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Marriage in 1942

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Marriage in 1942

Postby Mary Kathryn » Tue Sep 24, 2019 9:52 pm

I am trying to find out what legal evidence would have been required to permit a marriage in 1942 regarding status, ie "Widowed" "Batchelor" "Spinster" "Divorced". This is for a register office wedding. I am trying to help a friend who is trying to trace her grandmother. Her grandfather married again but we can't find any evidence of a divorce or of his first wife's death before his second marriage. The 1942 marriage certificate for the second marriage says "Batchelor" for him and "Spinster" for the second wife. Does anyone have information of what evidence of being a "batchelor" he would have had to provide to the Registrar? On the 1939 register he has recorded himself as "married".
Mary Kathryn
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Re: Marriage in 1942

Postby AntonyM » Wed Sep 25, 2019 7:21 am

A bachelor is someone who has never been married. Having that status shown on the second marriage tells you what you need to know.

The question the registrar would ask is essentially "have you ever been married before" and to be shown as a bachelor he must have answered "no". You can't really prove a negative, so there is no evidence he could be asked to produce to support that, it would be taken on his word (much as it is today).

Had he answered "yes", then he would have had to produce evidence of divorce/death of his first wife.

This would suggest, very strongly, that he was hiding the fact of his first marriage, and almost certainly marrying bigamously. In the first half of the C20th, particularly around the time of WW1 and WW2 this is not an uncommon thing to find.
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