How to Locate Maiden Names for your
Duxbury and Kevin Cook
When working on your genealogy, sometimes the most
difficult obstacle to overcome is that of finding the maiden names of
female ancestors. However, by finding this information you can be lead to
an entirely new branch of your family tree and a whole new set of
information and history to explore. To get to that point, though, you do
have to find the maiden names in the first place. How do you do it? Here
are eight tips on where to look for such information in your genealogy
First of all, as obvious as it may seem, check with marriage records. The
bride's maiden name is always listed on her marriage record. If you can't
find a license, look for marriage certificates, announcements, bonds, or
anything else that may have been used to mark the occasion at the time.
You will be surprised at what you might find if you are creative.
Secondly, you can check out cemetery records. It may seem morbid, but
especially in the past, the only proof you may find that a female ancestor
even had a maiden name may be on her tombstone. Many of them will list a
woman under her maiden name with her married name listed in terms of
"married to" inscriptions.
Third, you can check census records. If you go back far enough you will
see the maiden name of your ancestor shown by looking at the records of
who lived in the household. You may see that a young couple lived with the
wife's parents, or that other relatives moved into the home that may give
away the maiden name.
Fourth, check land records. Land records are a great resource any time you
are working in genealogy, and for seeking a maiden name they can be as
well. Many times in the past, land was passed from father to daughter. If
you look at your family's deeds you may find the names of females or of
children of owners that can give away the maiden name to you as you
search. If you see a man or couple sold land to someone for a dollar or
other small amount, it is often a relative, so use that as well.
Fifth, it may seem unusual, but churches can be a great resource for
maiden names. The birth and christening records in many cases will have
the names of both parents on them. The mother's name, in most cases, will
be listed under her maiden name. Churches may also have marriage
information, including maiden names, since there were times when civil
registration was not in effect in certain areas.
Sixth, try probate records and even the wills themselves. If you find that
you may have found a set of parents to go with the mystery relative, check
their will or probate. They often listed the surnames of female children
separately from those of their spouses. This information can be valuable
in tracking down a maiden name.
Seventh, check the newspaper. That's right; the newspaper can be a great
resource. If you look in the area where your relative lived or was
married, you may be able to find announcements or obituaries, which like
the tombstones, will often times include the maiden name of the deceased.
Finally, check out death records. If the ancestor you are searching for
died recently enough that there is a death certificate, it may be one of
the only places her maiden name will be listed. You should also read the
certificate carefully, though, since the information on old death
certificates can be inaccurate. If you look you will be able to find out
who the informant is. The closer the relationship between the deceased and
the informant, the more accurate the information often will be.
There are a number of things you can run into with genealogy that can be
frustrating. One of the most common obstacles, though, is maiden names.
Often times there just were not kept track of with any sort of regularity
so it becomes a real challenge to find out which way that branch of your
family tree goes. However, there are some things you can do to track down
maiden names. The eight tips above should get you a good start on tracking
down who married whom so that you can extend that family tree to include
new and exciting branches.
Article Source: http://www.familyhistoryarticles.com
About the Authors Paul Duxbury and
Kevin Cook own
www.our-family-trees.co.uk two of the leading Genealogy Websites. In
addition Paul owns a wide range of exciting websites which can be viewed