Friday, November 4, 2011

How to Notate Multiple Spouses

This question came in my email today:  On the application form how do I indicate multiple spouses and in what order would I place the documentation for second spouses?

Excellent question!

On the Ascent Chart included with the application form, you will only list your direct ancestors.  Multiple spouses will not appear on the Ascent Chart, just as they normally will not appear on your 5-generation chart.

However....and, there is always a however.....there is a way to successfully and properly document multiple spouses.

For the males in the line, it generally is not as important to list multiple spouses.  Usually this happens if the first spouse has died or there has been a divorce.  You will often see a second wife listed in an obituary, or in other records.  This will be notated in your documents you submit and thereby listed on your Documentation List.

The same is true for the females in the line except that every time there is a name change for a female ancestor it MUST be documented.  When your great-grandmother divorced and remarried 5 times, or became a widow,  each event must be documented.  We all know that tracing our female ancestors is generally the most difficult of our researching.  When we are fortunate enough to find this documentation, we must notate it.

Don't forget, if you are using court records, they all should have a source citation including the Volume and Page and/or Microfilm Roll of where it was found.

While the ancestors on your Application Form will be in generational order, the numbers of the proving documentation do not have to be in successive order.  Your Documentation List will show the documents in the proper order using the Ascent Chart as a guide to placement.

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