Maiden Names in the United States

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One of the challenges in researching families from some European countries that immigrated to America is discovering the maiden name of a female ancestor. This can be an especially difficult challenge in records dating back in time from around 1850. There are a variety of different types of records that could be helpful. If you find yourself in the position of searching for a maiden name of an ancestor, be sure to take the time to do in depth research in the types of records suggested below.


See the following articles and books for information on United States records about finding the maiden names of your female ancestors:

Here are some more books that might help:

  • Allen, Donna Murray, “12 Ways to Find an Ancestor’s Maiden Name, Family Chronicle,7:1 (Sept/Oct 2002);62
  • Carmack, Sharon DeBartolo, A Genealogist’s guide to Discovering Your Female Ancestors (Cincinnati: Betterway Books, 1998).
  • Deerborn, David C., “Methods to Identify a Wife’s Maiden Name,” The Essex Genealogist, 12 (1992):3-15
  • Dollarhide, William, “Identifying Female Ancestors: Some Case Histories,” Heritage Quest, 17:3 (May/June 2001):8-17.
  • Hogan, Roseann R.. “Female Ancestry,” Ancestry, 12:2 (March/April 1994): 26-28.

Also see the following links: