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A Few Forgotten Women

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Please click on the images below to learn more about our forgotten women. If there is an 'updated' or 'new story' flash, you will need to click on the edge of the image underneath, avoiding the flash. There is an index to all the stories here and you may prefer to access the story of your choice there. We know that some visitors to this site will have an interest in a particular aspect of women's lives, or may wish to avoid certain topics. For this reason, the stories have been categorised under a variety of headings. The index page will list the categories for each story and give you an idea how long each biography might take you to read. It will also indicate which stories form part of a series that has been created during collaborative A Few Forgotten Women Friday research. 


The nature of this site means that many of the stories we tell do not make easy reading. Please be aware that some of the biographies will contain material that some readers might find distressing. If you have further information about any of the women whose stories are told here, please do get in touch. The information in these stories is accurate to the best of our knowledge, given the sources that were available to us at the time of writing. We cannot be held responsible for any errors of fact that may have inadvertently included. Please inform us if you believe that any errors have been made. Where the women have descendants, we have tried to contact them to get permission to tell their ancestor's stories. This has not always been possible. If we have told a story of your ancestors and you would rather we removed it, please do contact us.


For stories that have been generated as a result collaborative research on A Few Forgotten Women Fridays, please go to the dedicated page and choose the institution that interests you.


More stories will be added regularly. Check back for updates or follow us on social media for the latest news.

The Grave of Christina Lorenz

Christina Lorenz aka Lawrence

The surprise discovery of an adoption led to the uncovering of Christina's story of illegitimacy and racial discrimination.

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Sarah Escott and Sarah Bridge


The story of two women from Dunster, Somerset, who were found guilty of the crime of concealment at birth. The article includes background information about this offence.



A beautiful young lady whose image was found in a charity shop.

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Ann Palmer

Ann Palmer, recently widowed and the mother of young children, was to commit a crime that led to her being declared criminally insane. This story contains descriptions of the murder of a child and mental illness, which some readers may find distressing.

Caroline Jessie Leighton's Locket


The Leighton Sisters

This is the story of the five Leighton sisters who left no descendants but whose lockets survive as a memento of their lives. This story contains references to mental illness.

Elizabeth Agnes 'Lizzie' Beckwith

Elizabeth Agnes 'Lizzie' Beckwith

Although well known in her own time as a popular and talented exhibition swimmer and music hall entertainer, Lizzie's life story has been subsequently lost to history partly because she died at a young age in relative obscurity in the backwaters of Colorado.

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The Grave of Isabella Braund

Isabella Fry

Isabella’s is a tragic story of a woman who was uprooted from the life she knew and sent to the other side of the world. It was clearly a situation that she found impossible and lacking support, she took her own life. 

ed Alice Reid

Eliza Ann Thrasher

Eliza's is a story of childhood trauma, abandonment and poverty, leading to alcoholism. This story involves child abuse, so some readers may find it distressing.

Winifred Alice Reid 'Reidie'

A young working woman in the early years of the twentieth century. Is her photograph all that survives of 'Reidy'?

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Mary Mallett

Mary was twice widowed and died far from home in a London hospital. This story contains descriptions of a Post Mortem that some readers may find distressing.

Wrexham Bridge, Shropshire Union Canal

Sarah Ann Sadler

A mother with a history of ill health, spends time with her children in the workhouse. Shortly after leaving the workhouse she is found dead in the Shropshire Union Canal.

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Betty Kershaw

Betty Kershaw, a disabled woman, was mistreated by her family. The account also tells the story of Betty's mother and sister-in-law. This story contains details of abuse that some readers may find distressing

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Wordcloud names of Leeds Industrial School girls


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Georgina Wyche

How did a young girl from a comfortably off London family end up dying in tragic circumstances in rural Somerset? This story includes an account of suicide that some readers may find distressing.

Elizabeth Instrell

The story of a Hampshire woman's committal to a London asylum.

Leeds Girls' Industrial and Ragged School

The stories of seventy five girls who attended the school between 1863 and 1871 were investigated as part of the ‘A Few Forgotten Women Friday’ collaborative research project. More stories will be added over the next few weeks. 

You may also be interested in these sites

Wayward Women 

Women of Yesteryear

Unforgotten Highland Women - podcast telling the stories of women from Highland Scotland

Disabling Genealogy

Friends of Horton Cemetery

Project Infant - commemorating the victims of Irish Mother and Baby Homes

The Devil's Porridge Museum - telling the story of the largest World War I munitions factory and its workers

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