Tracking the female ancestors’ parents can be a challenging task. This is because women sometimes change their surname after they get married in the US. If you have decided to trace the maiden name ancestry, it is time to tackle the challenge.
Starting research on maiden names for ancestry is simple. Begin by looking for the most obvious records, like the marriage record of your mother and father. Most websites allow you to search for marriage records. However, this can also be explored in a family research record book in a local library, say, Spokane, Washington or Coeur d’Alene Idaho.
If your surname is among the popular surnames, like Jones, Smith, or Brown, you are lucky because it will make your research far easier. But let’s face it, most of us are not always lucky. You can filter your research by location. Most of the marriages took place where the bride or the groom lived. Or you can use other tricks like the birth records of children of bride and groom, mother’s maiden name on the birth records, etc.
I am listing here some points that will help you discover your family and relationships story.
Read All About It
If you know the exact or approximate date of birth of your ancestors’ children, it will help you more than searching in the newspapers. You may also find a birth announcement containing more information about your mother. Going on the internet may provide you with some hints that will help you carry on your family and relationship story.
Friends, Associate, and Neighbors Matter
Looking at your ancestors’ friends, associates, and neighbors is among the strategies for maiden name research you can employ. Re-examine the data that you have collected. Investigate the friends, neighbors, and associates of your ancestors. Tracing any of these may provide you with further clues that will be helpful in your research. You can go ahead with the clues you discovered by exploring the family research record book.
Now it is time to investigate your female ancestor’s children. Try to find out the clues which answer the following questions:
- To whom did the children marry?
- Who were the witnesses?
- Were the witnesses their relatives or close to relatives?
- Where did the ancestors’ children move to?
Don’t forget to include the in-laws in your research.
What is in a Name?
Analyze the naming patterns. It was common for our ancestors to name their kids after their parents, aunts, and uncles. If the same name or naming pattern comes up again and again, this can be a clue. Don’t ignore unusual surnames or the middle names based on surnames, as these are always a clue in defining your family and relationship story.
Having men on your family trees can be beneficial because examining the ancestors’ husbands can open the doors to new clues. Look at your ancestor’s husband and follow the above steps again. Maybe this reveals your family history.