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The Art of Criminal Conversation: Divorce Records and where to find them


Delve into some original records of marital unrest over the centuries with Claire Moores. Discover the differing experiences of men and women during these sometimes turbulent and emotional times. Claire Moores gives us an overview of the historical context in the 16th century, including what is meant by the term ‘divorce’.

She then goes on to look at the key records that are useful for tracing our ancestors’ marital unrest. This covers aspects such as: information you can glean from Poor Law records; legal documents of judicial separation in ecclesiastical courts or by Act of Parliament; private deeds of separation; private letters; and newspaper extracts. Claire also reflects on what the records tell us about who was really ‘guilty’. And finally she shows you the steps you need to take to start your own research, covering both online datasets and archival gems.

About the speaker:  Claire Moores has been researching family history and local history for over 20 years, which started with becoming fascinated with the story of her home parish, Great Warford, in Cheshire, for which she developed a local history website.

Alongside a full time role in the Fire Service, she is a regular speaker for genealogical and local history talks, for Family History Societies, Parish groups, and U3A's, to name a few.  During lockdown, she has been able to adjust these to be able to deliver them online, which has allowed her to meet groups for much further afield. She has just completed a short course, Archaeology in Practice, at Oxford University, to develop her knowledge further on aspects of landscape analysis, between looking after three children!

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