Divorces and Separations from Petitions to the North Carolina General Assembly, 1779-1837


Divorces and separations from the bonds of matrimony are never pleasant subjects to discuss, however the Petitions and Memorials which request that such steps be approved on the part of parties involved often contain genealogical information that cannot be obtained in any other way. The very fact that an injured party petitioned for a separation or a divorce presumes that a legal marriage took place, and this presumption may complement or supplement marriage information from another source. The names of children and parents are sometimes revealed in such petitions as well as previous residences.

In some cases a complete divorce was granted. In other cases, a divorce of "Bed and Board" was authorized, which did not dissolve the marriage bond, but suspended the effect of marriage as to cohabitation. Following such authorization, an act would be passed to secure the injured party such estate or property as might be acquired after the separation as if there had been no marriage. Each article in this series lists the involved parties as if there had been no marriage.

The records presented herein have been abstracted from sources filed at the North Carolina State Archives in Raleigh, North Carolina: General Assembly Session Records, House Committee Reports, House Messages, House Resolutions, Joint Committee Reports, Petitions, Senate Committee Reports, Senate Messages, Senate Resolutions, House Bills, and Senate Bills. Sources are identified for each petition.

Janet and Ransom McBride

2009, 8x11, paper, index, 312 pp.

ISBN: 9780936370200