The Houston Suffragists Project

Who We Are

Rae Bryant, Ginny Douglas, Monica Andersen, Mary Hollis, and Barbara Richards are the original group. Lynda Collins, Randy Pace and Carolyn Shimek later offered much appreciated help identifying the women on the 1920 poll tax list. The website materialized when Walter Steets, HGF webmaster, joined us

The Beginning

We are long time, active members of the Houston Genealogical Forum (HGF). In late summer 2019 we discussed the upcoming 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment. What could we learn about the Houston suffragist story? Could we identify the newly enfranchised women in 1920? It would not be enough to find recognizable family names, or names that predictably appear in articles about early Houston. We wanted to find all the women, and to know their names. We had no idea what we would find.

The Shut Down

In March, Stirpes, the journal of the Texas State Genealogical Society published our introductory article, as we continued researching the women on the list. When the Covid 19 pandemic shut down Houston in mid-March, our field trips to libraries and archives stopped. With no other activities to distract us, we spent interminable online hours researching 1920 Houston women. Our research enabled Rae Bryant and Mary Hollis to supply information and assistance to the Houston Heritage Society’s current suffragist exhibit.

The project grew from a list of women on a poll tax list to the story of a community of women achieving the right to vote. It includes a spreadsheet of 3,590 Houston women, an interactive map, a website, and a fascinating story of women in Houston in 1920. The Houston Suffragists Project continues to identify the women on the list and add content to the website.

The Next Step

WYCD_archive_records Are you curious about your family during this exciting period? Find out how the 19th amendment changed the women in your ancestral home. Start searching.
Do you have a Houston story? Clean out your closets. Look for diaries and scrapbooks. Find the photographs and news clippings. Talk to your family. Was your grandmother or great grandmother eligible to vote in 1920? Send us the stories and photos of your suffragists. We will post them on the Houston Suffragist Project website. You can help us identify more of these women.


Houston Genealogical Forum

The Houston Genealogical Forum is a nonprofit organized in 1958 for the following purposes:

  • To promote best practices through educational seminars presented by local, national, and international experts in a broad range of genealogical and historical subjects.
  • To keep our membership apprised of the latest developments in genealogical research.
  • To provide a social avenue in which to forge new genealogy friendships as we help each other to grow in our research expertise.

CONTACT US houstonsuffragists@hgftx.org

Copyright Houston Suffragists Project August 1, 2020

Houston Genealogical Forum