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Seabrook was still alive and the wife was charged with bigamy, but after several adjournments the prosecution was withdrawn.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.
In Australia there are a number of free Australian death notices websites and without doubt one of the best Australian death notices sites is the Ryerson Index.
The Ryerson Index is an index to death notices appearing in current Australian newspapers. It also includes some funeral notices, probate notices and obituaries. While not all Australian death notices are listed, the Ryerson Index contains over 2,596,891 entries from 178 newspapers (at time of posting) and the indexing is being continuously carried out by a team of volunteers.
One of the advantages of the Ryerson Index compared to some of the other Australian death notices websites is that it contains records going back to the mid 1800′s. Other Australian death notices sites like obits.com.au, obituary.com.au and thelastpost.com.au records are obtained from funeral directors or though contributions by members of the public which limits their content.
The Ryerson Index can be searched in two ways: by name, or by location and once the search is complete it lists the Surname, given name, date of death, age, location, which publication it was printed in and the published date.
Once you have found the death notice you are after, you can receive a photocopy of the death notice by using the Ryerson Index free lookup service. Again this is a volunteer project and don’t expect too much as not all decades are available for lookup.
If you cannot get a copy of a Australian death notices using the Ryerson Index free lookup service, try the Australian newspaper archives website or visit your local library and they might have copies of your State’s papers on microfiche.
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.