Louisa Alcott
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Louisa May Alcott (1832 - 1888)

Louisa May Alcott
Born in Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
Died in Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 8 Apr 2011
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Louisa May Alcott was an abolitionist, a feminist, and an author, most notably of the novel Little_Women, published in 1869.[1][2][3][4]


Louisa May Alcott was born the 29th of November 1832 in Germantown, Pennsylvania,[1][2][4] and then grew up in Boston and Concord, Massachusetts, the daughter of Amos Bronson Alcott and Abigail May.[5][6][7][8][9]

Her father was a noted educator and leader of a philosophical movement called Transcendentalism.[2] Louisa was deeply influenced by both her parents, especially her mother, whom she looked up to for her bravery and goodness,[1][3] as well as friends and neighbors, including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Henry David Thoreau.[2][4] Louisa was primarily educated by her father.[4]

She helped support her family as a seamstress, a household servant, and later, as a teacher.

She never married, but hoped to always be able to care for her mother.[1][2][4] She did adopt her sister May's daughter, Louisa May Niereker after May died.[4]


Louisa's first published work was the poem, Sunlight, published under a pseudonym, A.M. Barnard, in 1851.[1]

Her first book, Flower Fables, a collection of short stories for children, was published in 1854.[2]

During the Civil War, Louisa served as a nurse for the Union Army. She used that experience to write for her first successful book, Hospital Sketches, a series of letters compiled and published in 1863 following a near fatal illness.[2][3][4]

Louisa continued writing, which led to her role of editor for "Merry's Museum" in 1867, a magazine for young girls.[1][2] It was her publisher there who encouraged her to push forward in writing Little Women.[1]

"Little Women", initially published in two parts, in 1868 and 1869, is Louisa's best known novel. It took her only a total of 12 weeks to write.[1]

In the book, her family was represented by the "March family", and the character of "Jo March" represented her. It focused on the values of middle class domestic life in the United States.[1] The novel would give Louisa and her family a comfortable life from there on.[4]

She continued the story of the Marches in Little Men (1871). Over her lifetime, Louisa published 270 different works.[1]

In 1879, Louisa became the first woman to register to vote in Concord, once school, tax, and bond suffrage was opened to women.[1] Louisa's support of women's rights was evident in her novel, Jo's Boys, published in 1886, a continuation of her March family stories.[1]


Louisa died March 6th, 1888 in Boston, Massachusetts, and was buried in Sleepy_Hollow_Cemetery in Concord, near Emerson, Hawthorne, and Thoreau, on a hillside now known as "Authors' Ridge".[2][9][10] She had typhoid fever and was being treated with a mercury-based drug, which poisoned her.[2]

Louisa was inducted in the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1996.[1]


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 Louisa May Alcott, National Women's Hall of Fame, www.womenofthehall.org, accessed 18 Jan 2018.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 18 January 2018), memorial page for Louisa May Alcott (29 Nov 1832–6 Mar 1888), Find A Grave: Memorial #14, citing Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord, Middlesex County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Orcutt, Samual. History of the Town of Wolcott (Press of The American Printing Company in Waterbury, Conn, 1874) Page 262
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, "Louisa May Alcott", Encyclopædia Britannica, www.britannica.com, Published July 31, 2017. Accessed 18 Jan 2018
  5. "United States Census, 1880," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MH65-GX8 : 8 September 2017), Louisa M Alcott in household of A Bronson Alcott, Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts, United States; citing enumeration district ED 362, sheet 188B, NARA microfilm publication T9 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 0538; FHL microfilm 1,254,538.
  6. "United States Census, 1860", database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MZCQ-Z44 : 14 December 2017), L May Alcott in entry for A B Alcott, 1860.
  7. "United States Census, 1850," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MDS8-H6F : 12 April 2016), Louisa M Alcott in household of A B Alcott, Boston, ward 8, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States; citing family 173, NARA microfilm publication M432 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
  8. "Massachusetts State Census, 1865," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MQCF-YC1 : 2 April 2016), Louisa M Alcott in household of A Bronson Alcott, Concord, Middlesex, Massachusetts; State Archives, Boston; FHL microfilm 954,568.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Massachusetts Deaths and Burials, 1795-1910," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FH14-GVV : 10 December 2014), Louise M. Alcott, 06 Mar 1888; citing Boston, Suffolk, Massachusetts, reference v 1888 cn 2052; FHL microfilm 593,737.
  10. "Massachusetts Deaths, 1841-1915," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NWCR-D76 : 10 December 2014), Louise M Alcott, 06 Mar 1888; citing Boston, Massachusetts, p89 n2052, State Archives, Boston; FHL microfilm 960,239.
  • "Massachusetts, Boston Passenger Lists, 1820-1891," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KCH2-54G : 1 September 2016), Louisa M Alcott, 1866; citing p. , Ship Africa, NARA microfilm publication M277 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.), roll 068; FHL microfilm 419,962.
  • "United States Index to Passenger Arrivals, Atlantic and Gulf Ports, 1820-1874," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KD54-B5N : 4 December 2014), Louisa M Alcott, 1866; citing Immigration, NARA microfilm publication M334 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 418,162.
  • "United States Passport Applications, 1795-1925," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QGKV-MPR6 : 22 December 2017), Louisa M Alcott, 1865; citing Passport Application, United States, source certificate #, Passport Applications, 10/31/1795 - 12/31/1905., 133, NARA microfilm publications M1490 and M1372 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).

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Comments: 11

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6th cousins 6 times removed
posted by Dianna Koch
I am proud to say that Louisa is my second cousin four times removed. Small world.
posted by Julie (Maple) Tremblay
Louisa is a distant cousin of mine.
According to the Global relative finder, Louisa May Alcott is ancestor of mine. I fail to see where she would come into my family. If there is anyone that can tell me how,I won't mind.
posted by Anonymous Rankin
Beautiful Wiki page for a beautiful woman and author. So happy to find that she was my 4th cousin 4x removed.
posted by Janice Anderson
Beautiful profile and perfect background image too when it was the beautiful floral background pattern.
posted by James Stratman
My favourite author is my 7th cousin 6Xremoved! Our common ancestor is: https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Du%20Trieux-21
posted by Linda Kendrick
She was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1996.

Category: United States National Women's Hall of Fame. See: https://www.womenofthehall.org/inductee/louisa-may-alcott/

posted by Kristin Merritt
You might consider adding Category:Famous Authors of the 19th Century
posted by J. (Pearson) Salsbery
Louisa Alcott is notable.
Join: Notables Project
Discuss: notables
posted by Doug Lockwood

Louisa is 13 degrees from Jaki Erdoes, 17 degrees from Wallis Windsor and 14 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.