What is the best way to indicate a spouse when you do not know the name?
I am researching a couple. The husband is identified numerous times; in fact I located records for several of his children in England, Cheshire Bishop's Transcripts. In each christening record, the name of the father is listed, the name of the child is listed, but the name of the mother is not written. So I have a father with five children. I do not know how to indicate the mother. Thank you.
Paul W ✭✭✭✭✭
I prefer to leave the field blank. Some time ago, FamilySearch created "?" IDs for every unknown mother or spouse. This has given me a lot of work to complete over the years - in either merging all those "question marks" with each other (when it has been established, say, they represent just one mother for multiple children) or in merging them with a "real individual" once I have established her identity.
I far prefer to avoid any unnecessary merging of "?" or "Unknown" IDs, than creating these meaningless identities, which have not been a help at all to me - especially when I have created them (in the past) in my personal software package, then had to face a long list of individuals named "Unknown" when I went to the "Index" section!2
In this situation, do not add the mother. It will be assumed that a family showing a father with children, somewhere there is a mother!
But - here are some things you could try and probably you are already aware of:
- If the dates of the family are within Census years, then a first name for a mother may be found there. In England, Census records were kept from 1841.
- Use the Search Records option in FamilySearch to locate other records that have recorded the children's births/baptisms
- Search the Partner sites for a possible mention.
- Civil registration started in England in 1837. If this year is not too late, you are able to search for Births/Deaths/Marriages at this site: https://www.freebmd.org.uk/
Wishing you well in locating this most important member of the family!2
I am just another 'lowly' User/Patron ...
Short Answer: Leave the "Name"; as, "Blank" (ie. NO "Name").
Personally, I would suggest that the best way to indicate that a Spouse is "Unknown"; and, WITHOUT any details, is to NOT include a Spouse - simple as that.
In the past, it was often the case, that many Users/Patrons, would have the "Name", of an "Unknown" Spouse; as, "Mr"; or, "Mrs", with the 'Family Name'/'Surname' of the "Known" Spouse; plus, devoid of any details.
These days, many Users/Patrons, seem to just leave the "Unknown" Spouse; as, "Blank" (ie. NOTHING, no record).
There is NO, right; or wrong, way about it ...
The choice is yours.
I hope this helps.
ps: just remember another User/Patron MAY come along and "Change" what you have done.
That is what I do. I just put Unknown.😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊😊1
One other place may be of use to you if the time period for these children is after July 1837.
The General Register Office online - GRO Index of births and deaths. Births will give you the mother's maiden name and for the deaths, the age. The maiden name may lead you to a marriage.
I find ths is a gold mine for research in this period.3