Marriage and divorce in the 1800s

The author's great-great grandparents, Lavina Fields and Augustus F. Putnam, were married March 24, 1865, in Cairo, Illinois.

If the rains displaced you from your yard and garden this month, you might reap some fruit by moving indoors to cultivate your family tree. And, when the weather becomes too steamy, a road trip to an air-conditioned library or courthouse may yield some interesting information about your ancestors’ lives.

While many public records have been digitized for online access, there is a treasure trove of records waiting to be found at local libraries, historical societies and county courthouses.

“Until Death Do Us Part: An Examination of Marriage and Divorce Records of the 1800s,” presented by Thomas S. Neel, director of the Ohio Genealogical Society Library in Bellville, Ohio, may save you time when you make that summer road trip. Mr. Neel will address the laws that governed both marriage and divorce, the records that were generated by both, and the locations where those records can be found, at the Wednesday, June 19, meeting of the Cuyahoga West Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society.

The program will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the Porter Room of Westlake Porter Public Library, 27333 Center Ridge Road. Social time, with refreshments, is from 6:30-7:00 p.m. The public is invited, free of charge. For more information, email

Jayne Broestl

Publicity Chair for the Cuyahoga West Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society that meets at Westlake Porter Public Library.

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Volume 11, Issue 11, Posted 10:24 AM, 06.04.2019