divorce records seem to be invisible

+5 votes
Hello all,

Everything I read tells me that divorce records are easy to find, right along with marriage records.

I'm not finding this to be true, or I'm doing it wrong.

For example:

Evelyn Pryor Marries William McKenzie

April 11, 1928 - Hamlin Maine


she marries Jessie Doyen not even a year later.

Feb 14, 1928 - in Sommerset Maine.

both go on to marry after that.

YET: I cna find no divorce/annulment records for these events.


help !!!
WikiTree profile: Jesse H Doyen
in Genealogy Help by Rachael Hindman G2G2 (2.6k points)

Just teasing you for an apparent typo!

Evelyn Pryor Marries William McKenzie

April 11, 1928 - Hamlin Maine


she marries Jessie Doyen not even a year later.

Feb 14, 1928 - in Sommerset Maine.


If you find them, please let me know too. I generally use Family Search, and to my knowledge, the only divorce records I've easily found have been for LA County, California within the early-to-mid 1900's... maybe a bit beyond. I'm sure there's a way to find them directly (courthouse records, for example) or through a search (again, with an online DB provided by the state or county) or possibly through library records (maybe), but I've not had much luck either.
Texas and Florida also have divorce records listed on Family Search but they're a bit scant (minimal and confusing information).
I think you meant to show the year for the second marriage as 1929.
Do you have evidence that these marriages refer to the same people? Unless you have family information to confirm that they are the same, it is worth considering if they could all be completely different people.
historical societies and town records have been helpful as general resources.

Putting people in the right place at the right time, and filling in "life event" holes.

but I need hard core verified marriage/divorce-annulment records when it comes to defining who's who and who might not be who they thought they were.

ya know?

2 Answers

+9 votes
I think you are in the same situation that I found myself dealing with a few years ago.   First, I am sure there are more records that ARE NOT electronic than there are records that ARE electronic.   I think we all get so used to finding the data we need on the internet, that we start thinking that all data is on the internet.

Here is what I have done...go to the website or county where the second marriage occurred and ask how to search for divorce records.   They may have their own site, or they may have volunteers that will do the search of paper documents for you.   I recently did this for a death record of an ancestor and made a friend along the way.
by Robin Lee G2G6 Pilot (711k points)
Thanks so much. You make great sense about not all divorce records being digitized.

The trick is that the records I'm looking for are in Maine and I'm in Virginia.

I use all free sites, so my next ponderment is if indeed paid sites (think shiny leaves) has any better information.

I'm loathe to pay, but almost ready to "go there". I hate that the Library of Congress and National Archives have "partnered " with shiny leaves.

I've considered a FOIA (freedom of information act) process.


As I have work forward in this fascinating field, I agree more and more.

So many records are available online, that it's easy to think that everything is.

The old hit the streets and dig in the basements has not gone away just yet.
+3 votes

Per familysearch.org, the marriage to Jesse Doyen was in 1929.

Jesse Doyen

mentioned in the record of Evelyn M Pryor and Jesse Doyen

Name Jesse Doyen
Event Type Marriage
Residence Place Farmington, Me
Event Date 14 Feb 1929
Event Place Maine, United States
Spouse's Name Evelyn M Pryor
Spouse's Residence Place Bingham, Me
  • No image available

Maine, Marriage Index, 1892-1966, 1977-1996

Citing this Record

"Maine, Marriage Index, 1892-1966, 1977-1996," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KCJ3-Z3J : 27 November 2014), Jesse Doyen and Evelyn M Pryor, 14 Feb 1929; citing Marriage, Maine, United States, State Archives, Augusta.

by Frank Gill G2G Astronaut (2.3m points)

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