The Filles du Roi ("Daughters of the King") were 800 intrepid young women, between the ages of 16 and 30, who left everything they knew behind in France to start a new life populating the colony of New France (Quebec), arriving in Canada between 1663 and 1673. They speed-dated their way to new husbands, and quickly got down to business, popping out enough babies to increase the colony's population by more than 150% in just a few years. Millions of North Americans now owe DNA to them, and we think they deserve more than a little applause for their bravery and strength of character. Bien joué, ladies!
Rani Abbakka Chowta was a small-time feudal queen in 16th century India, which is already kind of cool, but she became a folklore hero for her incredible success resisting Portuguese colonial domination. Abbakka led troops to battle herself and fought at their side, built up her small port kingdom into an increasingly valuable spice trade hot spot, and inspired people of various religions and castes to come together to stand up for Indian independence and nationalism. And she irritated the heck out of the Portuguese!