Monday, December 30, 2013

Search for Both (or All) of Her Surnames - Tuesday's Tip

Gravestone of Tressa Rose Froman Doyle
If your female ancestor married she will have had two surnames:  her maiden name and her married name.  If she became a widow and remarried, she will have another surname.

Perhaps I'm the only one who does this:  when I learn a female ancestor's maiden name I'm sometimes so focused on that surname -- perhaps because I'm hoping to get a glimpse of her parents' names -- that I forgot to search for both (or all) of her surnames. 

When searching online it's fairly easy to remember because there's an option to include her spouse's name.  But when I search a book such as a cemetery index, the name on my mind is my ancestor's first and maiden names, not her married name. 

It's been my experience that grave markers usually list only the family surname of the husband.  When a cemetery is indexed it lists the names on the markers, which means I need to search on my female ancestors' married surnames.  There are probably other indexes that do not list maiden names but cemetery indexes are the ones that come to mind just now.

Don't miss finding your female ancestor because you didn't look for her under both (or all) of her maiden and married names.


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