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HIUS 4501: Wives, Widows, and Witches: Women's Lives in Early America

This course created by UVA Ph.D. candidate Emily Sackett studies the lives of 17th and 18th century women in the early North American colonies. History Librarian Keith Weimer is the primary steward of this guide.


screenshot of a slide deck

Ph.D. candidate Emily Sackett created the Wives, Widows, and Witches course in the Spring 2022 semester which allows undergraduate students to broadly survey the lives of 17th and 18th century colonial women. While having a variety of celebrated, prized, oppressed, marginalized and maligned social statuses and markers like white, Black, Indigenous, enslaved, free, mistress, wife, widow, and witch, finding more about these women in records requires a special set of skills. Click on the image above to see the slide deck created for the course.

Together, UVA library workers Keith Weimer (History & Religion), Katrina Spencer (African American Studies), and Jean Cooper (Principal Cataloger) compiled a wide ranging variety of resources that would help researchers find what they need on this topic. Some of these resources include records from The House of Burgesses, The Henings Statutes at Large, Ancestry's wealth of documents, and records from the Chancery Courts.