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  1. #1

    Default what entr for a wife where maiden name not kn

    Have been researching for quite a long time and though it was time to tidy up a bit, fill in missing sources etc.
    I found that I have a lot of women on my tree with only a first name.
    this arose because I find say Fred Smith the son of George and Mary. I can fill in George Smith as the father and have always just put in Mary rather than Mary Unknown, on the basis that I hope to find a marriage later.

    Now the years have gone by and still no marriages for all these women, and I don't want to leave them all as Mary Ann or whatever.

    So generally do people put in Mary Smith because she is married to George Smith. I have also seen Mrs Smith, which I cant approve of.

    Thoughts please.

    Cheers Ed

  2. #2
    Settled in very nicely!
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    Hi Ed.
    I'm pretty much in the same boat as you. I have 2 possible marriages between an Ambrose and Elizabeth - 1 was in 1802 and the other 1803. Both were in Durham, and of course there was no father named.

    2 children were born - location of birth unknown - as Ambrose was in the military. Ambrose returned to England with the 2 children and they were baptised in 1809. Ambrose and the 2 children arrived in Australia in 1810. In 1811, another child was born and baptised in Australia - mother's name now Sarah

    So what happened to the original Elizabeth and who was Sarah the mother of the 3rd child?

    No surnames provided for in my tree.

    Colin

  3. #3
    Brick wall demolition expert!
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    Ed, I always use "Mary Unknown" because it's only fair to the lady and because you sometimes get cousins, say, marrying who both have the same name and then you could forget whether it was their real name or not.

  4. #4
    Starting to feel at home
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    Hi
    To answer your original question, most of us have women in our trees with no surnames. I generally will enter them as "Susan" Unknown. I find that using their married name can cause confusion; Smith for example is a common name and perhaps her maiden name was Smith. Additionally having a surname in place leads me to skip over that person. For me using Unknown tends to catch my attention if I am browsing through the tree and occasionally I can find some new facts that can break down the brick walls.

    Jo

  5. #5
    Brick wall demolition expert!
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    For all the wives whose maiden name is not known I just leave the surname blank. That way if I subsequently find information suggesting something for her name, I don't sit scratching my head wondering where the name I currently had came from; I instantly know that I missing that piece of information.

    In my view only the maiden name should be used, because otherwise you are saying that you are not interested in the female side, and yet it provides 50 per cent of the tree. It can also be a source of a good family tale. For instance my 4th gt grandmother Diana Richards, who was born about 1750, married by 4th gt grandfather, John Gambold, in 1778. He died in 1801. In 1803 she married a David Jenkins, and then in 1808 she married John Lewis, who died in 1826, and his will talked about his wonderful and beautiful wife. Most of this has only been found out in the last couple of years, thanks to search engines. Before this all we knew was that she had remarried in 1803, and then "vanished", when in fact she did not die until 1828, and was living at the farm where my gt grandfather was born in 1845. So for the first time we learnt that it was she and John Lewis who had established the family at that farm, and not her son, William Gambold, and at least 10 years earlier that we thought.

  6. #6
    Sadly Passed away - Rest in Peace Nicolina's Avatar
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    I also enter "unknown" and then every so often start checking again to see if I can find a marriage. I still have several to find but, thankfully, most are now sorted. It's amazing where you get your information from. Only today I found a clue, to one, in some MI transcriptions that I purchased. I now know that she was buried in 1947, aged 87, so I can now narrow her down a bit further. Some MIs also give, "daughter of" info which is great.

  7. #7
    A fountain of knowledge
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    Finding I had too many Mary, Sarah and Elizabeth Unknowns in my tree. I now record them with their married name and add nee? That way I know who is who when I need to find someone in my tree.

  8. #8
    Famous for offering help & advice
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    If I don't know a maiden name I put their married name in brackets i.e. Mary ( Jones) This tells me whose wife she is and that I have to hunt up that marriage yet.
    I guess it is all personal preference.

    Sue

  9. #9
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    I also use "UNKNOWN" but I assign a number and put the husbands name in brackets. So in your case she would be Mary (George Smith) UNKNOWN001. 001 signifies that she is the first of my unknown people so the next one becomes 002 etc.

  10. #10

    Default what name for a wife

    Thanks for all the comments. So the consensus is you do what ever works for you :-) So I am going to leave well alone and leave them with just a Christian name and hope that one day I will find who their parents were.

    cheers Ed

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