Finding Those Female Ancestors


One of the toughest aspects in doing your family tree just might be locating information on a grandmother, great aunt, great grandmother – the female line. Because of those who marry, taking a new surname, the maiden name can get ‘lost’.

Here are a few ideas of how to locate some information on the ladies.

Look over carefully birth, marriage and death certificates for their descendants. Birth and marriage records will many times the person’s mother’s maiden name.

Check over other family trees with similar branches. One of their branches jsut might have your lineage and a clue to that great grandmother.

Review any information from cemeteries where relatives are buried. Their records may have listings of mothers and their maiden name.

Never forget to review carefully all obituaries, a person might have been a sister of another relative who you have an obituary on.

If the relative came from a small town, go over every page of the census records, especially for 1900 which have many details including birth month and year. Since you don’t know the maiden name, look at each Mary, Josephine, Hazel or what ever the given name you are searching.

While looking at the census, look up the great grandfather, because she may have married the girl next door. Check out all the neighbors’ names.

Note the pattern of naming of children and grandchild. The maiden names many times were used for daughters and sons for their given names. My mother’s birth name was Nan Musselman Everhart. The middle name was the maiden name of her grandmother.

Photo:  My great grandmother to the far left sitting and her sisters in 1918.


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