Add-on To National Women’s History Month – Everybody Has A Mother

A month to honor women’s history seems to fit so perfectly with what we do as genealogists. After all, half of our ancestors are women. In honor of this event, how about a plan to find the women in your tree.

Women Should Be Recorded With Their Maiden Names: In Family Tree Maker (and probably other software) there is a report called Data Errors. One of the options for that report is “wife’s surname same as husband’s surname.” Plan to run this report and check each of those names to determine if the wife’s maiden name really is the same as her husband’s surname (which in some cases it should be). If it is not really the same, consider removing the surname. A blank may be better than a wrong surname..

Find Women in Your Tree Without Last Names: Using the index panel in Family Tree Maker you can quickly skim the list to find the women in your tree without maiden names. These are the women to focus on this month – give them back their names!

Find Maiden Names of Women in Your Tree: One way to learn about finding the maiden names of women is to watch Mary Penner’s webinar on some research strategies and then applying them to some of the tougher challenges in your tree. You can access it by going to the Learning Center on and clicking on Webinars. Scroll down to “Finding Females in Your Family Tree” from May 2010. Good luck!

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