Track the Widowed Ancestors

It can be easy to lose a female ancestor after her husband dies. Sometimes she’s right there where she always was and sometimes she’s not. Failing to research the widow after her husband’s death can cause the researcher to overlook additional information and possible clues about her origins and parents. Sometimes additional children are overlooked. If you’ve lost your widowed ancestress, consider:

  • searching marriage records to see if she remarried;
  • looking for deeds drawn up after the husband’s death or (more likely) settlement deeds drawn up after the widow died;
  • whether she moved in with one of her children who had left the area;
  • looking to see if she’s buried near any of her children in cemeteries other than where the husband is buried;
  • seeing if she applied for any military pensions based upon her husband’s service.

These suggestions won’t apply to all people in all places, but they are worth considering. And, as always, learn as much as you can about the local records that were created and being kept during the time period your ancestors lived there.