Daughter of Mrs. John Smith Marries in 1911

A newspaper reference to a relative’s 1911 marriage in a local newspaper stated that she was the daughter of “Mrs. Susan Smith.” No father was listed. One might assume that Susan’s husband was dead or divorced because she was listed with her first name and without her husband being mentioned at all. Not in this case: Susan and her husband were separated (they ever divorced) and he was very much alive.

Whether a woman was “named” with her own first name or was listed as Mrs. HusbandFirstName HusbandLastName varies over time and sometimes there are regional differences as well.

The best bet is to copy the item as it is written and only infer what it says–that the mother had a certain name and was alive at the time of the marriage. Read other contemporary social page entries from the same newspaper to see how women are mentioned when no husband is listed with them.

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