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Divorces and Wills...

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


David Report 9 Sep 2013 19:10

Although I'm a Premium Member, I can't seem to use the Divorces section or the Wills section. None of either have ever come up (even though I know I'm definitely divorced, so something should appear!).

No luck with burials, either.

Am I missing something...

Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose Report 9 Sep 2013 19:37

As far as I can see there are no recent Divorce records online at all, and on here it only seems to be up to the 1870s?

quoted from Nat' archives: The survival rate of divorce case files is:

"1858-1927: almost 100%
1928-1937: 80%
After 1937 : less than 0.2%"


jax Report 9 Sep 2013 19:40

I don't use The records myself on here...if that's where you mean?

I believe some records are extra Parish. military and Travel & newspapers

If you are talking about another will not find your own divorce it would be too recent....I would be horrified if anyone could access mine (if I was of course)

Rambling Rose

Rambling Rose Report 9 Sep 2013 19:40

"Wills and probate"

"Records in this Collection
Bank Of England Wills Extracts 1717-1845
Great Western Railway Shareholders Index
London Probate Index
Suffolk Testator Index 1847-1857

so again a limited number of records I think?


Inky1 Report 9 Sep 2013 19:49

Wills & Burials: What sort of time period are you interested in?


David Report 9 Sep 2013 19:58

1862 and 1864, 1915 for wills...

...and I should have said 'Platinum Member' - d'oh!


jax Report 9 Sep 2013 20:49

If you want to give some details we could have a look....Not every burial is online and do you know if they actually left a will?


Reggie Report 9 Sep 2013 22:12

Even if a Will was written, it will not appear in records unless it went to Probate

......and recent divorce records are simply are not accessible.

Hardly anyone who helps on here uses GR for research.........we have basic membership on here, and use other sites.

Ancestry is, I believe, the best source of Probate records................and the NBI has a lot of burial info (transcribed by volunteers)


David Report 9 Sep 2013 23:00

Jax: Thomas Shouksmith died 1862 in York. His wife Ann Shouksmith died 1864 in York. I know these two left wills because I've previously obtained them from the Probate registry, Duncombe Place, York. I've subsequently lost them. John Shouksmith died 1915 in York.

So my question is: I know these people left wills which were registered for probate, so how do I find details here?

From what's been said, it seems like I've made a big mistake paying good money to be a Platinum member here. When my membership runs out, can you suggest a better site I could join?

Reggie: I can't obtain details of ANY divorces - I mentioned my own purely as an example. Details of my marriage are obtainable here, so why should I (or anybody) be coy about a subsequent divorce. Maybe none of my ancestors were divorced, but it's the same general question: how do I obtain details about divorces here?


Reggie Report 9 Sep 2013 23:23

Re divorce the first reply on here.................and not everyone is as blase about divorce as you appear to be

As for what you can get on GR, as we've already said, we don't use GR for research.

I already said where you can see Probate info..............but you'll have to pay £6.00 each for copies of the Wills.

You would have been wise to have found out what was on GR before forking out for Platinum membership. If you'd taken out a basic sub, you could have upgraded if you'd decided it was worthwhile


jax Report 9 Sep 2013 23:25

Why should it be any body elses business whether someone has divorced or not, who is still living?

If your ancestors had money they may have divorced but they were few and far between...if the marriage broke up they were likely to live together as husband and wife or marry bigamously.

Ancestry have probate details I don't think GR or FMP do?


jax Report 9 Sep 2013 23:32

Ramblingrose has given you what is in the Wills and Probate section and Yorkshire and those dates are not included


jax Report 9 Sep 2013 23:35

England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966
about Thomas Shouksmith
Thomas Shouksmith
Probate Date:
19 Feb 1861
Death Date:
31 Jan 1861
Death Place:
Yorkshire, England
Yorkshire, England

England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966
about Ann Shouksmith
Ann Shouksmith
Probate Date:
9 Feb 1867
Death Date:
22 May 1864
Death Place:
Yorkshire, England

England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966
about John Shouksmith
John Shouksmith
Probate Date:
2 Dec 1916
Death Date:
6 Sep 1915
Death Place:
Yorkshire, England
Yorkshire, England

From ancestry


rootgatherer Report 9 Sep 2013 23:56

In Scotland, many divorce proceedings are in the searchable catalogue on The National Archives of Scotland website. Many have "open access". For example, I could view the paperwork for my living aunt's divorce in 1971 - if I was so inclined. Even her daughter's divorce in 1981 is catalogued with open access.


jax Report 10 Sep 2013 00:18

It is strange how from country to country it varies in what can be accessed.

England and Wales must be the easiest to access records for living and dead, There are some recent divorces that you can see on ancestry in certain states in America although you only get a rough idea of the reason for divorce...not the gory details...but bmd's are not as recent and that changes from state to state.

Canada, Australia and New Zealand again it is difficult

My Aunt died in Australia in 1979 but I cannot see a record for her death, so I assume that state wasn't covered?


David Report 10 Sep 2013 00:34

Jax - you wrote "Why should it be any body elses business whether someone has divorced or not, who is still living?"

The simple answer is: For the same reason the birth or marriage of anybody who is still living is anybody else's business, that is to say, why we're all here - family research.

I'm not after the whole nine yards regarding anyone's divorce - as you say, that is private. But, rhetorically speaking, I can't see why the date,, place and names of the couple are a big secret. Then I'd know to search for a subsequent re-marriage.

Some of you seem to be saying divorced people ought to be ashamed of the fact and hide it away. If so, I think you need to get into the 21st century (or, in fact, the 20th...). Perhaps I should start a 'Divorce Anonymous' group - my name is David and I'm divorced.

Anyway, regarding burials - the same simple question. How do I access details of burials on GR? Say for the same three individuals I mentioned above.


jax Report 10 Sep 2013 00:51

I do not include any one who is living in my research I don't feel the need to add them.

As I do not use GR for records but I expect the burials are the same as FMP...these are the only burials for that name on that site

SHOUKSMITH Jonas 1818 1761 York Yorkshire (East Riding) VIEW N/A
SHOUKSMITH Mary 1834 1759 York Yorkshire (East Riding) VIEW N/A
SHOUKSMITH Thomas 1821 1821 York Yorkshire (East Riding) VIEW N/A

Edit- Just to add I am not divorced but have been separated for many years, I have no intention to marry again so will probably stay as I am.

I would prefer that this country were stricter in what can be found online and the fact that someone could just purchase my birth cert with no questions asked is wrong....why do you need full details apparently to purchase a birth cert for someone under 50, but nothing needed for someone older than that?


jax Report 10 Sep 2013 00:55

Just checked on GR and the same three burials are on here as well....under deaths

As for Divorces, Ancestry do have all the details in their collection

UK, Civil Divorce Records, 1858-1911


David Report 10 Sep 2013 08:09

Thanks, Jax - but what is FMP?

I'm a recently retired registrar and I've never heard of of the under/over 50 rule before this and can't see how that would be administered or what the point of it is, to be honest. The rule is that if anyone can give sufficient information so the Superintendent Registrar (or his/her Deputy - in reality, anyone working in the Register Office) can trace the event in the indexes and is prepared to pay for it, then the certificate is issued. Whether a person is alive or dead doesn't come into it - otherwise family history would grind to a halt.

Thanks for the burial information - I'll see if I can access it here, but those are my ancestors and the burial details haven't appeared before...


David Report 10 Sep 2013 08:10

Belay that - I guess FMP is 'Find My Past'...