Tuesday, May 1, 2018

His First Wife, Her Second Husband

Is there value in searching for a second (and possibly a third and fourth) spouse of an ancestor, a spouse who no relation to you other than a step-grandparent?  In the past it has been easy for me to dismiss the spouse who is not my direct ancestor.  But lately I remind myself to search for him or her.  Unfortunately, unless I have a hint that an ancestor married more than once, it's not an event that comes immediately to mind.

In asking this question, I'm think in particular of two Doyle ancestors who married a second time.
  • Martha (Reay) Doyle married Thomas Richardson a few years after her first husband, William Doyle, died.
  • Andrew Doyle, Martha and William's son, married Elizabeth Laws after her first wife, Jane Barron, died.  Elizabeth is my direct ancestor.

What might I find if I search further?  Did Martha have more children with Thomas Richardson?  Did Andrew's first wife, Jane, die in childbirth or from an illness or accident?  While neither if these additional marriages would give me information about a direct-line ancestor, I think knowing about the marriage would add details to the lives of my ancestors.

It was fairly easy to find these two additional spouses.  Family records indicated that Andrew was a widow when he married Elizabeth.  And Andrew appeared in a U.K. census as a step-child after his father died, along with his siblings and his mother, Martha.  If there are no hints that an ancestor may have been married more than once, it might be harder to discover.

Do you search for additional spouses of your ancestors?  If so, have you learned interesting facts that you might otherwise not have known?


Copyright ©2018, Nancy Messier. All Rights Reserved.


  1. It is good to look for them. Sometimes, you can discover they link us to interesting family tree branches.

  2. I agree it's good to look, Aleksandra. I hope I find some interesting discoveries!


I appreciate your comments and look forward to reading what you have to say. Thanks for stopping by.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...