Tuesday, November 20, 2012


HOW TO FIND A MAIDEN NAME and Locating a marriage record
   The Lawrence Register website and Facebook page

Yesterday I mentioned that I would tell you about the marriage record I located.  I've been researching the children of Basil LUNSFORD and his wife Mahala TAYLOR.  They had 6 children.  This is about their son, Chas. Emmit LUNSFORD.
Step 1 - try and locate a birth record for him.  I know that there are many Ohio birth records online. You can check both ancestry.com and familysearch.org for those records.  Those two websites are where I always look first.  Sure enough I located a birth record for Chas. Emmit Lunceford (notice the variation in the spelling).  This record listed his parents as Basil Lunceford and Mahala Taylor.  TIP: Never be too concerned when the spelling of names in records is different from what you have.  Spelling was just not as big a deal back then and of course you always have to account for transcription errors.  Here is what the text of the record looks like.  There is no image.  However, you could find it by looking at the microfilm available at your local family history center.  More on that later.

Ohio, County Births, 1856-1909, Chas. Emmit Lunceford, 1892

name:Chas. Emmit Lunceford

event date:18 Jun 1892
event place:Mason, Lawrence, Ohio
father:Basil Lunceford
father's birthplace:
father's age:
mother:Mahala Taylor
mother's birthplace:
mother's age:
reference number:Bk 4 Pg 148
film number:317728
digital folder number:004016340
image number:00360 
Step 2 - Locate Chas. Emmit Lunsford in census records.    Since it was his marriage I was wanting to learn about I began with the 1910 census, when he would have been 18 years old.  Still living with his parents.  Next, the 1920 census.  BINGO!  I locate a Charles Lunsford of about the correct age & place of birth, living in Ohio with a wife named Myrtle. The 1930 census has Chas. & Myrtle, still in Ohio and now with 2 children.  1940 census - Charles & Myrtle still in Ohio and with just their son, Ralph, living at home.  What is Myrtle's maiden name?  The best way to locate that would be by finding a marriage record.  At least that's my first step in trying to find out a maiden name. 

Step 3 - Look for a marriage record.  I checked all over Ancestry.com and familysearch.org.  I tried many variations of the surname spelling, swapping Charles' middle and first name, searching by initials only, and any other twist I could think of.  NOTHING!  Darn!
Then it came to me.  There is a wonderful site for anyone with roots in Lawrence County, Ohio.  It's called the Lawrence Register and can be found at
Lawrence Register 

This site is full of incredible record and history for Lawrence County.  It's run by a wonderful lady named Martha Martin.  I had the pleasure of meeting Martha and having her show me around Lawrence County and neighboring Cabell County, West Virginia during a visit this past summer.  Remember - sites similar to this one are all over the web.  Just use your search engine and search for the town, city or county and see what comes up.
HEY!  Did I tell you that this particular website also has a Facebook page?  It's a group called Lawrence Register.  Here's the link: Lawrence Register Group on Facebook

Sure enough, under Marriage Records on this site I was able to locate an index record for C. E. Lunsford to Myrtle WISEMAN.  I had already determined what I believed would be the correct year range for them to have married.  I based that on the age of their children in the 1930 census.  The index gives me a range of years and a volume and page number.  Now I just need to get a copy of the record.  Is the index absolute proof that I have found the record?  No.  However, a copy of the record may name their parents and will give me the date of the marriage.  If the parents names are not included then I will continue to try to find further evidence of Myrtle's maiden name.  Perhaps in obituaries, birth and/or death records of her children and maybe even in newspaper announcements about events in their lives.
UPDATE - See my post on 12/26/12 for a follow up on Myrtle's maiden name.

This is a good start to filling out the facts and events in this couple's history.  I can't wait to learn more.  Try these methods for finding records for your own family and let me know what you find.

Back to my research,
Michigan Girl

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I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.