Sunday, October 28, 2012

Brick Walls- Family Seperations

If you think families separating is a new thing check your history. The things that effect the family situation today occurred in a different time period in the same way. When you have tracked a family and suddenly they are not all together make sure to find the reason why. Ruling out death in the family results in checking out the other possibilities. Husbands and wives did not get along in earlier times as well. It was not fashionable to go through the court process prior to 1900. For many it was a matter of heading off to the corner store and not coming back. Ironically the newspaper is a excellent place to find this kind of information. This would fall more under tabloid journalism. Papers would cover stories that sold papers. Recently I was doing a search on a family in Detroit, MI that the father had separated in the early part of the 20th century. The primary document were the court records that were found and filed by the wife. She was looking for spousal support for the children. The amazing thing for me was that there were stories in the paper on the incident. The story in the family is that the father had moved far away. From the newspaper articles I was able to learn that he had only moved a short distance away to Port Huron, Michigan. The father lived a very colorful life and was good at getting himself in the paper for all the wrong reasons. Another source in the Catholic church is to look for the annulment papers that were filed to dissolve the marriage. These records are kept at the diocese level. Divorce was a big taboo in the church and as often the reason that a family member would be buried in the Protestant cemetery and not the Catholic one. Make sure to pay attention to all the clues. These records and events offer valuable insight to our families lives.Brick