It has been that time of year when I tackle indoor projects because the weather is just plain yukky. During one project, I decided to use my breaks to sit at my computer and do some bits of research trying to learn the name of a relative's first wife
|Manchester Public Library's collection of City Directories|
Because I wanted each genealogy break to last as long as possible, I took the time to read all the information about this relative and his wife in the entries I found. I learned details about his role in the family business, its location, even checked for an ad for the business. In addition to the two years where I found the couple listed in the city directories, I also looked in several years before and after the two "marriage" years to see if they contained additional information about the wife. This wasn't as successful because she apparently did not reside in that city prior to or following their brief marriage.
One important detail in the city directory was their home address for those two years, so I used Google Earth to get a more recent street view of their house. On a later break, using that street address, I was able to find an index of realty transfers for the county where they had lived. Apparently, the house had always been in the wife's name, and the documents for both the purchase and the later resale of the house provided the first, maiden, and married name of the wife. Finally, a complete name.
A day later, I continued working on my project, this time using my breaks to look at every city directory available for the town. I was amazed to find another wife listed for several years in the early 1950s. The relative's name, address, and business affiliation established that I had the right relative's name. Before the day was over, I found still another wife in the late 1950s, again with the address and family business information to confirm her existence. I had always heard how this relative had been married "several times", and a collection of city directories seemed to provide some support for that family story.
As for the love story, this relative married again in the mid 1960s, this time for good. Theirs was a long and happy thirty-year marriage, ending only with the death of this final wife. At last, this relative had finally met his soul mate. Finally, written in capital letters, purple ink, and underlined.