Tracing some of your female ancestors when performing an LDS family search may be a little frustrating, especially if you do not know or are unsure of their maiden names. Another problem that you may face when researching your Mormon family tree’s female ancestors is a missing paper trail where you do not have enough solid research material to pin down a name. In this article we will cover five simple ways that can assist you in reading records and tracing your female ancestors from your LDS family search.
One of the first places you should look when trying to trace down any of your latter day saints family tree and not just female ancestors are census records. The United States census records from 1790 to 1794 can be extremely useful in tracing down your missing ancestors. When you are searching for female ancestors the information that you are going to be interested in researching will be dates of marriage, if you do not have the exact date of marriage for the particular ancestor you are tracing but you do know how long they were married then certain columns within the census records will be of significant interest to you. For example column 10 of the 1900 census and column 9 of the 1910 census display the total length of time in years that person was married. Using simple subtraction you should be able to ascertain an approximate date when they were married. You can then follow up your research by checking the data on applications for marriage licenses to help you narrow down your female ancestor.
The next tip that will help you with tracing your female ancestors from your LDS family tree involves researching naturalization records. If the female ancestor that you are tracing made an application to become a citizen of the united states then seeking out the official application documents which will include the petition for naturalization and your ancestors declaration of intent. One thing to bear in mind when researching naturalization documents is that until around 1922 wives would occasionally be listed on the naturalization records of their husbands, so if your ancestor applied to become a US citizen before this time you may want to trace the naturalization records of her husband. Before around 1906 all immigrants will have filed for naturalization in their county, municipal, federal or state court. If you are looking for a good place to research naturalization records pertaining to your LDS family search then you may want to try www.ancestry.com.
In order to obtain information for naturalization records after 1906 then you should submit a request under the freedom of information act to the US citizenship and immigration services or USCIS. If the female ancestor you are researching for your LDS family tree did not naturalize then you should try checking the alien registration records. From inside the main USCIS website you can click the more history and genealogy link which is located on the left hand side of the main page. Be advised that this service is not free and there will be a fee involved, typical processing takes between 90 and 120 days.
The right for women to vote on federal elections was passed in August of 1920, but when you are taking voting records into consideration when searching for your female ancestors you should also realise that they may have been voting at a local level such as in school or community elections before this date. Another thing to take into consideration as well is that depending on which state your female ancestor resided at the time she may have also been eligible to take part in elections at a state level. An example of this was found in New Jersey where women were granted the temporary right to vote from around 1790; however this right was then revoked back in 1807. For more information on women’s suffrage (right to vote) then you should check the archives library information centre.
You should never assume that your female ancestor that you are researching was purely a housewife and that they never worked outside of the home, even if family members have told you in their personal stories back when you first started your LDS Family tree research. Women would have worked in many different professions and occupations. An excellent resource pertaining to working women including pamphlets, books memoirs and diaries that you can use for tracing you’re working female ancestors is the Harvard University Library open collections program titled “women working 1800 – 1930”. You would be surprised to know that many women would have served in the military throughout history, for more information on this you can check out the women and military section of the ALIC site.
Your LDS family female ancestors may not have had access to social networks sites but they certainly were social people. The final tip in researching your female ancestors is to find their friends, in order to do this you may need to go back to your initial LDS family search and check census records and family documents to find friends of your ancestors. Go over your records that you have already researched, when your female ancestor immigrated did she travel alone or was she with another family member or a companion? Were there friends present that witnessed the marriage, go back and track the marriage records of your ancestor.
Use these five tips to help trace down your female LDS ancestors.