Author Topic: How to prove abandonment in marriage?  (Read 487 times)

Offline Parmenion

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How to prove abandonment in marriage?
« on: Thursday 02 December 21 12:41 GMT (UK) »
Hi everyone,

Are there ways to prove someone abandoned their marriage in the 1800s when there isn't a record of divorce?

Cheers!

Offline snowqueen

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Re: How to prove abandonment in marriage?
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 04 December 21 11:50 GMT (UK) »
There might possibly be something in the newspapers




Offline jorose

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Re: How to prove abandonment in marriage?
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 04 December 21 12:13 GMT (UK) »
Most likely to see something if the abandonment caused a wife or children to come in need of support from the parish or board of guardians. Men could be charged with desertion in court.

However, it is not uncommon for there to be no direct records, and the picture only being able to be built up circumstantially when you find both sides of the marriage remarrying/starting up a second life with another partner. When there are name changes or very common names involved this can be hard to prove.
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Offline majm

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Re: How to prove abandonment in marriage?
« Reply #3 on: Saturday 04 December 21 13:07 GMT (UK) »
If a spouse was sentenced to transportation beyond the seas then that effectively terminates the marriage.  There are many threads explaining the statute English law dating back to early 1600s covering that,  but basically it allowed re-marriage - so for example, 1800s England, a married woman with children committed a serious larcency,  found guilty by the courts, sentenced to 7 years beyond the seas.

Say for instance she was sent to New South Wales. Ie beyond the seas... her husband was still in England with most of their children.  He needed someone to be housekeeper while he continued to work (Ag lab or miner or shoemaker or yeoman or stonemason etc etc).  He was free to marry another ... thus providing for someone to raise his children and give him more.   The female convict arrives in NSW ... she was also free to marry, with permission of the Governor - the adminstrator appointed by the English Crown.

No need for any divorce, or any judicial separation,, or any fresh legal documents. The sentence of 7 years (or more) was sufficient ...

JM.
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Offline Parmenion

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Re: How to prove abandonment in marriage?
« Reply #4 on: Saturday 04 December 21 13:43 GMT (UK) »
Thanks for the replies.

I don't think a crime was committed judging by the image I have built up of the two of them. The husband moves to a different location whilst the woman is listed as a housekeeper and living with a different man. She doesn't marry him but seems to have more children and uses the surname from her "husband" but they can't be his children. Meanwhile, the husband is married again elsewhere and appeared as a bachelor on the marriage certificate.

I can try looking through the newspaper records but don't hold out much hope finding anything. :(

This is a complicated one for me being fairly new to researching family history.

Thanks though, I just wanted to know potential ways to prove abandonment!

Offline heywood

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Re: How to prove abandonment in marriage?
« Reply #5 on: Saturday 04 December 21 13:57 GMT (UK) »
Just from your information, her surname was her married name so children would be registered with that name.
Baptisms might be more revealing but not necessarily so.
Is the husbandís new marriage before the birth of the first of her additional children?
That might give a clue as to the separation date. It might be that they just decided to go their separate ways or she may have left her husband.
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