Author Topic: Bigamy  (Read 650 times)

Offline miwb

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 8
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Bigamy
« on: Sunday 31 December 17 12:11 GMT (UK) »
Hi all,

Bit of a strange one this, and it's got me baffled. I always thought that my great grandfather was an only child, his parents married in 1874 and he was born shortly after. By the time of the 1881 census he was living with just his father and there was no sign of his mother, infact I've never found any trace of her again whether it be BMD or census returns. Her husband married again in 1889 so I presumed that she had perhaps died.

A couple of years ago I made a surprising discovery in an old newspaper. The husband's second wife had taken out a court order against him to pay maintenance. However it turned out that he was still legally married to my great grandfather's mother. Not only was he a bigamist but so was she, the court heard that she was still living, had married again and had ten children.

Despite searching I have been unable to find her, her second marriage or any of the ten children she was reported to have had with her second husband.

Names & dates are:

William Coates b. 1852 (West Bromwich) married Matilda Foster b. 1857 (Smethwick) in 1874 at Christ Church, West Bromwich.

Their son, my great grandfather William was born in 1874 (West Bromwich).

William senior married again in 1889 to Lucy Taylor nee Judge.

The newspaper report was dated 1891 and it stated that Matilda claimed that she had left her husband 15 years ago so roughly 1876.

Can anyone help in anyway or suggest anything that would help in my search.

Thanks

RootsChat is the busiest, largest free family history forum site in the country. It is completely free to use. Register now.
Also register instantly with Facebook or Twitter (and other social networks). Start your genealogy search now.


Offline Girl Guide

  • RootsChat Aristocrat
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,251
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Bigamy
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 31 December 17 12:45 GMT (UK) »
Hhmm I wonder if Matilda was living in the same area as William?  The newspaper report states that he went round to her house and she threw a bucket of water over him.

His address is given as Hargate Lane, West Bromwich.

The paper is dated January 1891 so have you looked to see if William is still at this address in the 1891 census?

It may be worth checking the streets around Hargate Lane to see if Matilda is in the area.

The case was adjourned to the 19th February, so is there another newspaper report relating to this?

RootsChat is the busiest, largest free family history forum site in the country. It is completely free to use. Register now.
Also register instantly with Facebook or Twitter (and other social networks). Start your genealogy search now.


Offline miwb

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 8
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Bigamy
« Reply #2 on: Sunday 31 December 17 13:02 GMT (UK) »
Hi Girl Guide, thanks for the reply.

I've been unable to find any trace of another report regarding the adjournment date in February. Whether one exists or not I don't currently know.

William had moved from Hargate Lane by the time of the 1891 census but not far away.

I have searched the immediate area but didn't really find any possible answers unless I overlooked something. Will try again.

I was wondering if any records relating to the court case would still exist?

Offline josey

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 4,425
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.natio
    • View Profile
Re: Bigamy
« Reply #3 on: Sunday 31 December 17 13:09 GMT (UK) »
If Matilda was living under another name & the '10' children were registered in that name, they would still presumably have her maiden name of Foster registered. I thought that on the free GRO index you may be able to find a pattern of children in the area born with MMN Foster & consistent surname however on second thoughts, you have to search with a surname.

I know you have said you have tried searching but may be worth searching the 1881, 1891, 1901 censuses in the area for a Matilda b 1857 &  born Smethwick, seeing if in 1891 or 1901 any of them have a large number of children, then checking any of the children for MMN Foster. You might expect the first to have been born 1877/78. Laborious but if you don't know the name Matilda was living under it's one place to start. 
Seeking: baptism Philip Murray 1813 nr Chatham Kent, death Ralph James Dunn b 1808 1861 - 1868 in Newington 1861
IRE: Kik DRAY[EA], PURCELL, WHITE: Mea LYNCH: Tip MURRAY, SHEEDY: Wem ALLEN, ENGLISHBY; Dub PENROSE: Lim DUNN[E], FRAWLEY, WILLIAMS.
87th Regiment RIF: MURRAY
ENG; Marylebone HAYTER, TROU[W]SDALE, Con HAMPTON, TREMELLING Wry CLEGG, HOLLAND, HORSEFIELD Coventry McGINTY
CAN; Nova Scotia [Halifax, Pictou]: HOLLAND, WHITE, WILLIAMSON

Offline Girl Guide

  • RootsChat Aristocrat
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,251
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Bigamy
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 31 December 17 13:17 GMT (UK) »
Not sure about records for the court case.  If any still exist I would imagine they would be with the local archives office.

Not that it is of any assistance, but I think Matilda's birth registration may be this one:-

Births Mar 1857   

Foster    Matilda        Kings Norton    6c   437

Mother's maiden surname is Rushton.


Offline miwb

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 8
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Bigamy
« Reply #5 on: Sunday 31 December 17 13:30 GMT (UK) »
Hi Josey it's the lack of surname that's been the problem. I'll go through the census records again to see if I've missed any possibles.

Girl Guide that's the correct Matilda yes.

Offline josey

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 4,425
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.natio
    • View Profile
Re: Bigamy
« Reply #6 on: Sunday 31 December 17 13:35 GMT (UK) »
1851 HO107; Piece: 2025; Folio: 145; Page: 12; 1861 not found; 1871 RG10; Piece: 2986; Folio: 31; Page: 2
So Matilda's parents were Samuel & Jane.  She may have used these names for her subsequent children....when you are fumbling in the dark any lead is worthwhile  ;)
Seeking: baptism Philip Murray 1813 nr Chatham Kent, death Ralph James Dunn b 1808 1861 - 1868 in Newington 1861
IRE: Kik DRAY[EA], PURCELL, WHITE: Mea LYNCH: Tip MURRAY, SHEEDY: Wem ALLEN, ENGLISHBY; Dub PENROSE: Lim DUNN[E], FRAWLEY, WILLIAMS.
87th Regiment RIF: MURRAY
ENG; Marylebone HAYTER, TROU[W]SDALE, Con HAMPTON, TREMELLING Wry CLEGG, HOLLAND, HORSEFIELD Coventry McGINTY
CAN; Nova Scotia [Halifax, Pictou]: HOLLAND, WHITE, WILLIAMSON

Offline heywood

  • RootsChat Honorary
  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 25,031
    • View Profile
Re: Bigamy
« Reply #7 on: Sunday 31 December 17 14:12 GMT (UK) »
1881 2845 /37 /12

Richard Sheldon   27 yrs
Matilda Coates Sheldon 26 yrs
Samuel Sheldon   3 yrs
Hannah Sheldon   1 yrs

Might be worth looking at

There is a Hannah Jane b 188p West Bromwich with mmn Foster

Heywood
Census Information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline heywood

  • RootsChat Honorary
  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 25,031
    • View Profile
Re: Bigamy
« Reply #8 on: Sunday 31 December 17 14:17 GMT (UK) »
1891 2269/60

Matilda Sheldon is shown as 40 yrs old and the family are in BrookStreet, West Bromwich as they are in 1881 -Brooke’s Street
Census Information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk