Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • margi g
    • By margi g 12th Jun 19, 6:44 PM
    • 62Posts
    • 5Thanks
    margi g
    family history query
    • #1
    • 12th Jun 19, 6:44 PM
    family history query 12th Jun 19 at 6:44 PM
    I am researching family history and wonder if anyone else has come across this .
    I am trying to find a divorce petition or decree absolute for a relative.I am not finding anything. I have taken this query to the National Archive and they have looked into it and they cant come up with this information either.
    The people concerned in this divorce died years ago but their children are still around. It looks like the woman didnt divorce her first husband .she married again and had other children .
    Could there be any reason the National archive cant find the paperwork on this divorce?
    They have told me is doesnt matter where in the country it took place they should be able to find.
    Bit of a loss to know what to do to find out more.
    Any help would be appreciated

    This Forum tip was included in MoneySavingExpert.com's weekly email!
    If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply.
    Last edited by MSE Tine; 19-06-2019 at 10:13 AM.
Page 1
    • seashore22
    • By seashore22 12th Jun 19, 6:59 PM
    • 1,316 Posts
    • 3,066 Thanks
    seashore22
    • #2
    • 12th Jun 19, 6:59 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Jun 19, 6:59 PM
    When do you think the divorce would have happened?

    What was the date of the first marriage and the second?

    It would help to have a range to work from.

    What information was on the marriage certificates?
    • Keep pedalling
    • By Keep pedalling 12th Jun 19, 8:41 PM
    • 7,218 Posts
    • 8,455 Thanks
    Keep pedalling
    • #3
    • 12th Jun 19, 8:41 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Jun 19, 8:41 PM
    It’s always good to have a bit of colour in your family tree, I would record it as bigamy.
    • Grumpelstiltskin
    • By Grumpelstiltskin 12th Jun 19, 8:47 PM
    • 2,530 Posts
    • 2,908 Thanks
    Grumpelstiltskin
    • #4
    • 12th Jun 19, 8:47 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Jun 19, 8:47 PM
    Hoping this is England or Wales.

    N A say this.

    http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/divorce/

    So after 1937 they are not likely to have any records.

    Bear in mind it was only well into the 20th century that you had to provide proof of divorce on remarriage so earlier on the registrar accepted what people said, and they didn't always tell the truth.
    • bouicca21
    • By bouicca21 13th Jun 19, 12:02 AM
    • 4,770 Posts
    • 7,678 Thanks
    bouicca21
    • #5
    • 13th Jun 19, 12:02 AM
    • #5
    • 13th Jun 19, 12:02 AM
    What date (approximately) was the supposed divorce? Are you looking for a case file or simply proof of a decree? What does the second marriage certificate say about the marital status of the wife?
    • TonyMMM
    • By TonyMMM 13th Jun 19, 7:52 AM
    • 2,953 Posts
    • 3,417 Thanks
    TonyMMM
    • #6
    • 13th Jun 19, 7:52 AM
    • #6
    • 13th Jun 19, 7:52 AM
    If the divorce was post 1937, then you will need to get a copy of the decree from the court service.

    https://www.gov.uk/copy-decree-absolute-final-order

    This can be expensive if you don't know when/where it took place.

    The first place to look at is the certificate for the later marriage to see how they were described in the condition column e.g. spinster or "divorced, previously the wife of ..."
    • margi g
    • By margi g 13th Jun 19, 8:06 AM
    • 62 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    margi g
    • #7
    • 13th Jun 19, 8:06 AM
    • #7
    • 13th Jun 19, 8:06 AM
    the first marriage was 1947 the second 1958.I have the first marriage certificate,but only traced the second on local county council records. I think it should say "previous marriage dissolved" if the registrar has seen a decree absolute. But I doint know if they insisted on this
    THis is affecting my cousins who are the children of the woman concerned in these marriages. More worryingly the first husband never remarried. I can find no marriage certificate from the date of the first and 1974 when he died.
    • margi g
    • By margi g 13th Jun 19, 8:09 AM
    • 62 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    margi g
    • #8
    • 13th Jun 19, 8:09 AM
    • #8
    • 13th Jun 19, 8:09 AM
    the National Archive checked this for me from 1950 to 1960 and can find no record. The woman concerned married again in 1958
    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 13th Jun 19, 8:37 AM
    • 3,844 Posts
    • 7,468 Thanks
    trailingspouse
    • #9
    • 13th Jun 19, 8:37 AM
    • #9
    • 13th Jun 19, 8:37 AM
    I'm sorry to hear it's affecting the children of this couple - how did they come to find out there was a problem?
    The trouble with delving into our families' histories is that we are very likely to discover skeletons - and it's up to us as the ones doing the discovering to handle anything we find with tact and discretion.



    If you can't find a divorce, having gone to the lengths that you've gone to, then the most obvious conclusion is that they didn't divorce and the woman re-married bigamously. If those are the facts, then what matters is how you handle it.
    • margi g
    • By margi g 13th Jun 19, 8:50 AM
    • 62 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    margi g
    This started out as a change of name for one of the children .He was adopted by the second husband and had a very unhappy childhood. He recently took a DNA test to prove the name on his birth certificate is genuine (there were doubts as to who his father was) It proved the first husband of this woman was his father and he has other cousins whom he has never met,Bonus really!.My cousin who is changing his name wanted to know why his parents divorced .inthat tie you had to have a valid reason for divorce so he wanted to know what it was .Baically, I think he wanted to know who was to blame and who divorced who.
    If there was no proof of divorce it seems to lead to a bigamous marriage.It is best not to tell the third child ,from the second marriage, what we have discovered and leave it firmly in the past.Thanks for your input I appreciate you taking the time to reply
    • Grumpelstiltskin
    • By Grumpelstiltskin 13th Jun 19, 8:58 AM
    • 2,530 Posts
    • 2,908 Thanks
    Grumpelstiltskin
    As long as the second marriage took place in England or Wales you can obtain a PDF copy from the General Register Office for 7.


    Look on here for starters.


    https://www.freebmd.org.uk

    To find the actual quarter, now if she was born Smith, first husband was Jones look under both surnames to see which surnames she used, check both surnames and if she declared both then chances are she declared first marriage, if she only called herself Smith then chances are she didn't.

    https://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates/default.asp

    This is where you order the certificate.
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 13th Jun 19, 9:13 AM
    • 31,737 Posts
    • 81,330 Thanks
    Mojisola
    This started out as a change of name for one of the children .He was adopted by the second husband and had a very unhappy childhood. He recently took a DNA test to prove the name on his birth certificate is genuine (there were doubts as to who his father was) It proved the first husband of this woman was his father and he has other cousins whom he has never met,Bonus really!.My cousin who is changing his name wanted to know why his parents divorced .inthat tie you had to have a valid reason for divorce so he wanted to know what it was .Baically, I think he wanted to know who was to blame and who divorced who.
    Originally posted by margi g
    Even if you find paperwork, they may not provide the truth - as someone had to be at fault (both sides wanting out of the marriage wasn't good enough), it wasn't unusual for the man to agree to be found with another woman. There were hotels who provided this service - the woman who would be in the bed with him and the chambermaid who "discovered" them in the morning.
    • TonyMMM
    • By TonyMMM 13th Jun 19, 9:17 AM
    • 2,953 Posts
    • 3,417 Thanks
    TonyMMM
    the National Archive checked this for me from 1950 to 1960 and can find no record. The woman concerned married again in 1958
    Originally posted by margi g
    The National Archives don't hold ANY divorce records for that period. The only place is the court that issued the decree.

    However, post 1937, the case papers are not kept, so there will be no indication of the reason for the divorce on the decree, just the date and place it was issued.

    As long as the second marriage took place in England or Wales you can obtain a PDF copy from the General Register Office for 7.
    Originally posted by Grumpelstiltskin
    Marriages are not covered by the pdf option from GRO - it will have to be a paper certificate (11). Still a lot cheaper than getting a search done for the decree if you have no details.
    • bouicca21
    • By bouicca21 13th Jun 19, 10:28 AM
    • 4,770 Posts
    • 7,678 Thanks
    bouicca21
    The National Archive can only check records that they hold. Since they don’t hold case files post 1937, then obviously they won’t hold a file relating to this divorce. You are making the wrong assumptions.

    The only way to find out is to check the divorce decree as tonymmm suggested in post 6. A sensible first step would be to get a copy of the certificate for the second marriage in order to see what says about marital status.
    • peachyprice
    • By peachyprice 14th Jun 19, 10:22 PM
    • 20,444 Posts
    • 47,394 Thanks
    peachyprice
    Bear in mind it was only well into the 20th century that you had to provide proof of divorce on remarriage so earlier on the registrar accepted what people said, and they didn't always tell the truth.
    Originally posted by Grumpelstiltskin
    I don't think much has changed even now, the registrar asks if either of you have been married before and if you say 'no' they take your word for it.
    Accept your past without regret, handle your present with confidence and face your future without fear
    • TonyMMM
    • By TonyMMM 15th Jun 19, 11:35 AM
    • 2,953 Posts
    • 3,417 Thanks
    TonyMMM
    I don't think much has changed even now, the registrar asks if either of you have been married before and if you say 'no' they take your word for it.
    Originally posted by peachyprice
    Correct -as you can't prove a negative - but if you say "Yes", then you are required to show how that marriage ended by producing a decree of divorce, or a death certificate.
    • chesky
    • By chesky 15th Jun 19, 12:42 PM
    • 1,244 Posts
    • 2,162 Thanks
    chesky
    Correct -as you can't prove a negative - but if you say "Yes", then you are required to show how that marriage ended by producing a decree of divorce, or a death certificate.
    Originally posted by TonyMMM
    But if you were about to commit bigamy, I guess you wouldn't say 'yes' in such circumstances would you.

    Unless you were terminally stupid.
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 15th Jun 19, 9:07 PM
    • 16,377 Posts
    • 19,678 Thanks
    AnotherJoe
    THis is affecting my cousins who are the children of the woman concerned in these marriages. More worryingly the first husband never remarried. I can find no marriage certificate from the date of the first and 1974 when he died.
    Originally posted by margi g

    How is it affecting them?
    Please dont criticise my spelling. It's excellent. Its my typing that's bad.
    • StrawberryGrace
    • By StrawberryGrace 19th Jun 19, 1:44 AM
    • 142 Posts
    • 2,795 Thanks
    StrawberryGrace
    I'm a professional genealogist of over 15 years - bigamy is surprisingly common in history long past and not so long past, have come across it a fair bit
    Big thank you to all posters!
    • skull
    • By skull 19th Jun 19, 12:21 PM
    • 38 Posts
    • 40 Thanks
    skull
    I have the first marriage certificate, but only traced the second on local county council records. I think it should say "previous marriage dissolved" if the registrar has seen a decree absolute.
    It is possible that the second 'marriage' did not actually happen, and as the only trace is in council records, may have been on the word of the persons concerned, for appearances sake. Just a thought.

    Remember 'The Darling Buds of May' and Ma & Pa Larkin, only getting married when daughter Mariette did?
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

2,871Posts Today

7,506Users online

Martin's Twitter