By Amanda Forson, WorldVitalRecords.com
Most genealogists are used to seeing the maiden names of wives, mothers, sisters, etc., often forgetting that (at least in Western countries where the female surname is usually dropped in favor of the male) the woman would live most of her life under her husband’s surname. This is especially true in the South and other places where women’s property belonged to her husband or oldest son.
When searching WorldVitalRecords.com for women, look for them with married names in addition to maiden names. Maiden names often only lasted for the first twenty to twenty-five years of a woman’s life. Few documents besides birth and marriage would list a woman’s maiden name otherwise. Look for married names for property transfers, obituaries, church records, etc. when searching for women’s records.