Your birth certificate includes a wealth of information about you, including your mother's maiden name. If you do not have access to your birth certificate, purchase a copy through your state's office of vital records. If you cannot find a birth certificate for various reasons, Juliana Smith, editor of the Ancestry Daily News newsletter, provides some of the various strategies she has used to find a woman's maiden name.
Finding Your Birth Certificate
Determine the area where you were born.
Contact the office of vital records for that state or location.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers a list of each state's office of vital records. Ask about the current fee to obtain a copy of your birth certificate.
Write or visit the office of vital records for that state or location, requesting a copy of your birth certificate. In your request include as much of the following to ensure you receive the correct certificate: your name, gender, date of birth, parents' names, location of birth, reason request is being made, and your contact information. Include the correct payment in check or money order form. Do not send cash.
When you receive the copy of your birth certificate, your mother's maiden name will be revealed.
Without your Birth Certificate
Examine birth certificates for any of your siblings.
Examine any possible marriage records of your mother. Marriage records can be obtained in the same manner as birth records.
If your mother is deceased, her death record should contain her maiden name.
If all records lead to dead ends, look at home sources. Old letters, photographs, and documents can reveal maiden names. Also, interview family members and neighbors.
Items you will need
- Letter writing supplies
- Check or money order
- Check the records through multiple sources if you are unsure about a maiden name. Misspellings are common and verifying the name through multiple sources can eliminate confusion.