Strategies for Finding Female Ancestors
An recent article in the Broomfield Enterprise, "Genealogy: Tips for finding females that matter to you" explores the issue of finding female ancestors through the men in their lives and provides a list of 10 sources to check. As the article observes, "Often the answer to identifying a woman can be found in the records of her husband, son, or brother." This proved true in my own experience. I found one female ancestor's second married name, not among legal documents, but in letters she had written to her son. The letters were found through a message board correspondent -- and not a relative. Interestingly, my respondent was not a family history researcher and was not on the message boards. Rather, he found my message board post through a Google search.
While letters and diaries is # 8 on the list of 10, don't forget to put those puzzles out on the message boards. It may take some time. My post was out there four years, but the person responding had a wealth of information, including a collection of personal letters.