So I finally got my hands on a copy of the divorce case for my my third-great-grandparents, Thomas and Mary Frost (more later about how I got it). As I hoped, it has her maiden name!
There’s just one problemI can’t read it, exactly:
Alanis Morrisette would call this situation ironic.
I searched Ancestry.com for Mary Wol*am (the wildcard * can stand in for more than one letter). Some of the possibilities are Wollam, Wolam, Wolham, Woldham, Woltam and Wolfram.
I even found an 1850 census record for a Wollam family living in Ohio with a Mary of the right age, born about 1840. But this family has no Matilda, one of Mary’s sisters, who gives her name but not her age in a deposition for the divorce case. The same family (I think) in later censuses doesn’t have a Matilda, either, and is no longer in Ohio. (My third-great-grandparents married in Cincinnati in 1865.)
I can’t find a family in the census that fits Wolham, my first thought when I read the name. And no luck yet in my search for a Wol-something-am (or a Frost) marriage record.
I’ve looked through the rest of the 103-page file for another maiden-name mention and can’t find one, though the writing is really hard to make out in places. I need to spend some quality time with the document.
Are you searching for a female ancestor’s maiden name? Check out our new Family Tree University course Finding Female Ancestors (I’m planning to!), which starts this weekit’s open for registration through Friday. You’ll get help developing a research strategy for female ancestors, teasing out maiden names and more.