Recently I was searching the free Australian newspaper archives for information on the family of one of my paternal great grandmothers Louisa Seabrook, when I came across the headline, Got Rid Of Two Husbands.
Not having found “much dirt” on my families past so far, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but was rather let down in the end. No stories of murder or blood and lust.
The article is about Harriet Georgina Day and her husband Reginald Henry Seabrook, Louisa’s brother, who were married in 1918.
So how did Harriet Seabrook get rid of two husbands? Believing her husband, Reginald Seabrook was dead she went through a form of marriage with Tudor Adolphus Viven Bird in June, 1922.
The problem was that the police ascertained Reginald Seabrook was still alive and the wife was charged with bigamy, but after several adjournments the prosecution was withdrawn. A sequel to the case at Townsville, was the application for divorce by Mrs. Seabrook on the grounds of desertion.
At the same time Tudor Bird succeeded on an application for a declaration that his marriage with Mrs Seabrook was null and void. It was stated in evidence that Reginald Seabrook went to the Northern Territory in 1918. The wife later heard he was dead. After marrying Bird there was a quarrel over Seabrook’s child with the result that they separated. Since then she had maintained herself and her child.
You would think that after all the marriage problems Harriet would stay single for a while, but according to the Qld BDM index, Harriet married Hamliton Kelly in 1927.
Thompson’s Poultry Farm, North Ryde, NSW, Australia. Photo taken late1930′s, early 1940′s.
On the left is my Nana’s brother Albert Thompson and on the right is his father and my Great Grandfather Albert Thompson.
Why does a chicken coup have 2 doors. Because if it had 4 doors it would be a chicken sedan.
When most ladies marry they change their last name to their husband’s last name, which makes tracing their family records fairly easy. But what happens when a daughter changes her first name (not officially) after birth and uses that name on documents?
Don’t get me wrong, I think naming a daughter or a son after their parent’s or grand parent’s first name is a great tradition, but on more than one occasion it has caused me problems.
I know, I know, it might have been easier to change their first name so you know when someone is talking about Sarah Thompson the mother not Sarah Thompson the daughter but it makes it hard when they use the changed name on official occasions and it bears only a little resemblance to the original name.
The last time it happened was just recently when I started searching for the children of my great great great great grand parents John Thompson (born Thomson but that’s another post) and Sarah Ramm.
I was lucky enough to find a collection of scanned images online and within an hour, I had the birth records of all 9 children including a daughter Sarah Ann Thompson.
OK, time to look for marriage and other records for these children. All went well at first, finding most of the records for the sons, but when it came to Sarah Thompson, I could not find a trace.
Looking back through the records, I came across a marriage for a Mary Ann Thompson to a Samuel Starling. I knew we had a Starling in our tree (sorry couldn’t resist it) but as I already had one son married to a Starling, I thought that might be the connection.
Unfortunately the marriage record did not give an age, so I could not work it out from that but the year of marriage and location seemed right. The death record had Mary Ann Thompson’s age at death, which matched Sarah’s birth year.
Was this Sarah Ann Thompson?
Apparently it was! A distant cousin who saw my family tree on Ancestry.com got in contact with me and during a wonderful three hour talk on the phone, I was told Mary Ann Thompson was the Sarah Thompson I was looking for.
Thanks Cousin Lyn