Wednesday, July 31, 2019

WEDDING WEDNESDAY with a TWIST ~ How many divorces have I recorded?

Instead of my usual Wedding Wednesday post, I thought I would shake it up a bit.
I record marriage details in my Legacy program.  These can include the following:
  • Date of marriage
  • Place of marriage
  • Witnesses to marriage
  • Married by – name of Pastor, Priest or Justice of the Peace who performed the ceremony
  • Where they went for their honeymoon
  • Status of the marriage – Divorced, husband or wife deceased, Common law etc.
  • Date & detail of the divorce
Out of curiosity I wondered how many couples I have in my database who are listed as divorced?

I’ve never thought to review this statistic before.

I used Search>Find>Detailed Search and filled in the boxes as follows

With the click of a mouse the list was created.
My Legacy database contains 6287 individuals.  Of those there are 2424 that are married. 

I had no idea.  And certainly, I am not privy to the status on all the marriages I’ve recorded.
There were 166 people on the list – making for 83 divorced couples.  Taking the number of individuals I have as married and dividing it into 166 people that are divorced, I get a total percentage of divorces of .0684.

Is that a lot or not too many?  Again, I have no idea.

I know my Dad divorced twice, my Mom once. My 3 lifelong friends all have divorced parents.
I think it’s much more common today, but it certainly wasn’t unheard of during our grandparents & great grandparent’s times.  As evidenced by my report.

Have you ever run this report for your own tree?  If so, I’d love to hear about it.  I know all you Legacy users out there can create the report and I expect the other programs have something similar.
Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2019   Diane Gould Hall



  1. The enumeration of women in the 1900 and 1910 census as widowed really messed up my genealogy research in the early days. Wasn't it an official record? Didn't you have to tell the truth? How many men got the "died before census" annotation and were never researched? I finally figured it out when a widowed lady was found living only a few households away from her dead husband in 1900! He'd remarried and even had children.

    1. Oh Cathy. Same here. I thought you had to tell the truth. Boy, did we learn differently. Ages, marital status and I suppose any other thing they wanted could be fabricated. I know for the most part, people were truthful, but being ever mindful when we research is our best option. Those "widowed" ladies.....

  2. I haven't ran a report, but I don't really think it is that much more common today. My maternal grandparents divorced in 1931. I'm not sure if my maternal grandfathers parents divorced or just separated. On 2 censuses, she stated widowed, he stated married. I look at it if they split, it was a divorce, whether or not it was official (court).

    Things weren't that much different, just more hush-hush. I've come across a LOT of people that really got around...

    1. You're probably correct Karen, although based on statistics, we may never know. I too have found that a lot of my ancestors lived more "exciting" lives than I ever expected when I began this journey.
      Thanks for stopping by.


I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.