Providing practical, down-to-earth advice for family historians since 1995, online since 1985.


1995-2009 Pat Richley HOME | Ask | Blog Right-click to copy RSS feed URL. Add to My Yahoo BookShelf | ContactLessons | Listen to Podcast media RSS feed
Read most 1995-2006 articles | Search | Subscribe

Desertion and divorce in Arkansas

From: Joe F
DearMYRTLE,
We thoroughly enjoyed seeing you at the St. George Jamboree.

Question: A relative in Arkansas reportedly deserted his wife and family around 1895 and is found in the 1900 Census in Indian Territory with a wife and two children. the children could not be his biological children because of their ages. His deserted wife remarries in 1897 in Arkansas.

Would desertion be a cause of the marriage being "null and void"? Would there have to have been a divorce? Where would such records be found?

DearJOE,

From the ARKANSAS RESEARCH OUTLINE at www.familysearch.org  we read:
 

"Major Arkansas courts that have kept records of genealogical value include the following:

Circuit courts have countywide jurisdiction over criminal cases, naturalization, and major civil cases. The Family History Library has copies of many circuit court records.

Chancery courts have countywide jurisdiction over equity, divorce, probates, and adoptions. The Family History Library has some chancery court records. For Pulaski County, for example, the library has copies of the records from 1839 to 1877.

Courts of common pleas have countywide jurisdiction over non-real estate civil matters. The Family History Library has some courts of common pleas records.

County courts have countywide jurisdiction over juvenile matters, taxes, claims, and county expenditures. The Family History Library has some county court records, including Pulaski County files from 1846 to 1878.

Justice of the peace courts have countywide jurisdiction over preliminary hearings of criminal cases and minor contract matters. The Family History Library has some justice of the peace records, such as the Pulaski County files from 1873 to 1917.

Original court records are kept by the clerks in each county courthouse. Copies of records at the Family History Library often date from the creation of a county to about 1900, and some indexes are available through the 1970s. Court records are also available at the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives."


So the answer is YES, there were divorce records. I do not know if desertion was considered a reason for divorce in 1897, as each state had peculiar laws that changed over time. Your best bet is to look in the county courthouse records, first through microfilm and failing that, by writing to the courthouse in question. THE HANDYBOOK FOR GENEALOGISTS which II received from www.myancestorsfound.com  lists each county in Arkansas and the county records office contact info.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt      :)


1995-2009 Pat Richley HOME | Ask | Blog Right-click to copy RSS feed URL. Add to My Yahoo BookShelf | ContactLessons | Listen to Podcast media RSS feed
Read most 1995-2006 articles | Search | Subscribe

Google
www DearMYRTLE.com