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Unmarried Women, Maiden Ladies, Old Maids

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  • Florence Nightingale ("The Lady with the Lamp") (1820 - 1910)
    Florence Nightingale was a guiding force in the field of nursing. She was born May 12, 1820, to William “WEN” and Frances “Fanny” Nightingale in Florence, Italy. Her parents named her after the city...
  • Elizabeth Johnson (1681 - 1735)
    Not the same as Elizabeth Blake Biography Elizabeth Johnson was born on February 19, 1680 in Middletown, Middlesex, Connecticut, the daughter of Isaac Johnson and Mary Harris.[1] She was the si...
  • Letitia Stewart (deceased)
    The children of Andrew Stewart and Eleanor Dallway, born at Stewart Hall, Stewartstown, County Tyrone Ireland, were: Letitia was also a spinster, and lived to an old age. She was living in 1763 accord...
  • Eleanor Stewart (c.1708 - 1754)
    The children of Andrew Stewart and Eleanor Dallway, born at Stewart Hall, Stewartstown, County Tyrone Ireland, were: Eleanor Stewart, b abt 1708 in Stewart Hall, Co. Tyrone. Eleanor a spinster, died i...
  • Narcissa Johnson (1778 - 1816)
    Not the same as Narcissa A. Kinne Possibly the same as this record with a wrong birth date: Name Narcissa Johnson Sex Female Age 17 Birth Year (Estimated) 1799 Burial Place Connecticut. United S...

For those women who are unmarried, uncoupled and childless and chose or are perhaps forced to do so from circumstance to remain single in the world.

  • The profile of the woman does not have to be famous though to fit this project - just independent.
  • Many lead remarkable lives, raise the children of others, or live in the ordinary. All deserve to be remembered.

Please do NOT include the following:

  • Those who died too young to make a choice or live through the act of singleness.
  • Living women
  • Women who have been in long term relationships where the issue of "common law" marriage might kick in
  • Women who have born children

10 Famous Single Ladies on the Joys of Being Unmarried,"That old maid myth is garbage." (Kristina Marusic, March 1, 2016). (5 listed here)

  • Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) famously authored the feminist tome Little Women, and practiced what she preached by remaining independent and earning her own living at a time when doing so was still considered wildly unconventional. After visiting a married friend, she once wrote that her marriage “nest” was "Very sweet and pretty, but I'd rather be a free spinster and paddle my own canoe."
  • Jane Austen (1775-1817) may be a master of literary romance (and has even been dubbed the “mother of chick lit,”), but she herself never married. She was once engaged for a few hours, but she ultimately opted to remain single and dedicate her life to her work. “There are as many forms of love as there are moments in time,” she famously said.
  • Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice has enjoyed a long career as a political scientist and diplomat. She has never been married and has no children—which she is frequently asked about, but which in the least. “I always say, the fact of the matter is you don’t want to get married in the abstract, you want to get married to someone," she said on CBS Sunday Morning. "And I’ve just not found that person that I want to get married to.”
  • While legendary actor Greta Garbo also enjoyed a number of affairs with famous men, she chose to prioritize her career above all and turned down numerous proposals in an era when doing so was still totally taboo. Famous quote from her: “I never said, 'I want to be alone.' I only said, 'I want to be left alone.' There is all the difference.” She's also quoted as saying, “There are some who want to get married and others who don't. I have never had an impulse to go to the altar. I am a difficult person to lead.”
  • Then there is the legendary designer Coco Chanel (1883-1971) who forever changed the world of fashion also famously opted to remain single her whole life. "It's probably not just by chance that I'm alone," she's quoted as saying. "It would be very hard for a man to live with me, unless he's terribly strong. And if he's stronger than I, I'm the one who can't live with him. ...The two men I've loved, I think, will remember me, on earth or in heaven, because men always remember a woman who caused them concern and uneasiness. I've done my best, in regard to people and to life, without precepts, but with a taste for justice."

Additional references and source material:

Please remember that June 4 is National Old Maids Day