Back in the late 1800s, town and county histories were popular. Much like the Who’s Who books of today, people would pay to include their biographies in these books, and those biographies usually included some kind of family history. If you look at the towns and counties where your male ancestor with the elusive wife lived, you may find a published history of that place.
Maybe your male ancestor has a biography in it that mentions his wife’s first name, maiden name, or both. Or perhaps one of the couple’s children has a biography in it that includes the names of his parents, including the maiden name of his mother. The sections of the books that talk about the founding of the town or county may also mention your mysterious female ancestor by name.
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