Widowed or Not?

Marital status as stated in some records needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Back in the day when divorce was scandalous, a person enumerated in a census as “widowed” might actually have been divorced. I never searched for a divorce record for a relative as the husband left the area and the marital status of the wife simply was widowed from that time on. And other times I’ve seen husbnd and wife listed in the same census year in separate households, both with a “w” in the marital status column.