View Full Version : Widow on nineteenth century marriage certificate
I've got someone who married in the mid nineteenth century & she's described as a widow. I can't find her previous husband's death. I don't know his first name or exactly where they'd been living....she was born in Portsea, her only surviving child from the marriage was born in Aldgate & she's on the 1841 census in Gillingham. Her second marriage was in Whitechapel & she & her new husband lived in the East End. Both her husbands & she herself were Jewish (second marriage a Jewish ceremony...can't find the first):(
Quite a lot of Jews were emigrating to the US at this time & many left their wives behind, intending that they should follow them, but, for various reasons, they never did. If her husband had just left her behind & a sufficient period of time had elapsed to allow her to remarry, would she still have ben described as a widow on the marriage certificate or was a different wording used & widow only reserved for women where it was certain that their husbands had died ?
Val wish Id never started
I've got a Jewish Womans Deah Cert and it says Widow of ??? but I know she never married, have read that a lot of Jewish people never married .
You could put the names on here and see what can be found ???
Thanks, Val....yes, that's what makes it difficult. I have already put this on the Jewish name patterns thread, but the more eyes the better....you never know. The problem is that it's really her first "husband's" family I'm interested in & I've only got his surname.
The woman concerned was Caroline Emmanuel (father Joseph Emmanuel....coffee house keeper). She changes her date of birth between 1821 & 1811, but 1811 seems the better bet. She was born in Portsea, Hampshire. She "married" (if she married) a Mr Asher/Assur & the only surviving child I have is Henry who was born in 1834 in Aldgate. The first official sighting I have of her is the 1841 census, (listed as Caroline Asher) when she's living with her son, Henry (but no husband) in Gillingham, Kent, with a Lyon family (one of their sons was named Asher, so I've been wondering if Caroline's Mr Asher was the brother of Mrs Lyon....but Mrs Lyon was born in Prussia, so can't trace that easily) In 1847 she (listed as Caroline Assur) married a Joseph Hart (pencil & pen manufacturer..Jewish wedding....I've got the cert) in the St George's area of the East End...she & her new husband continued to live in the East End. Her father, Joseph Emmanuel, was apparently, still alive at the time of her second wedding as Joseph Hart's father is listed as "dead". Unfortunately, Henry, her only child from the first marriage, emigrated to the USA, so I'm not able to get the name of his father from a marriage certificate etc for Henry
What is put on a marriage cert depends on what information someone supplies. Presumably she volunteered the information that she was a widow.
Christine in Herts
Have you tried getting a copy of the religious documentation for the marriage? Jewish records can be a lot more comprehensive - if you can get them.
Mary from Italy
There was no requirement to prove that she was either single or widowed, so as Nell says, she could say what she liked. Lots of people who married bigamously called themselves widows/widowers, just to complicate things.
I've also found marriages where either or both partners were widowed and they've been recorded as single. Of course they may have thought they were just being asked if they were married, to prevent bigamy!
Thanks, everyone....very much appreciated. As I've said, the problem is that I'm really interested in the Mr Asher who was , presumably, the father of Caroline's son, Henry before her second marriage. Christine in Herts...would the religious documentation contain any reference to that & what would be a way to get hold of it, if I could ? The odd thing is that there are quite a lot of Caroline & Henry Ashers in Kent (where she was in 1841....& a lot of them are in workhouses) & in the East End (where Henry was born)/Middlesex etc etc, but they are brother & sister pairings or cousins of roughly the same ages....not a parent & child as here. I wonder if she anglicised her name to Caroline to fit in with his family & maybe Henry was named after his father ?
So what I could be looking for (assuming he didn't emigrate) is a death of a Mr Asher in either Aldgate /the East End (where Henry was born) or Kent (where Caroline & Henry were living in 1841) between 1833 (Henry's conception) & 1841 (when Caroline is on her own with Henry, living with the Lyon family)
with the proviso to all that that , if they'd ben following the Jewish naming patterns, they wouldn't have named Henry after his father......unless the father was a Henry who was already dead when his son was born.
Also the husband need not be dead when she is shown alone in 1841 - he could be alive elsewhere, the death could be any time up to the date she remarried.
Yes, indeed Margaret (aaarrgh!). During the second marriage, her second husband, Joseph Hart, is absent on one census, but is there again on the next one
Have you got Henry's birth certificate?
Oops! I mean birth record from anywhere - pre 1837 of course
I suppose this is unlikely on the search site I am thinking of as they were Jewish
No, unfortunately I haven't Margaret...only have the details from the census records
I'm sorry my knowledge of Jewish records is not good but there must be some record of Henry either under Asher or Emmanual as I am thinking Caroline never married but had an illegitimate son and maybe gave herself the name of Asher to make it look OK.
Christine in Herts
As I've said, the problem is that I'm really interested in the Mr Asher who was , presumably, the father of Caroline's son, Henry before her second marriage. Christine in Herts...would the religious documentation contain any reference to that & what would be a way to get hold of it, if I could ?
I'm rather losing the plot on this, but it might be worth having a look in the FTF Reference Library to see if you can find anything under Jewish Research.
There are some detailed discussions on the Hospital Records threads about Jewish marriage and associated records and traditions (but it's a major read if you want to find a particular post: there are at least 11 threads to look through!).
naomiatt is a good person to ask, too.
Have you already tapped the knowledge on the British Jewry site?
Thanks, Christine....I'm sorry if I'm making this complicated....I'm interested in the Asher connection...I ordered Caroline's marriage certificate to Joseph Hart because I thought she may have been a "born Asher" single mother, but that shows her father as Joseph Emmanuel, so I assume Henry's father was a Mr Asher.
I've tried emailing the British Jewry site (I've registered) but the emails are returned...naomiatt gave me the address but she's tied up at the mo....do you have it please, as there must be a mistake in the one I'm using ?
Christine in Herts
You could start here:
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