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Why is a housewife listed in an inventory of military supplies.

(Military Records) Permanent link
 
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question:

In the supply inventory for my ancestors local militia unit are listed "a dozen housewives"? I am puzzled if I am missing the meaning of this, were these ladies who travelled with the unit?

 

Answer:  In this case the term "housewife" is actually referring to a sewing kit, with needle, thread and extra buttons.  The quick repairs of a soldiers uniform would be aided by this little sewing kit.  I have seen it mentioned from time to time in supply lists from the 18th and 19th centuries.


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