View Full Version : difficuties from the other side of the world!

Jo from Australia
21-12-2005, 12:43 PM
Researching my family history is my 'me' time when I want a break from everything else I do (which is aparently too much according to my loved ones!) The only problem being is the limitations of being on the other side of the world.

I have been successful in doing my dads paternal side -back 7 generations- using the internet, census records avaliable on line and the occasional purchase of records. But my father's mother has proved to be a harder nut to crack!

I finally traced her correct birth date down and discovered that she had married and divorced before my dad was born in 1936 (Bethnal Green). The previous marriage details were discovered in 1990 when I requested my dads birth cert..he was most upset to dicover that his parents didnt marry until 1975 just so they could come over to Australia! I can find no such record of the first marriage and have no idea where to look for divorce records!

I managed to get my g-mothers birth cert only to find her mother was unwed, no father listed and her name was the same as my g-mothers. She birthed in Shorditch which I have since discovered was synonimous with destitute poverty and prositution at the turn of last century.

my problem currently is I feel I have exhusted all options avaliable to me on line and being all the way in Australia I seem to have hit a brick wall.
I feel like I have immersed myself in so many different web sites and search engines that I cant seem to surface to re focus. Is there any suggestions from those who are more experienced in this? Obviously I have tried all the resources I used when doing my dad's paternal line but when applied to his maternal line there is NOTHING! It is so frustrating.

I am planning to come over to England for a holiday in few years but my hubby is concerned I will spend all my time in a library or something trying to get threads of info together! :o)

anyway, than you for anyone who got this far into my elongated querry.
cheers from down under!


Peter Goodey
21-12-2005, 1:13 PM
"have no idea where to look for divorce records"

I assume you mean case papers and not just legal confirmation of a divorce? You may want to look at the National Archives research notes

For dates before 1936, you'll see that 80% of records survive so you might be lucky!

Jo from Australia
21-12-2005, 1:37 PM
Thanks Peter,
perhaps it is because it is close to midnight here or perhaps I am just dum but I can not seem to navigate the Natioanl Archives site at the moment. I cant seem to find the correct page to be on...I will sleep on it and see what tomorrow brings.
Thanks for your prompt reply.

Peter Goodey
21-12-2005, 4:23 PM
That link works for me. Perhaps the site was temporarily down.

Jo from Australia
10-01-2006, 11:28 AM
Hi Peter,
I have tried again to navigate the National Archives site for any records of divorces and I cant seem to find the right 'bit' to start searching. I am a bit illiterate at this sort of thing! ;o) Is there any other on line resource that might list recorded divorces before 1940?

Peter Goodey
10-01-2006, 12:17 PM

That was a direct link to the research notes. I don't believe TNA have catalogued all the names and I'm not aware of any other organisation that has them available online for that period (National Archivist has some but too early for your needs).

That means that if you want the case papers (if they've survived), you'll probably have to engage a researcher. Possibly TNA reprographics service might be able to do it and if they can it will certainly be cheaper.

If you just want confirmation of the divorce (which might in any case be all that's available) you can get it from the Principal Registry of the Family Division as described in the research notes.