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I have a German third great grandmother who appears to have used her maiden name at times as well as her married name. She appears with her husband in 1824 in Armstrong County, PA on a communicant list with her maiden name. Has anyone come across German women using their maiden names at times?

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    Welcome to Genealogy.SE! I have no such case in my German ancestry. It is common to use the maiden name for clarification purposes next to the married name (e.g. Auguste Müller, geb. (born) Schmidt), but even when a widow marries again, primarily her former married name is used. – lejonet Aug 15 '15 at 23:20
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    Hi, Nancy, welcome to G&FH.SE! If you'd like to add to your question, such as adding more information about which records have her maiden name and which have her maiden name, you can use the edit button to edit your question. If you need more information about how the site works, you can take the tour and explore the help center. – Jan Murphy Aug 15 '15 at 23:21
  • @lejonet I don't have any experience with this time period, but in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, women do get listed under their maiden names in some record sets like passenger lists. I will see if I can find some research guides to cite and write a proper answer. Looking at records for the entire community may reveal whether there is a pattern of usage (that is, looking at the more records in the same record group instead of simply collecting the record you think is your ancestor.) – Jan Murphy Aug 15 '15 at 23:26
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    @Nancy Fowler - since it is a communicant list where you saw her name, perhaps her particular religious denomination (or just her congregation!) used the practise of retaining maiden names. Which group was it ? – bgwiehle Aug 16 '15 at 1:49
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"...a German third great grandmother... appears with her husband in 1824 in Armstrong County, PA on a communicant list with her maiden name"

As mentioned in lejonet's comment,
"It is common to use the maiden name for clarification purposes next to the married name (e.g. Auguste Müller, geb. (born) Schmidt), but even when a widow marries again, primarily her former married name is used."

That is, most likely, she WAS going by her married name, not her maiden name, as was the normal practise in Germany and USA.

There are 3 main scenarios where a woman may go by her maiden name after marriage:

  • living in in a mixed cultural region where retaining the maiden name was normal for the majority (e.g. Hungary) -- does not apply to your ancestor
  • divorced, and has re-assumed her maiden name -- does not apply to your ancestor
  • peculiar practice within her religious sect -- unknown if applicable

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