American Ancestors New England Historic Genealogical Society - Founded 1845 N.E. Historic Genealogical Society Seal View Your Shopping Cart Join NEHGS

Discussion Board

Legal Rights for women - early 19th century
User Rank: Beginner
Joined: 1/24/2012
Posts: 2

Created By:William Jenkins
I'm studying a couple that had four sons.  Wife from Delaware and Husband from Pennsylvania.  First child born in 1826.  I also have a Probate record of Wife's father settled in 1830 with her maiden name cited in the record.  My understanding was that all property belonged to the husband in the early 19th century and the wife had no property.  With the probate record listing the maiden name of the wife cited above, this would mean that the two were never married (at least not before 1830).  Any thoughts on this?
User Rank: Contributor
Joined: 8/9/2010
Posts: 24

Created By:Virginia

 Were they by any chance, German or Dutch?  In the records of my 18th century German ancestors of New York, the wife was often referred to by her maiden name.  Most notably, this happened in the church records, but I have seen it also in probates and deeds.  So, it's not necessarily an indication that the couple wasn't married.


New England Historic Genealogical Society
99 - 101 Newbury Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

© 2010 - 2014 New England Historic Genealogical Society