June 20, 2013

New Hampshire divorce records

My newly-discovered 4th cousin once removed Jon alerted me to the fact that New Hampshire marriage and divorce records are now online at The divorce records only go up to 1938-- for obvious reasons, privacy would be an issue for records more recent than this.

Jon found a divorce record for his 2nd great-grandparents; his 2nd great-grandmother divorced his 2nd great-grandfather, Daniel W. MACE, who had been a veteran of the Civil War and and an Andersonville POW. I also found a divorce record for my great-aunt from her first husband.

Going through the divorce records, I was rather surprised that there were so many. Divorce was supposed to be a rare thing in the 19th and early 20th centuries, but there were literally thousands of records for New Hampshire.

I noticed that the person initiating the divorce was almost always the wife, and that the most common reason given was abandonment. The second most common reason that I came across was "extreme cruelty." The only other reasons I saw were for drunkeness and adultery.

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