisters: Stepbrother William Anderson, John Peters, Bertha Smith, Kerry(male), Alicia, Katherine Kelly.

Locations: Note where she lived and when. Start with birth city and year and include any known locations and year of move into that location.

Example: Germany (1856), Mississippi (1870), Chicago (1871), Likely Gales Twp (1885), Gales Twp (1887), White Lake (1924).

Roles/Talent: list her roles and any talents or interests

Examples: Wife, mother, stepmother, church volunteer, homemaker, farmwife, community volunteer, great cook, artist, musician, good neighbor, sewer, crafter, etc.

Education: List any known schools, even primary, that she attended, and degrees earned

Work Experience:

Examples: taught xx in xx school, professional nurse, store clerk for xx, business owner of xx business, household helper.

Church, Clubs and Organizations: List any activities and memberships. Also note any leadership positions. Provide dates, if known.

Physical Appearance: height, body size, any distinguishing features

Children:

Number of children:
Birth year of oldest child:
Birth year of youngest child:

Names of children in birth order and their spouses. Example: John Smith m. Elizabeth Anderson. Note if any child died before adulthood.

Family Connections/Occupations: Here’s an opportunity to provide information about her family connections, parents, siblings, etc. and what they did in Aurora County. Write about any extended relationships in the area, both her and her husband’s family. Note if any relatives still remain in the area.

Character Profile: Write a few sentences that characterizes the individual (maximum 200-220 words). Who were they as a person? What was most important to them in their lives? At what age did they immigrate or move to Aurora County? Were there any significant events in their lives that might have influenced who they were and what they did? How did they interact with community? How did the community see them? How did their children and grandchildren see them? Sometimes this information is included in the obituary. Sometimes you might have to guess, for example: “Like many other women of her era, she would have seen her main role as homemaker and mother.” Or “As the mother of ten, and a farmer’s wife, her life would have centered around her home, the farm, and her family. In addition, as a member of xx church, she would have found solace in her religious beliefs.”

What Else (optional)? If this woman were alive today, what questions would you ask?

Objects: List any items that she may have used that the family still cherishes. We may possibly request a photo of some objects for later display.

Sources: List documents where information was found. Also, note any oral histories.

Missing Information: identify information that is incomplete, if not already noted in above sections.

Attachments: List any other items included such as obituary and copies of news articles

Date of Submission:

Name and Contact Information of Submitter:

_________________________________________________

Aurora County Cities and Townships: Township and Range Numbers

Aurora County Map of Townships and Cities
 R66WR65WR64WR63W
T105 NPattenPleasant ValleyBristolBelford
T 104 NLakeCooperFiresteelPalatine
T 103 NWhite LakeEurekaPlankintonHopper
T 102 NGalesCrystal LakePleasant LakeDudley
T 101 NWashingtonCenterTruroAurora

T 101 NR63WAurora
T 105 NR63WBelford
T 105 NR64WBristol
T 101 NR65WCenter
T 104 NR65WCooper
T 102 NR65WCrystal Lake
T 102 NR63WDudley
T 103 NR65WEureka
T 104 NR64WFiresteel
T 102 NR66WGales
T 103 NR63WHopper
T 104 NR66WLake
T 104 NR63WPalatine
T 105 NR66WPatten
T 103 NR64WPlankinton
T 102 NR64WPleasant Lake
T 105 NR65WPleasant Valley
T 101 NR64WTruro
T 101 NR66WWashington
T 103 NR66WWhite Lake
City Plankinton
City White Lake
City Stickney
Townships and Cities