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  1. #1
    Brick wall demolition expert!
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    Default Divorced, Bigamist, Bereaved?

    I would highly recommend the above book by Professor Rebecca Probert, which is subtitled "the family historian's guide to marital breakdown, separation, widowhood,and remarriage: from 1600 to the 1970s".

    I have spent the weekend reading it and it is very informative and made me think again about a number of assumptions previously made. Finaĺly and most importantly it's very easy reading.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator - Completely bonkers and will never change. Pam Downes's Avatar
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    Default

    I think that's the one which Peter Calver (of Lost Cousins) highly recommends as well.

    Another one to add to my 'list of books to read'.

    Pam
    Vulcan XH558 - “Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

  3. #3
    Brick wall demolition expert!
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    Default

    I know he recommends one of her other books "Marriage Law for Genealogists" which I have also read.

  4. #4
    Knowledgeable and helpful
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    Default

    The first thing I would say is as with many other instances in family history do not view the above with 21st century eyes. Our ancestors did not live in the same way as we do and the rules they lived under were different. For instance the original meaning of Bigamy was marrying a second time, this included marrying after the first spouse had died.
    In addition the Act to restrain all Persons from Marriage until their former Wives and former Husbands be dead [1604.] allowed people to marry if they had not heard from their spouse for 7 years or even if they knew their spouse was alive overseas during that 7 years they could then re-marry. This 1604 Act was repeated in 1861 Offences Against the Person Act.
    Divorce, in the past there were various forms of divorce that may or may not allow the 'ex-spouse' to marry for a second time, an other form of divorce was what we would consider a separation rather than a divorce.

    Never make assumptions of the past based on current terms.
    Cheers
    Guy
    As we have gained from the past, we owe the future a debt, which we pay by sharing today.

  5. #5

    Default

    Thank you Guy, I was going to say something similar, no really I was! You've said it so much better than I could.
    I always tell my own relatives that they shouldn't look at their ancestors with modern eyes. The way life worked in those far off days was so different. My lot still make like they are upset by the bigamists and the illegitimacy until I point to their own children and mutter "not married with two kids, not married with a child. living with a partner, not married" Then I say the more things change the more they stay the same. and they begin to understand.
    Ladkyis

    “You can’t give her that!” she screamed. “It’s not safe!”
    IT’S A SWORD, said the Hogfather. THEY’RE NOT MEANT TO BE SAFE.

    I am fluent in three languages, English, Sarcasm and Profanity

  6. #6
    Starting to feel at home
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    Default

    Thanks for the recommendation, Megan. I’ll definitely add that one to my winter reading list!

    (And thanks to Guy for the information about bigamy ... all new to me and very interesting.)

  7. #7
    Newcomer to Brit-Gen
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    Default

    Thanks, Megan. It has quickly made way into my TBR list!

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