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How to Find Mothers Maiden Name

by Andrea Buckner Schoenherr

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

Tip

  • 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.

About the Author

Andrea Buckner Schoenherr is a middle childhood educator. She greatly enjoys teaching students to write and is excited to use her own writing skills outside the school setting. She has a Bachelor and Master degree in education, recently earning the Heidelberg University 2009 Master of Education Award.