Divorce and remarriage in early 1900s

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Divorce and remarriage in early 1900s

Postby harrycobean » Sun Feb 21, 2021 4:10 pm

I've only recently started this genealogy lark, so looking for a bit of help and guidance.

My paternal grandparents had 5 children. The eldest had a different surname. Nobody ever really questioned it, it was assumed that he was adopted or whatever. Anyway, while researching on FindMyPast, I cannot find any record of my grandparents actually being married. Further research reveals that my grandmother was previously married, to a man with the same surname as her eldest child. I cannot find any record of her being divorced (or her husband being subsequently divorced).

From what I have read, divorce in the early 1900s was rare and expensive, reserved only for the rich upper classes, so is it likely that she never divorced, met my grandfather and they just lived together as if they were married? Could she just assume her new husband's name? Or was there some other process for divorce/remarriage in those days for which there might be some record somewhere?
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Re: Divorce and remarriage in early 1900s

Postby BC Wench » Mon Feb 22, 2021 1:34 pm

Have you looked for the death of your grandmother's first husband?

When you searched for the second marriage of your grandmother, did you search with her Maiden name or the surname of her first husband? You should search with the surname of her first husband.

It was quite common for a couple to live together without being married.

I have a couple in my tree who never married as far as I have been able to see, but lived together and produced 2 children. She was married before, but her first husband died and when she died, she gave her second "husband's" surname.
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