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Early divorce in America
Posted by: Eva Myrick (ID *****8209) Date: April 16, 2007 at 07:06:01
  of 702

I am hoping BARRY can answer this question. When did legal divorce start in early America?
I am having trouble locating an early divorce record. My husband's great grandfather Daniel was born in New York state in 1819. Right around 1840 he sailed to Australia, met Anna in Australia, wed and had 12 children there. In January 1867 Daniel and his oldest daughter and her 2 children left Australia and headed to Pennsylvania where he purchased a farm. In March the following year Anna and the rest of the 11 children jointed them in Pennsylvania.
In the spring of 1870 Daniel and the daughter and her 2 children left Pennsylvania and headed to Wabaunsee County, Kansas. Daniel deeded the farm over to his next to oldest son in Pennsylvania.
Daniel's first wife Anna learned of the divorce and remarried in Pennsylvania.
In 1873 Daniel remarried in Kansas and had 4 more children.
This marriage ended in divorce as well in Kansas between 1880 & 1882. Daniel returned to Pennsylvania and his first wife Anna and died a within a few months.
Anna's second husband had been sent to jail shortly after the marriage and she divorced him or something a long that line so the estate records state.
Upon obtaining Daniel's estate records, documents listed that Daniel divorced his first wife Anna in Kansas and remarried to Sarah in Kansas. The estate records list all 16 children and both marriages. However. Anna got 1/3 of all the estate even tough she was no longer Daniel's wife or widow.
But I can't not locate the divorce records any where. Have had the 2 counties in Pennyslvania searched and 3 counties in Kansas search. Working on the 4th surrounding county to Wabaunsee County now.
I have been told by some researchers that a legal divorce wasn't required in the United States until 1878. That a man could claim divorced to be consider divorce and able to remarry on those grounds.
I haven't been able to find anything pretaining to this or early divorces so far in my search for information on early divorces.
Could you help answer this question? Thanks, Eva

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