Hine estate record
Estate records provide some insight into the lives of "average" women. Bridget Duffy and Phoebe Hines were two Westchester women who died during the early 1860's, and their estate records provide snapshots of life in the nineteenth century.
Phoebe Hines was a successful dressmaker, with a stock worth over ten thousand dollars at the time of her death. The recording of thousands of yards of fabric (page 16), as well as every kind of accoutrement including buttons, ribbon, lace, beads, belts and pins, give us some idea as to what people were wearing at the time.
Duffy's records tell a different tale: her children from a first marriage
contested her will (which was not in their favor), claiming both that
she was insane and that her second husband had coerced her in writing
the will. (Insanity brief page 9,
Read on: Women and the Civil War