Marriage End Date...? It would be great if someone could explain why and how to use this field.

+8 votes
183 views
In the marriage editing mode, what it the purpose of the marriage end date field? When should it be used? Is it necessary if a person marries once and the marriage lasts until one spouse dies? (and the other spouse never remarries?)

Thank you!
in WikiTree Help by William Thomas G2G Crew (480 points)
retagged by Ellen Smith
I only use it if there was a remarriage.
I use it for multiple marriages to help keep things in order.  I use it after the death of one spouse and the re-marriage of the widow/widower.

laugh I also use it to indicate a change in marital status or marital partners. When you are trying to sort out which children were borne by which woman, it's helpful. 

5 Answers

+14 votes

Hi William.  

The issue has been discussed before and there have been a variety of opinions voiced.  Have a look at: https://www.wikitree.com/g2g/114413/what-is-the-proper-use-of-marriage-end-date-on-wikitree

Personally, I've been using it only in cases of divorce, but I'm not sure that's the majority position.

by Bill Feidt G2G6 Mach 1 (13.9k points)
I am in this column. I have not seen any other use for this option.
I would only use it if there is an official (or legal) decree ending the marriage. To use it in the event of death is redundant and unnecessary.
So if I don't put an end date on my father's first and second marriages, but he is currently showing as married to a third wife, he's a trigamist?
Yes, if the other two are still living and there was no divorce.

I was responding to George's comment regards it being redundant and unnecessary to use an end date in the case of death.

While that may be true on the dead spouse's profile, the same is not true on the surviving spouse's profile.  Hence my rather facetious remark. 

My father's first wife died, but you can't tell that on HIS profile.  All that shows there is that he married twice (because marriage #2 is not shown), unless I put an end date to the first marriage (which I did).

If I had all three of his marriages visible on his profile, with NO end dates, it would appear as though he was a trigamist, even though he was not.

End dates are important.  Use them.

+7 votes
I'm one who uses it whenever a marriage is ended, death or divorce, annulment. Can help to clarify things about children and remarriage. However I do see that this approach could conflict with the personal philosophy of others.
by C. Mackinnon G2G6 Pilot (211k points)
I place myself here. I have used this as stated above, death of spouse, divorce, or a remarriage. On a side note, I have an ancestor who (according to undocumented family lore, which I have no reason to dispute) reportedly divorced, and then remarried the same spouse multiple times over a span of several years. I have found no documentation of the divorces or remarriages, so I have only listed the original marriage date sourced by the marriage certificate, and then listed the marriage end date when he died. Luckily, the children were all from the same spouse, so that was easy to document. The surviving spouse went on to remarry several other men, however there were no children from those unions.
+5 votes
I use it when a spouse remarries or if there's a divorce record...    I don't use it when a spouse dies,  just my personal approach..... bad enough to lose a spouse without claiming the marriage ended but  perhaps  "Until Death Do Us Part"  does imply the marriage has ended.
by Peggy McReynolds G2G6 Pilot (244k points)
+5 votes

I may be incorrect, but it appears that we have no official guidelines for the marriage data fields.

So, in my opinion, and until we create such guidelines, we are free to interpret those fields as we please! Yay!!laugh

by Lindy Jones G2G6 Pilot (197k points)
+1 vote
Personally, I put it on any spouse who dies, or divorces, if the date preceeds the death or marriage of the primary person.

But I only do it if I have hard evidence that the person either died before the next marriage, or divorced the person in the profile.

I find the dates interesting because sometimes there is a fairly short time between the dissolving of the first marriage, and the 2nd - and there are children involved, sometimes.
by Roy Lamberton G2G6 Mach 3 (34k points)

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