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How to find a married woman by her maiden name

I was recently reminded that this opinion is very much in the minority: A study published earlier this month in the journal Sex Roles found that the husbands of women who chose to keep their surname were more likely to be perceived as feminine than those whose wives changed their names. That may be in part because the notion that a woman who marries a man is supposed to change her name is so entrenched in our society, she said. But the bulk of women marrying men still appear to be changing their names. So why is this one of the few traditions that continues to persist with little question?

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Do We Judge Married Women Who Keep Their Last Names?


Maiden and married names

This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this website you agree to our cookie policy. Try these simple tricks to pinpoint your female ancestors' elusive family names. Tracing your female ancestors can be a challenge since almost all women took their husband's family name when they were married. But, not all is lost, below are some of the many ways that can help you trace your ancestor's maiden name. The obvious starting point, marriage certificates list both the groom's surname and the bride's maiden surname.

When exploring marriage resources, remember to also look for associated records like licenses, announcements, banns, bonds and even divorce records. If you find your female ancestor's marriage record, but her maiden name isn't listed, check the witness's name on the form.

They could be a close family member. An excerpt from our exclusive collection of Westminster Marriages. Try searching for her children's marriages too. Sometimes the mother's maiden name will appear on her children's marriage records. Be careful, though, if the woman in question is a widow or was remarried, it won't be her maiden name on the record, so cross-check with other sources to confirm this.

When you receive a definite spouse match, we will also provide you with the volume number and page number for both spouses' records. These are essential when ordering marriage certificates.

You can then view a record to check it is your ancestor. Alternatively, if you know the first or last name of the spouse, enter this information in your search to get an even more accurate list of spouse matches. If you have already searched for your ancestors' marriages without success, try searching again — we're confident we can help you trace those missing marriages. If you don't know your ancestor's maiden name from the get-go, finding her birth certificate will seem impossible, initially.

Try searching for her death record first. If her parents are listed on the death record, you could discover her maiden name. Again, keep in mind that her mother may have remarried, so the listed name isn't necessarily her maiden name. If you find a potential match, always check other records and see if everything matches up. If you know the name of any of your female ancestor's children, search for their birth records.

They normally include the mother's maiden name. Cemetery and burial records are a great place to look, even if the woman's maiden name isn't included on the records themselves.

An entry in Scotland Billion Graves Cemetery Index showing an entire family, as well as the mother's maiden name.

Often times you'll find that the inscriptions on the tombstones state the parent's of the deceased, giving you her family name. Census records are a great resource to help you figure out your ancestor's maiden name.

Often, as people grew older they chose to live with their younger relatives or children, so be sure to check the census records to see if anyone is suddenly living with your ancestor with a different name.

It could well be somebody from your ancestor's family with the same maiden name. While rummaging in the censuses, continue to keep marital status in mind because the person might be widowed or remarried - always verify your facts. Newspapers are an invaluable resource for locating a woman's maiden name. Newspaper obituaries often list the parents' names of the deceased.

Wedding announcements are also often listed in the papers and include the name of both the bride and groom to be. Check for the approximate date of the marriage and a few weeks following. If you only know the groom's name, search for him. Your female ancestor and her maiden name will be inevitably be listed alongside.

Even if your ancestor didn't serve herself, if her husband or son died in the war, often there are records of their pension files with her maiden name listed.

Sometimes marriage certificates or affidavits included are also found in military records. Remember, your most likely searching for your female ancestor's male relatives in these records, in the hope to find her mentioned in the detail.

If land deeds were transferred to a widowed wife when her husband died, sometimes her maiden name will be listed in the records.

Keep an eye out for for the Latin et ux , in the records. It means 'and wife'. Look through the names of your ancestors and if any seemingly unusual names appear, it's worth looking into. It is not uncommon that your ancestor's middle name is that of their mother's maiden name. This applies to both men and women, so if you spot an unusual middle name, follow it up.

Check the back of old photographs for clues to who was in the picture. The insides of old books, family bibles and any old documents you may have could also reveal a lot. If the records you need aren't available online, reach out to churches and archives for access to them.

Join online community boards like the Findmypast Forum , where like-minded researchers are ready and willing to provide assistance. If you're still having trouble finding those pesky maiden names after trying all of these tips and resources, take some time out with our video masterclass on tracing female ancestors.

Skip to content This site uses cookies. Learn more. Medal families: related recipients of the Victoria Cross. The carol that was banned : The story of O Holy Night. Were your ancestors enemy aliens during WW1 or WW2? Find out in new records. How to Upload your Family Tree to Findmypast. We publish 1. How to search findmypast. The Battle of Waterloo; a brief summary. How to Trace Living Relatives. The Blitz; A first-hand account.

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Family Records. What's New? Help Hub. History Hub. The Findmypast Community. Blog Home Help Hub. How to find the maiden names of women in your family tree. The Findmypast team 3 January Get hold of their marriage record. Examine birth and death records. Check cemetery records. Delve into census records. Read old newspapers. Consider military records. Look up land records. Your breakthrough moment could be closer than you think. Other articles recommended for you Family Records thing A beginner's guide to using birth, marriage and death records for family history.

Discoveries thing Weird and wonderful names found in marriage records. Help Hub thing A handy guide to traditional Scottish naming patterns. Keep an eye out for for the Latin et ux, in the records. Join online community boards like the Findmypast Forum, where like-minded researchers are ready and willing to provide assistance.

Is Keeping Your ‘Maiden’ Name a Good Financial Move?

A woman's maiden name can usually be found on any of the documents listed below. If you have the minimum information required to find one of these documents, select the name of that document. The items in the list are ordered from most to least important. If you do not have the minimum information required, read the paragraph below this list. Make sure to check photo albums, scrapbooks, diaries, and family Bibles at home.

If you do nothing, then after marriage, your name will stay the same. If your marriage certificate is sufficient evidence of your name change. Nor do you need to change your passport.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this website you agree to our cookie policy. Try these simple tricks to pinpoint your female ancestors' elusive family names. Tracing your female ancestors can be a challenge since almost all women took their husband's family name when they were married. But, not all is lost, below are some of the many ways that can help you trace your ancestor's maiden name.

How to find the maiden names of women in your family tree

Jump to navigation. The list of places requiring the newlywed to file a name change is daunting, ranging from the Social Security Administration to the auto insurance company, and just about everywhere in between. But as the population grew, it got tiresome trying to distinguish among the many Thomases or Annes or Richards or Marys , so surnames arose, often based on lineage such Williamson , occupation such as Smith , or locale such as York. But coverture laws also prevented women from entering into contracts, engaging in litigation, participating in business, or exercising ownership over real estate or personal property. Under these acts, women gained individual legal status for purposes of signing contracts, engaging in business and commerce, and making purchases to acquire property. Supreme Court struck down a Tennessee law requiring a woman to assume the last name of her husband before registering to vote. Back then, many women saw keeping their birth name as an equality issue — a repudiation of any vestiges of coverture. Stephanie Reid obtained her J. Her practice offers innovative web-based legal services for estate planning, family law and business clients.

Maiden name

When a person traditionally the wife in many cultures assumes the family name of their spouse , that name replaces the person's previous surname , which in the case of the wife is called the maiden name birth name is also used as a gender-neutral or masculine substitute for maiden name , whereas a married name is a family name or surname adopted by a person upon marriage. In Scotland it is legal and not unusual for a woman to retain her maiden name after marriage. In point of fact if a woman's family was more 'influential' than the groom then he sometimes took his bride's family name. In some jurisdictions, changing one's name requires a legal procedure. Nevertheless, in some jurisdictions anyone who either marries or divorces may change their name.

When entering a woman's name in a family tree, enter her maiden name her last name at birth. Using maiden names in family trees connects women to their birth families, ensures that you record their pre-marriage names, and keeps consistency in your tree among women who never married, married once, and married more than once.

In order to locate information about your female answers, you will want to peruse a variety of public records. Before you begin your search either online or offline, there is a very useful reference book I highly recommend:. This book gives a state-by-state guide for the U.

Tracing Women Identifying Maiden Names (National Institute)

Some couples choose to keep their own names. Others, as noted above, go the hyphen route or create a new last name. Or they may simply decide they prefer one name over the other.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Should married women keep their last names?

As an example, John Smith a. John Taylor. This situation might occur, for instance, when John Smith had been adopted by a Taylor and was known by both names. A good rule to adopt is that if you find anything in the record that seems amiss or unusual, note it. It may be the evidence that proves or disproves a link you are trying to establish.

Why so many women still take their husband’s last name


Finding the maiden names of your female ancestors can be a real challenge. When photographed, woman were generally listed under their married name.


Getting a Real ID license stumbles over name change due to marriage – middle name, not the last







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