What You Can Find in the Journals About Divorces

The journals are interesting reading such as the reasons for the divorce. Some of the reasons listed are:

Gross neglect of duty
Abandoned by either husband or wife (there were many wives leaving husbands and minor children)
Attempted bodily harm
Habitual drunkenness
 Adultery (also named illicit cohabitation) with names given
Refused to be seen with or recognized as spouse
Drinking, carousing and consorting with lewd women
Kept company with other men
Immoral conduct - contracted a social disease from someone other than the plaintiff
Or defendant was incarcerated in a penitentiary
The plaintiff was usually kind, dutiful, loving and without fault. We have not included in this publication the reason for the divorce.

You may find the maiden name, if her name was restored. Sometimes in the journals the location of their marriage and when they were married will be given. It will always be listed in the packet. A date of when they separated will be given and how long before filing petition for divorce. During World War I, it was asked if the male was in the military.

Sometimes the judge declared the petition was premature; maybe the reasons given were not sufficient. In a few cases, the case was dismissed because the couple reconciled. The judge also annulled some marriages. The plaintiff or defendant may have been underage and did not have consent to marry. The fivorce from a previous spouse was not finalized or the waiting period of six months had not passed.

We have included in the notes some valuable information decided in the decree of divorce, such as the custody of the minor children. Their names are usually given, sometimes with ages or birthdates of the children. Other examples are of the children in the custody and care of the grandparents, with the grandparent's names listed. There are examples when it is stated the children are adopted or children from a previous marriage. We have also listed if there were no children or issue from the marriage, if that was reported to the court.

Sometimes the defendant or plaintiff does not live in Oklahoma and where they reside is listed. Many times, where the defendant lives is not known and that information is given as last known address. Many were never found and the notice of the pending divorce had to be pubilished in the newspaper at their last known area.

If they had a home or land to settle, it will be listed. The address of the home or land description will be given. The personal property to be divided will be listed. If they own a business and it is part of the settlement, the name and location will be given.

You may find various ways of spelling the name and sometimes the case number will be different. The case numbe is important in following through on your research, so we have given both numbers. When listed in the notes "stricken from docket or assignment" the case will be moved to another day's docket.


Last updated: 07 Nov 2012 07:52:38 -0600

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