I come from a family of cloned women. The resemblance among us is startling: I have seen photos of my great-grandmother which could have been me. The same body shape, face and voice have been passed from mother to daughter like treasured heirlooms.
There is no term describing this line of female ancestors. I don’t mean the general concept of the sequence of mothers and daughters that ended up with me. They’re my “foremothers”, in inelegant but adequate inclusive language. I mean a name for that specific set of people.
If I want to talk about my forefathers, that’s easy. They’re the "Foley men", tracing back to John Foley, who left Ireland at 14 during the Irish Potato Famine. But my female ancestors have no shared surname to tie them together. Should I call them the GasparKopshoeEvansFoley women? It takes 24 letters to describe 4 generations; that doesn’t even go back to the 1800s.
In the tradition of Malcolm X (but without, I hope, the same hostility toward the surnames they bore), I could dub them the XX women. But that’s generic, too, since we’re all descendants of an anonymous line of women.
Two of the four were named Anna, so I hereby dub them the Annanymous women.