Serial Marriages

I decided this week to document the descendants of a 4th great uncle (aka as 3rd great grand uncle), older brother of one of my 3rd great-grandfathers.

First I found his two marriages and sorted out his children. Then realized his widow re-married, so began to track her marriages and children. And then the children of that second husband’s marriages, because he too remarried after his first wife’s death. And so on. It was of course very common to remarry soon after a partner’s death, especially if there were young children, to ensure they were provided for and cared for.

Here is a quick summary of what I can only call serial marriages — I’m using a letter to represent each person, for simplicity. P is my 4th great uncle I was beginning with.

  • P married A (her only marriage) then B
  • B married P then L
  • L married B then C
  • C married L then N
  • D had earlier been married to N, already had two previous (grown and moved-out) children by two different men she didn’t marry
  • N married D then C — C outlived N and didn’t remarry after he died

And then I identified the children from each of the marriages, and their birth years:

  • P+A: 4 children 1798-1805
  • P+B: 4 children 1817-1825
  • L+B:  2 children 1831-1832
  • L+C: 2 children 1836-1838
  • D+? and ?: 2 children, 1803-1810
  • N+D: married but had no children
  • N+C: 1 child 1843

The first child in the sequence and the last born 45 years apart!

This is a branch where a lot of the spouses, when I check, are also my relatives. And sure enough, that turns out to be the case here:

  • P – my 4th great uncle
  • A – my 1c5r (and P’s paternal first cousin)
  • B – my 1c5r, a 1st cousin of my 3rd great grandmother who is married to P’s brother, my 3ggf.
  • L – my half 4th great-uncle
  • C – my 3c5r
  • N and D – not enough information, I don’t have any of their grandparents known.

All of these relationships are on my paternal grandmother’s branch.

Phew! If you think reading that was complicated, imagine what it was like to figure out and then document!