Thursday, March 31, 2011

1874 Marriage for Sarah Ann? Must be a mistake!

  Those of you who are familiar with the workings of New Family Search internet site; (It's now open to EVERYONE)
will understand my astonishment when a few months ago while accessing the records of the Kidgell's I found that a new marriage record had been added to Sarah Ann.  Someone had pulled in the name Thomas Mills; married Sarah Ann Kidgell on 21 September 1874 in the Endowment House.  I was sure it was a mistake and the way to 'make it go away' was to 'uncombine' (a nFS term) the record.  So, off to our Family History Center (which is less than a half mile from my home) to get help in doing this course of action.  Just as I was ready to 'hit the computer key' to take this record out (uncombine) I was asked this question by the volunteer at the FHC  Wm. Parker, "Look carefully at the date Renée - does it fit in with the information you know about your ancestor?"  
Me "Well..... yes, it is after her husband's death in 1872 and before a marriage to Herman Vogel around 1879-80." 
Bill "by 'uncombining' this record is not a permanent fix, the person who put this marriage record in can and likely will enter it again.  And, think about it, maybe this submitter knows something  you don't know"  
Me  "mmmm, so you think I should research this first?" 

   Well of course, I acted hastily, after-all just because it's not found in the family history (written or orally) doesn't  mean it didn't happen.
     I went to my favorite Utah site;
and typed in Mills.  I found a Salt Lake County (Utah) Probate Court record for Sarah Ann Mills and a record for Thomas Mills with the same Series number and the 'Case Type' was recorded as DIVORCE.    I sent for the document and within ten days I got my verification!  
The divorce papers were filed on  
8 Jan. 1877 and the divorce was granted on 9 Aug 1877.
There were two handwritten records, one for the Plaintiff, Sarah Ann Mills written in good legible penmanship and one for the Defendant in very poor penmanship; very hard to read. 
Below I have transcribed the Plaintiff's record word for word.  
The Defendant's (hard to read document) say's Yes, they were married and Yes, he has not lived with Sarah Ann for over a year and Yes, they cannot live together in harmony and yes, she can be granted her married name of Kidgell.  

To the Hon. Probate Court of Salt Lake County, your petitioner Sarah Ann Mills a resident of Salt Lake City in said County respectfully represents that on the Twenty first day of September A. D. 1874 in said City she was joined in marriage with the Defendant Thomas Mills by Prest. Daniel H. Wells, that at and before her said marriage she was the Widow of Charles Kidgell deceased, and that since her said marriage with Defendant she has been and now is, his lawful wife, that after she had lived with said Defendant, in the marital relations about seven months she became fully satisfied in consequence of the cause pursued by said Defendant, his idle habits and neglect to provide for Plaintiff his said Wife, that support and maintainence which was his duty to do that she could not live with him in peace and union.  And Plaintiff informed Defendant that unless he intended to provide for her support and maintainence, he had better leave her, as she could not provide for her non support and that of Defendant and three of his children who were living with him by her own labor and  exertions and thereupon Defendant left Plaintiff and went to Utah County in his Territory to live or dwell with some of is children, that Plaintiff and Defendant have not lived together as husband and wife for nearly one and a half years, and as that she cannot live happily with the said Defendant her welfare requires that the bonds of matrimony thus existing between Plaintiff and Defendant should be dissolved and declared void which she prayes judgement of this Honorable Court.  Plaintiff further ask's that she may be restored to all the rights and privileges of a  femme-sole ((Law) a woman whose marriage has been annulled or is otherwise independent of her husband, as by owning her own property) with the right to resume her former name of Sarah Ann Kidgell and that such further and other relief may be extended to her in the premises as may be in accordance with equity and good conscience, upon the final determination of the case by the Court. And as in duty bound your petitions will ever pray.
This is Sarah Ann's (very own) signature
Sworn and Subscribed to 
before me this eighth (8th)
day of January A. D. 1877
E. Smith 
Probate Judge 

Thomas was fifty eight years old when he married Sarah Ann who was forty two.  There is mention of a Thomas Mills in the Kidgell and Cashmore Histories (pg.44) of when Caroline Kidgell Higson (sister to Charles Jr.) ".......was baptised by Elder Kelly and her confirmation was 21 May 1854 by Thomas Mills into the Leigh, Bedford Branch Lancaster, England."  This might be the connection of Sarah Ann knowing Thomas.  Thomas's first wife died in England in December 1873 and I am assuming he came to Utah with his large family after her death 1873 and before September 1894?