Divorce Research for GenyWise.doc
Many ancestors, near and long ago, are lost in these American records. In this Group and discussions we will learn that using original divorce documents is part of the process of appreciating our ancestors and solving pedigree problems. We will discuss U.S. search strategies and the court documents themselves, with samples from newly available
Family History Library collections.
1. The legal proceedings surrounding divorces in America naturally left an array of documentation
with varying types of evidence. Some of these paper trails are public from colonial and pioneer days up to the current decade.
2. These court documents proffer invaluable information
about name changes, residence changes, children, occupations, property, etc. They often add stories and testaments to the bare facts of the skeleton in the family closet; emotional, financial, religious, and social contexts may be revealed.
3. These documents may be filed in several jurisdictions
based on changing residency requirements. The historical documents were not created for genealogists, were often filed with voluminous court papers, and were poorly indexed. Their use is complex!