HER-story & Culture

The Museum of Motherhood is interested in exploring the HER-story of wide-ranging experiences and stories of women around the world. Here are some of our student projects:

~Women in Herstory: The Feminist Waves (2020)

~ MOM_Birth_Practices: global traditions of caregiving, and gender roles in society. (2011, revised 2018)

~ Weird Birth Customs From Around the World! (2015)

~ (CLICK TO DOWNLOAD): American HER-story Project (2014)


1587, Virginia Dare

  • First English child born in the territory of the United States
  • Puritan settlers from England had strong religious and a strong societal structure. It was believed that a woman was subordinate to her husband and should dedicate her life to rearing children
  • German and Dutch colonies varied from their English counterparts when it came to women’s roles. In German communities often women were permitted to work in the field and stables and were even allowed to own their own clothes and other small items

1612, Pocahontas

  • Was taken prisoner by colonists at the age of seventeen. She married planter John Rolfe in 1614, which is documented as the first interracial marriage in American history
  • 1619, Jamestown 90 young single women from England went to become wives of the men there. The women were auctioned off for 150 pounds of tobacco each to be paid to the shipping company to cover the cost of each woman’s travel to America. Such women were called “Tobacco Brides”. This was the first of many such shipments.

1620, The Mayflower Arrives

  • 102 people aboard. There were:
    • 18 married women traveling with their husbands
    • 7 unmarried women traveling with their parents
    • 3 young unmarried women
    • 1 girl
    • 73 men
    • ¾ of the women died in the first few months confined to the damp and crowded quarters of the ship.
  • 4 women were left alive by the time of the first Thanksgiving
  • Women of the Mayflower Project, sponsored by the General Society of Mayflower Descendants is an active organization, working to identify the maiden names and families of the wives of the male passengers on the Mayflower. As of 2010 all but three identities are lost to time.

1630, Anne Hutchinson

  • Was a puritan spiritual adviser and mother of 15 children.
  • Massachusetts Governor John Winthrop, criticized her for having “a very voluble tongue, more bold than a man.”

(Click to download the complete version): American HER-story Project 2014

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