Divorces and Separations in Missouri, 1808-1853Book - 1990
Divorce was not common in Missouri in the early 1800's. But there is considerable evidence that many couples found life together intolerable, at least at times. From earliest days newspapers carried plaintive "My wife having left my bed and board" notices filed by indigent husbands. The deserted wife seldom took this means of showing dissatisfaction. She waited the required period and sued for divorce. Notices of separations can only be found in newspapers, but there are two other sources for divorce records: circuit courts, where one existed, and the State Legislature of Missouri, which acted on divorce cases in the wide areas where no circuit courts sat. Actually many of these cases also appeared in the newspapers, since many times a partner in a divorce case could not be found and it was necessary to notify him via the press. It is possible to go through a 10 year period in one of the early circuit courts and not find a single divorce action. But there may be divorces in some of those early records which are not included in the records which follow. We think of "Women's Lib." as a product of our own time. But these records show that Missouri women have been far more liberated than we realized, and for a very long time!
Publisher: Greenville, S.C. : Southern Historical Press, c1990.
Branch Call Number: GENEALOG 929.3778 Stanley
Characteristics: ii, 35 leaves :,facsims. ;,21 cm.