For an ancestor who had multiple spouses, always consider how much time takes place between the ending of one marriage and the beginning of another. Was there enough time for another marriage?

For years, I thought a female relative had two husbands–George and later Henry. I didn’t know when the marriage with George ended and the marriage to Henry had the bride using George’s surname.

Turned out there was a marriage between George and Henry to a man named Adam that went sour about three months in. The wife reverted to George’s surname, but was married to Adam long enough to be enumerated with his last name in the census.

Did your relative have a marriage of short duration that could be confusing your research? It could even be the cause of one of your “brick walls.”



2 Responses

  1. I had a slightly different problem. I had a family member called Mary Ann, who seemed to be very selective about her age. The husband married Mary Ann’s little sister, Maria. It didn’t increase by 10 every time on census forms. I could also not understand why she eventually was called Maria on her gravestone. I know it seems obvious now but Mary Ann died, and nine months later, her husband married her little sister, Maria.

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