I was searching for Olive (Slade) Twogood’s parents and siblings. I found her in the 1850 U.S. census, age 45, born in New York. On the next page of the census but living next door is Gideon Slade Jr., age 38, also born in New York I formed the premise that Gideon might be Olive’s brother and using the two of them I was able to find their parents in New York. Had I only examined Olive’s census page, I would have missed finding her brother next door and it would have been harder to match up their parents.
If you’re stuck trying to find families of females, maybe it’s time to revisit some of these records with a plan to examine them more thoroughly. This is not intended to be a comprehensive list, but will help you get started.
1. Census records: Study the household for every year you can find your female. Use both the U.S. censuses plus the state censuses when available. When an older woman with a different surname is living in the household, it may be the wife’s mother. Also look at the neighbors in the surrounding pages. Sometimes parents or siblings are living nearby.
2. Vital records: If vital registration exists at the time of her death, you should examine her record. FamilySearch has some vital records online and some on microfilm. You may want to order a record through VitalRec.com or other sources mentioned on Cyndis List.
4. Obituaries: Try GenealogyBank. If you have a death date and a newspaper is not available online, call the local public library and ask the reference librarian if he or she will search for a few days beyond that date.
5. Probate records: She may be named in someone’s will. For example, Isabella Chaplin never married. In her will she named her niece, Sarah D. Cone, as heir, but Sarah had died before Isabella, so Isabella’s estate was divided among all her living family members. Isabella’s unnamed sister (Sarah’s mother) had also died, but that sister’s heirs were named: Mary Dixon, Joseph Dixon, and the children of Sarah D. Cone. From that evidence, it appears Isabella’s sister married a man surnamed Dixon. Some probate records are available online through Sampubco. The Family History Library also has on microfilm many U.S. county probate records. These can be ordered for viewing at your local branch of the Family History Library.
6. Land records: When a property was sold, the wife was required to sign a “dower release” swearing she was not coerced to sell the property because she would be giving up her dower right to the land. In one case I found for Gideon Slade (Gideon Slade Jr.’s father), this was the only time his wife’s first name was given, Chloe. In another case, Daniel Halstead purchased land from William Twogood. The record revealed William Twogood had purchased it from Deborah Twogood and she had inherited this parcel with her siblings from their father, Thomas Halstead. Use the land records to also study the neighbors for family members, maybe brothers or parents. The Family History Library has many U.S. county land records.
7. Military records: Search Footnote.com for pension files which may reveal date and place of marriage. Widows were also eligible for a pension. Applications to join the Daughters of the American Revolution may shed light on a female’s name.
Related post: Resource for Finding Females.
Did you give it a try? Did you find anything new?
 1850 U.S. census, Winnebago County, Illinois, population schedule, Butler township, p. 362, dwelling 75, family 80, Sidney Twogood household, and p. 363, dwelling 76, family 81, Gideon Slade Jr., household; digital images, Ancestry.com (http://www.ancestry.com : accessed 26 June 2011); citing NARA microfilm M432, roll 134.
 Rensselaer County, New York, Deeds Book 47:462, William Twogood and Sally or Sarah Twogood to Daniel Halsted, 11 February 1836; County Clerk’s Office, Troy; FHL microfilm 546,718. Rensselaer County, New York, Deeds Book 47:462, Deborah Twogood to William Twogood, 11 February 1834.