View Full Version : Child custody - divorce/ Separation c 1932

26-01-2010, 3:20 PM
In Rochdale about 1932 (my late father told me he was about 6 years old at the time) my paternal grandparents split up. I have no idea whether they formally divorced - certainly my grandmother never remarried and remained 'Mrs Buckley' for the rest of her life. However, my father remembered, as a six-year-old child, having to stand up in court and say which parent he preferred to live with - so it seems the legal system was involved to some degree in my grandparents' marital difficulties. It may also be that my grandmother was already showing signs of the mental instability that afflicted her later in life, though my father was permitted to remain with his mother (despite, apparently, an attempt by his father's sisters to kidnap him!) I think he may have spent a short time in an orphanage before this court hearing he remembered.
I have tried the NA catalogue, but have drawn a blank on every permutation of my grandparents's names, and wonder whether there may be another way of pursuing my enquiries. I have contacted the local newspaper, the Rochdale Observer, on the chance that they may have a searchable archive, and wait to hear back. All attempts to trace my grandfather have so far drawn a blank.
Any help or advice gratefully received.
Ian (in Cornwall)

26-01-2010, 3:52 PM
All attempts to trace my grandfather have so far drawn a blank.

Sorry, no answers, just a couple of ideas.

When did his mum/dad die? Was he the informant on the death certificate, or named in a will?

Was your grandfather of an age where he could have served in WW2? (CWGC?)

Have you tried local directories/phone books in case he remained local?

If he had an unusual forename, is there any sign of him remarrying?

TNA's research guide on divorce (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/RdLeaflet.asp?sLeafletID=53) and surviving records.

26-01-2010, 4:27 PM
Thank you for your ideas. I have in fact checked to see if any Buckley with his unusual Christian name remarried, as well as checking local directories as you suggest. Your suggestion about the death certificates of his parents is certainly worth my following up - I have their dates of death from Rochdale cemetery records. My father did not often mention Chriss - the subject was clearly painful to him, and any perceptions he had of his father would have been coloured by his mother's opinions. Chriss, born 1895, was the right age to have served in WW1 - none of the Chris/ Christopher Buckleys I have found have turned out to my my grandfather. It's ironic, I have quite a lot of detail about Chriss's forebears - back to 1722, yet my grandfather presents such a difficult obstacle!