Remarriage after separation of 7 years

By Meryl Yost and Maureen Martin, 1998.

Whilst researching at the Archives Office of Tasmania recently we came across a letter from the Registrar-General's Office written to a lady who was requesting to remarry due to her husband having left her. The following has been transcribed from that letter.

Dated 30th October 1901

Madam, In reply to your letter of blank date I beg to inform you that, no charge for bigamy can be laid against any one "Marrying a second time whose husband shall have been continually absent from such person for the space of Seven years then last past, and shall not have been known by any person to be living within that time." Signed the Registrar General.

We could possibly assume that the lady in question would have provided proof to the Registrar General with her request for permission but she may have only stated the separation without proof being given. On her subsequent remarriage in 1902 the Minister has made note in the space for Condition (Spinster or Widow) - "Married woman whose husband left her for over seven years, can find no trace of him."

Source: NS 1738/57, Scottsdale Presbyterian Church Marriage Register, hard copy, Archives Office of Tasmania.


By Sue Lee, 2003. E-mail: Sue Lee

Husband Benjamin was a ship's cook, in and out of Hobart from his marriage in 1857 until we think around 1880-1883. We have managed to find him listed on the crew of a couple of ships during the 1870's. His wife died in 1891 and her Will written in 1884 reads:
This is the Will and testament of me Maria Ann LEE of Hobart in Tasmania the wife of Benjamn LEE now in parts beyond the seas Mariner ....

The family story is that Benjamin went missing, his trunk came home without him and as he had been away for 7 years, Maria considered remarrying a George REA. For whatever reason she didn't marry George so the 7 year rule was never tested.

Just wish we could find where Benjamin disappeared.


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Updated 02-Oct-2003