Author Topic: Divorce in 1939  (Read 474 times)

Offline SmallTownGirl

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Divorce in 1939
« on: Saturday 03 February 18 17:11 GMT (UK) »
Hi peeps

Have found a notice in Classified Adverts, Legal, in a national daily newspaper in April 1939 that reads:

To : [name of a man]
late of [place name and county name]

Take notice that a petition for Divorce by [name of a woman with the same surname as the man] of [address] has been filed indorsed with a notice to you to enter an appearance at the Divorce Registry, Somerset House, within one month after the date of this publication and to file answer to the charges therein   In default of your so doing the Court will hear the evidence and pronounce the judgement

[Name]
Registrar

and then the name and address of a firm of solicitors


Is there anyway of finding out if the divorce was finalised and if so, when, please?

Many thanks
STG



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Offline arthurk

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Re: Divorce in 1939
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 03 February 18 17:23 GMT (UK) »
Some divorce records are kept by the National Archives - go to their advanced search form at http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/advanced-search and search with reference J77. Restricting it to 1939 brought up only 15 results - the more recent the divorces, the fewer records have been kept.

Your best option might be a local newspaper - from childhood I remember them publishing lists of divorces granted. Or have they ever been in the London Gazette?
Researching among others:
Bartle, Bilton, Campbell, Craven, Emmott, Harcourt, Hirst, Kellet(t), Kennedy,
Meaburn, Mennile/Meynell, Metcalf(e), Palliser, Robinson, Rutter, Shipley, Stow, Wilkinson

Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

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Offline SmallTownGirl

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Re: Divorce in 1939
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 03 February 18 18:10 GMT (UK) »
Thanks arthurk

No luck finding either of them on the TNA website, even without specifying a date.  Searched the British Newspaper Archive for both her and him, but nothing comes up after the April 1939 notice, so maybe the local papers are not yet part of the BNA's collection.  I have spotted that she remarried in Q3 1940 though.

STG



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Offline rosie99

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Re: Divorce in 1939
« Reply #3 on: Saturday 03 February 18 18:19 GMT (UK) »
There is a post here where Dawnsh mentions divorce records
http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=755910.msg6055272#msg6055272
Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline SmallTownGirl

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Re: Divorce in 1939
« Reply #4 on: Saturday 03 February 18 18:28 GMT (UK) »
Thanks for that rosie99. 

So the local paper would be the best bet then.  Will just have to hope the right one is digitised soon!

Thanks again
STG
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Offline dawnsh

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Re: Divorce in 1939
« Reply #5 on: Saturday 03 February 18 20:03 GMT (UK) »
You will only get a definitve answer by applying to HMCTS but as my previous post explains it is costly and not necessarily worth the a4 sheet of paper you get as a reply.

Are they showing on the 1939 register?
Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Sherry-Paddington & Marylebone,
Longhurst-Ealing & Capel, Abinger, Ewhurst & Ockley,
Chandler-Chelsea

Offline SmallTownGirl

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Re: Divorce in 1939
« Reply #6 on: Saturday 03 February 18 23:03 GMT (UK) »
Can't find her, but he's 150 miles away living with a woman who uses the same surname as him.  ;)
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Offline AntonyMMM

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Re: Divorce in 1939
« Reply #7 on: Sunday 04 February 18 10:16 GMT (UK) »
That newspaper announcement shows that the petitioner did not have an address for the other party, so couldn't serve the papers on them. The legal announcement warns them of the proceedings, and so would allow the case to go ahead undefended if necessary.

But for 1939, the only way to be certain ff the divorce was granted is to pay for a copy of the decree.

If either party remarried later, then their marriage certificate should show their status as divorced, or "previous marriage dissolved" ..... although people did lie about these things, generally that would be pretty good evidence.

Offline SmallTownGirl

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Re: Divorce in 1939
« Reply #8 on: Sunday 04 February 18 10:56 GMT (UK) »
Yes, I realise she didn't have his address, and the last known one mentioned in the notice isn't where he's living on the 1939 Register, although it is in the same county.

I think I'm going to have to call this one a dead end for the individuals concerned, but still interested in details of timings etc.

If say, she went ahead and filed for divorce in May/June 1939 and it was uncontested, how long would it take to get the decree nisi and then the decree absolute, please?

STG

Edited to say:  Just dawned on me that if she did go ahead, she would know that she was divorced and legally entitled to re-marry, whereas if he never saw the advert he wouldn't know he was divorced and that could explain why he didn't re-marry.  Make sense? 
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