Don’t Neglect the Women

There is no doubt that in local records throughout much of American history women do not appear as often as men. Genealogists know that an American women who dies before the twentieth century is more likely to have an estate settlement if her husband died before her.

But it is a mistake to assume that a woman would never appear in a court or land record in the United States before the twentieth century. While divorce was less common, it did happen. There were women who, for one reason or another, had separate property and occasionally appeared in a court record or a land record because of it.

Failing to search for that female relative in court and land records “because I have not found one yet,” means that you won’t find those who are there.