1. Parenting
Introduction to Genealogy
Lesson 4e: Divorce Records
 Intro to Genealogy:
 Lesson Four
• Course FAQ
• Course Outline

• Why Vital Records?
• Birth Records
• Marriage Records 
• Death Records
• Divorce Records
• How to Obtain Vital Records
• Where to Find Vital Records
• Source Citations
• Putting it All Together
• Lesson 4: Quiz
 Interactive Classroom

Visit the Let's Learn Genealogy forum to post your questions and comments and interact with your classmates.
Get Help with Lesson 4

Divorce records Divorces before the twentieth century were uncommon and in some places illegal. 

Divorce records contain information on family members, their marital history (including marriage date and place), their property, residences, and dates of other important events such as the children's births. Divorce records are primary source records for the information on property, living children, age of husband and wife and date of divorce and secondary source records for information on the marriage, birth dates of children, etc. Divorces are administered in the court systems, so the process of obtaining a divorce and the location of the ensuing records will vary by country.

What information will a divorce decree provide? This will vary widely by location and time period. In general, vital records forms usually allow space for the following information but are not consistently filled in by the users. 

Divorce records usually contain:

  • names of husband and wife

  • date of marriage

  • date of divorce

and may contain:

  • ages and/or birth dates of husband and wife

  • current residence for husband and wife

  • property of the husband and wife

  • names and birth dates of children

  • reasons for divorce

Divorce records are usually not considered as valuable of a resource by governments so you will not often find them indexed and may have to do some real digging to locate a record. They are, however, still quite a valuable record to add to your family history files.

Next page > Obtaining Vital Records



About Ancestry - Free Weekly Newsletter

Subscribe to the Newsletter


Explore Genealogy
By Category
    genealogyGenealogyparentingParentingb050217d8f0001623e815c2f3054d112c600094e92043494http://genealogy.about.comod526F6F745227liveKimberly Powellgenealogyguide3DK000C3zNIP11970-01-0110/od/index.htm0526F6F741approved/od
  1. About.com
  2. Parenting
  3. Genealogy

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.