Track All the Spouses-Even the Ones Whose “Origins Won’t Help”

Sometimes it can be tempting to focus on the spouse of an ancestor from whom we descend or only those spouses with whom an ancestor had children. That can be a mistake. Don’t ignore “short term” spouses or spouses with whom the ancestor had no children. There may be some clue that spouse’s life that helps you on the actual ancestor. That “short term” spouse may have had a connection with the ancestor than spans back years and may help you to learn more about your ancestor’s life as well.


3 thoughts on “Track All the Spouses-Even the Ones Whose “Origins Won’t Help”

  1. Patty

    Thank u for that clarification. I have sometimes wondered Wheather to go about doing any searching on the other husbands Or wives but found it as u say quite interesting in finding new things about my relatives. You have me sold.

  2. Jan

    I have come across descendants of at least two second wives who have done extensive family research. Their research hasn’t included much about my line, but when they get to my great great whatever grandpa, the flood gates open and they’ve had a wealth of information I didn’t have.

    Additionally I was at a dead end with my 3x great grandpa and his younger brother. The brother was killed young in the Civil War and I didn’t expect to learn anymore about him. However, before he went to war he married and had a son. A descendant of that son has written an extensive family history that takes this line back to near Jamestown.
    In that line, Samuel Rose had kids with two wives who died and he married a third time not long before he died. Wife number 3 would be easy to ignore, but she was entitled to and filed for his Revolutionary War widows pension providing more information and a lot of records.

  3. Louise Booth

    My great grandfather remarried several years after his first wife died leaving him with 5 children including an infant son. He died shortly after leaving his second wife to raise the children, and she did an amazing job. I researched her family tree and even though I haven’t connected with any distant relatives YET, she was an important part of the family! Maybe one of these days…


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