Sunday, May 11, 2014

Honoring Mothers on Mothers Day by Finding Female Ancestors

Do you have a woman in your pedigree who is known only by her first name, or worse yet, as "Mrs. [husband's name]"?  Honor motherhood by getting to know that woman!  Look first to see if you can find record of her marriage, the best way to determine a woman's maiden name. Since you don't know her name, search for her husband's name, plus her first name (if you know it). If you find a record, look to see if she is listed as "Miss" or "Mrs".  You may find her marriage, but discover a prior married name. Keep looking!
Unnamed woman in FamilySearch Family Tree
If you don't know when and where the nameless woman married, start looking for a marriage in the place where the first child was born, a year or two before the birth.  Other records to check include the marriage licenses and death certificates of each of her children, even the children who are not your direct line ancestor. Sometimes you can learn her maiden name by noting the surname of a mother-in-law listed in the same household in a census record.  Be sure to attach each record you find to the FamilySearch Family Tree to create a permanent record of the woman's life.

For help finding your female ancestors, stop by the Family History Center!

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