Don’t Make it a Maiden Name if You Are Not Certain

elkatammenThe 1895 will of Tamme Tammen in Pike County, Illinois, refers to his wife as “Elka B. Franklen Tammen.”

Franklen (actually most likely Franken given where the Tammens were from) could have been Elka’s maiden name, middle name, or married name with a previous husband.

I should include in my notes on Elka that she is referred to as “Elka B. Franklen Tammen” in her husband’s 1895 will. I should not enter that as her maiden name.

Using it for a clue to other relatives when searching is advised. But there’s not really good evidence in this will that it’s her maiden name. There are other possibilities.

This will is analyzed in detail in Issue 3-51 of Casefile Clues.


2 thoughts on “Don’t Make it a Maiden Name if You Are Not Certain

  1. Patty Gilbert

    Interesting issue to try to figure out especially when spelling & or pronunciation is involved. At least we both have some odd spellings in r families names. We both have families who lived in the same counties. I am getting closer to them, inch by inch.

  2. Ann A.

    It’s also common to find a widowed mother living with her married daughter in a census record. Is the mother’s surname the daughter’s maiden name? More research is needed to determine that.


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