Saturday, August 05, 2006

Research Note: Finding an Elusive Spouse

So I was looking for the name of Cousin A's spouse. She apparently lived her entire life in Kansas City, Missouri, but the excellent Jackson County records site, of which I've spoken glowingly in the past, had no evidence of her marriage. Perhaps, I reasoned, this meant she had slipped across the county line to one of the suburban counties to get married or even across the state line into Kansas for her nuptials. It's fairly difficult to get marriage records in Kansas. And for some reason, her spouse's name never turned up in any available census records. Then it occurred to me that perhaps she owned residential property in Kansas City. So I checked the property records, and indeed, there were several warranty deeds that listed Cousin A and her spouse as grantors or grantees. From the deeds, I learned the name of her spouse, and could glean a lot of circumstantial evidence about the date of marriage and other things. While not as complete as a marriage license or certificate, property records reveal a lot about the marital life of an ancestor.

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