Author Topic: Case of polygamy / divorce in 1800s?  (Read 424 times)

Offline History Lives

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Case of polygamy / divorce in 1800s?
« on: Sunday 30 August 20 00:13 BST (UK) »
I am investigating my ancestors Edward and Mary Ann Hughes of Boughton in Chester. My 4x great grandmother is Frances Hughes born 1825 in Chester to Mary Hughes, no father listed. Her father is listed as Edward Hughes on her 1846 marriage so he would seem to be her father.

Edward and Mary Hughes married shortly after Frances was born, in 1827 in Chester.

There children are as follows:

Frances 1825
Margaret 1828
Jane 1831
Ann 1833
William 1836
Mary 1843

First mystery is that 1851 census has a grandson living with Edward and Mary, Robert aged 1,  and I don't know who his parents are. There is a grandaughter, Mary Ann, who I have figured out is an illegitimate daughter of Frances Hughes.

Again in 1861, there are lots of grandchildren living with Edward, who is now listed as widowed. What's weird though is that Mary appears to still be alive and living on Foregate Street (just down the road) with their daughter Margaret.

In 1871, Edward seems to be living in Mount Pleasant, Liverpool, with another wife, and Mary (his old / other wife) seems to be living next door! What on Earth is going on here? Surely I'm making a mistake.
North West, North Wales and Isle of Man:

Ward, Campbell, Cowin, Cowell, Parry, Fryer, Davies, Hughes, Briscoe, Jones, Spencer, Brownbill, Crowfoot, Nield, Randles, Youde

Gozo, Malta:

Apap / De Apapis, Camilleri, Grech, Muscat, Micallef, Custo, De Nasi

Angus, Scotland:

Ormond, Salmond, Cook, MacDonald

Offline brigidmac

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Re: Case of polygamy / divorce in 1800s?
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 30 August 20 00:37 BST (UK) »
They are fairly common names could the nect door  ..mary and Margaret be in laws or totally unrelated ..
Is there anything to make them stand out..like birthplace or profession

Have you seen baptisms of any of the children ? They can supply extrs clues

*This site is useful
Choose your parish
http://www.lan-opc.org.uk/Broughton/stjohn/index.html
Roberts,Fellman.Macdermid smith jones,Bloch,Irvine,Hallis Stevenson

Offline History Lives

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Re: Case of polygamy / divorce in 1800s?
« Reply #2 on: Sunday 30 August 20 01:17 BST (UK) »
They are fairly common names coyld the nect door ish ..mary and Margaret be in laws or totally unrelated ..
Is there anything to make them stand out..like birthplace or profession

Have you seen baptisms of any of the children ? They can supply extrs clues

*This site is useful
Choose your parish
http://www.lan-opc.org.uk/Broughton/stjohn/index.html

Edward Hughes was simply a labourer. The 1841 census has him as born in the county, the 1851 census has him born in Saighton, about 5 mile from Chester. All of his children's baptism say they were living in Boughton, and that's where they were living in 1841 and 1851.

The 1871 census in Mount Pleasant says he was born in "Ambridge", which is Handbridge, also just outside Chester but not really near Saighton.
North West, North Wales and Isle of Man:

Ward, Campbell, Cowin, Cowell, Parry, Fryer, Davies, Hughes, Briscoe, Jones, Spencer, Brownbill, Crowfoot, Nield, Randles, Youde

Gozo, Malta:

Apap / De Apapis, Camilleri, Grech, Muscat, Micallef, Custo, De Nasi

Angus, Scotland:

Ormond, Salmond, Cook, MacDonald


Offline barryd

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Re: Case of polygamy / divorce in 1800s?
« Reply #3 on: Sunday 30 August 20 01:28 BST (UK) »
What on Earth is going on here?

The legal act of getting a divorce costs money. Solicitors fees, court fees, etc.. I wonder if that was the problem.

Offline History Lives

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Re: Case of polygamy / divorce in 1800s?
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 30 August 20 01:41 BST (UK) »
What on Earth is going on here?

The legal act of getting a divorce costs money. Solicitors fees, court fees, etc.. I wonder if that was the problem.

But why would she move to Liverpool with him and live next door if they were unofficially divorced? It just seems like too much of a coincidence that they have the right names and were both born in Chester, yet Edward had a new wife by 1871, if it's the right Edward.
North West, North Wales and Isle of Man:

Ward, Campbell, Cowin, Cowell, Parry, Fryer, Davies, Hughes, Briscoe, Jones, Spencer, Brownbill, Crowfoot, Nield, Randles, Youde

Gozo, Malta:

Apap / De Apapis, Camilleri, Grech, Muscat, Micallef, Custo, De Nasi

Angus, Scotland:

Ormond, Salmond, Cook, MacDonald

Offline crisane

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Re: Case of polygamy / divorce in 1800s?
« Reply #5 on: Sunday 30 August 20 03:35 BST (UK) »
They are two separate families
Kirk Place Roscoe St, Mount Pleasant Liverpool
1851 piece 2182 Folio45 Page 18
Edward Hughes   45 Chester
Hannah Hughes   43
Ann Hughes   9
Edward Hughes   7

So it can't be your family as your Edward and Mary are together in 1851.

Added:-
Edward Hughes, Book keeper
Marriage Date - 14 Jan 1837 with consent of their parents, by licence
Marriage Place - Liverpool, Christ Church,-Hunter Street, Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Spouse - Hannah Parry
FHL Film Number:   1068893

Offline crisane

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Re: Case of polygamy / divorce in 1800s?
« Reply #6 on: Sunday 30 August 20 03:58 BST (UK) »
There are 33 Death entries in Great Boughton alone 1851-1861 so to get an idea if any of them are your mary you will have to use the GRO index which has the ages at death and see if any of them come close to your Mary's date of birth 1798 which is on the 1851 census.
There are only 4 deaths in the registration district GT Boughton 1861-1871 for an Edward Hughes and the last of these is
Deaths June 1/4  1869   
Edward Hughes    age 69    Gt. Boughton    8a/224

which is a pretty good match for your Edward. Just to be sure you can use the GRO for the other 3 deaths to determine their ages and whether they fall in the same birth range.

Robert Hughes age 12 months birth reg in the GRO index does not have a mother's maiden name listed which usually indicates illegitimacy so you will need the birth certificate maybe to sort that one out.

Offline brigidmac

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Re: Case of polygamy / divorce in 1800s?
« Reply #7 on: Sunday 30 August 20 08:47 BST (UK) »
Or you might find a baptism for him

I should have said grandchildrens baptisms in earlier post ...would give an address
Roberts,Fellman.Macdermid smith jones,Bloch,Irvine,Hallis Stevenson

Offline History Lives

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Re: Case of polygamy / divorce in 1800s?
« Reply #8 on: Sunday 30 August 20 17:05 BST (UK) »

Yeah, seems I've just got confused. My Edward Hughes is probably the one that died in 1869. As for whose child Robert is, I still can't figure that out. In 1861 there's also Richard, Edith H, and Emma. None of them seem to have parents' names listed on the birth transcript.
North West, North Wales and Isle of Man:

Ward, Campbell, Cowin, Cowell, Parry, Fryer, Davies, Hughes, Briscoe, Jones, Spencer, Brownbill, Crowfoot, Nield, Randles, Youde

Gozo, Malta:

Apap / De Apapis, Camilleri, Grech, Muscat, Micallef, Custo, De Nasi

Angus, Scotland:

Ormond, Salmond, Cook, MacDonald