Author Topic: Bigamist in the family  (Read 640 times)

Offline Caitie777

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Bigamist in the family
« on: Sunday 08 November 20 16:51 GMT (UK) »
Hi everyone,

So itís a tale thatís handed down as gospel in the family that either a great great or great great great grandad was a bigamist that went to prison for it. I canít find any research to prove this. Iíve only looked on ancestry and findmypast can anyone offer any tips to find out if this is true?  Thanks

Offline Girl Guide

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Re: Bigamist in the family
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 08 November 20 17:01 GMT (UK) »
Hello Caitie

Would you like to share with us your 2x and 3x great grandad's names?  When and where were they born and where would they have been living at the time of the said bigamy?

Sometimes family stories, as I'm sure you are aware, turn out to be tales rather than fact.
Ashford: Somerset, London
England: Devon, London, New Zealand
Holdway: Wiltshire
Hooper: Bristol, Somerset
Knowling: Devon, London
Southcott: Devon, China
Strong: Wiltshire
Watson: Cambridgeshire
White: Bristol
Windo - Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire

Offline iluleah

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Re: Bigamist in the family
« Reply #2 on: Sunday 08 November 20 17:17 GMT (UK) »
You research in the same way you do any other person, working backwards so burial/death and find each and every record generated during that persons lifetime..... when it comes to ancestors who were rich or rogues they are easier to find information about as those people generate more records.

So researching family stories is always a difficult thing to do, it is like chinese whispers, they change each time they are told as each person repeats what they think is important and often leaves out what they find isn't important and because they are told by people we know, trust and love and it was told to them by people they knew, trusted and loved we tend to 'beleive' it as 'gospel', generally they are not, although some have some truth to them...many stories are told to hide other things
Leicestershire:Chamberlain, Dakin, Wilkinson, Moss, Cook, Welland, Dobson, Roper,Palfreman, Squires, Hames, Goddard, Topliss, Twells,Bacon.
Northamps:Sykes, Harris, Rice,Knowles.
Rutland:Clements, Dalby, Osbourne, Durance, Smith,Christian, Royce, Richardson,Oakham, Dewey,Newbold,Cox,Chamberlaine,Brow, Cooper, Bloodworth,Clarke
Durham/Yorks:Woodend, Watson,Parker, Dowser
Suffolk/Norfolk:Groom, Coleman, Kemp, Barnard, Alden,Blomfield,Smith,Howes,Knight,Kett,Fryston
Lincolnshire:Clements, Woodend


Online radstockjeff

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Re: Bigamist in the family
« Reply #3 on: Sunday 08 November 20 17:38 GMT (UK) »
All will be revealed when it is ready to be revealed.
My wife's great grandmother (Lucy) left her husband for "another" after the birth of their fourth child.

From that time onward her former husband called himeself a widower (Census records). When I first got involved with her FH there was no mention of Lucy; she was a non-entity.
It took me several years of blind alleys and false starts to ferret out the real story and the subsequent life of Lucy.

After she left her husband she married again, calling herself a widow and then moving about twenty miles away. They also changed their surname to help cover their tracks and the variations of their places of birth in subsequent Census returns has to be seen to be believed, and the trail of "falsehoods and fake news" which they spread kept their secret going. 

She told her third daughter (from the first marriage) on her wedding day that her dad had died, but he was still alive not 20 miles away... and so it went on. And her deviousness still lingers as we try and trace her first daughter from her bigamous marriage!

In a roundabout manner we have traced this daughter's great grand daughter ( a third half cousin to my wife) who now  lives in Australia.

All is not lost as we soldier on continuing the search.
Nurse, Musther, Smith, Julnes, Rogers, Parsons,Grieves(Greaves,Greeves),Wood,Cray,Scrine,Shellard,Greenstock,

There's nothing wrong with being mediocre...as long as you're good at it!

Offline Galium

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Re: Bigamist in the family
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 08 November 20 18:09 GMT (UK) »
If he was tried and convicted of bigamy, there is likely to be at least one newspaper report. Hoping you aren't looking for a John Smith, the newspapers on FindMyPast are often a great source. Sometimes just putting in the person's name and 'bigamy' or 'bigamist' will work, but try as many different search terms as you can think of if you don't get a hit straight away.

If it's a gg grandfather there are four possibilities, and eight if it's  a ggg grandfather (I'm assuming you know whether it is your father's or mother's family).  Do you know their names and where they lived. Are there any you can definitely rule out?
UK Census info. Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline Lola5

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Re: Bigamist in the family
« Reply #5 on: Sunday 08 November 20 20:34 GMT (UK) »
He may never have been found out or prosecuted.

Divorce then was for the wealthy.
The less well off had just to either live in so called sin, give false names or just disappear.

A relative of mine ,  married a  well off bigamist . Not only that but he then left her and " married "a few others. Never changed his name.  Never divorced. Never prosecuted. This was in the 1960,s ! when divorce was relatively easy.





Offline Ray T

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Re: Bigamist in the family
« Reply #6 on: Sunday 08 November 20 22:42 GMT (UK) »
It can be difficult but if you stick at it sheer persistence can pay off and the more information you can find the better. It took quite some effort with my own grandfather, including a murder investigation after he died but I eventually got there - he married twice, ten years apart and on opposite sides of the Atlantic after travelling the world.

Tell us what you know and some kind soul might come along to help.

Offline Caitie777

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Re: Bigamist in the family
« Reply #7 on: Monday 09 November 20 13:20 GMT (UK) »
Thank you all Iíve looked at the newspapers on findmypast but still nothing.

It was either
Albert Henry Ives 1876
Henry Ives 1852


Offline Girl Guide

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Re: Bigamist in the family
« Reply #8 on: Monday 09 November 20 13:39 GMT (UK) »
There is an Albert Henry in the 1911 living at 147 Garratt Lane Wandsworth, Wandsworth, London & Surrey with wife Sarah and four children.

Albert's occupation is given as dustman and his place of birth is Westbourne Park.

This appears to be Albert's marriage to Sarah

Marriages Sep 1900   
Holmes    Sarah Ann        Wandsworth    1d   1354    
Ives    Albert        Wandsworth    1d   1354   

So far I haven't found a birth record for him.

Does the above information tally with what you know of Albert?
Ashford: Somerset, London
England: Devon, London, New Zealand
Holdway: Wiltshire
Hooper: Bristol, Somerset
Knowling: Devon, London
Southcott: Devon, China
Strong: Wiltshire
Watson: Cambridgeshire
White: Bristol
Windo - Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire