Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Don't Forget the Ladies

When searching Google Books and other digital scans of out-of-print books, don't forget to search for your female ancestors as well. While searching for a male ancestor in the 19th century, I stumbled upon a reference to his wife in a published list of real estate transactions for St. Louis, Missouri, in the 1890s. I had not bothered to search for her name.

That's a mistake I will not repeat.


  1. Barbara MoorhouseFeb 27, 2013, 7:57:00 AM

    Great reminder, Michael! I searched GenealogyBank for relatives who lived in Colorado Springs in the 1900-1940s. Since their last name was relative uncommon, I only used that. Turned out all but one of the references was either for the wife or for their daughter. The only one for the husband was his obit.! Turned out, his wife owned all their real estate (and quite a bit at that)--don't know why! Daughter was single, a music teacher and quite the mountaineer.

  2. Abigail Adams said, "Remember the ladies." Good advice, Michael. I have also at times searched only the last name and found some things I would have missed otherwise.

  3. Just last names are always good too, but, for me that only works with unusual ones like my Trautvetter, Ufkes, and Rampley families (grin!). Barbara's comment brings up a good point about "women sometimes having the money," which explains why one of my wife's families in Chicago in the 1880s it is the WIFE, not the HUSBAND, who is buying the home, mortgaging it and paying it off.

    Sometimes we get hung up on searching by ladies with their maiden name that we forget that in many records they're listed with their married name.