Why am I being asked for my spouse’s certificates?

You’re joining a lineage society yourself, but you’re being asked for vital records for your spouse. Why?

This is a question we get all the time.

The basic answer: the societies are looking ahead to your children and grandchildren who may be interested in membership. Anything they already have on file, your descendants do not have to provide. This can be a positive thing.

If your spouse doesn’t want to be listed – or if you had an acrimonious separation from a prior spouse and don’t want them included – there are options. Most societies have a system to just include you or to include a note explaining the situation. Speak to your society’s registrar or historian.

Just be aware that if your child joins down the road, the request will likely come up again.

Published by Bryna O'Sullivan

Proprietor of Charter Oak Genealogy, Bryna O'Sullivan specializes in assisting clients with lineage society applications and with French to English genealogical translations.

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