Historic divorce records go online

Thousands of 19th and 20th century divorce records are going online

Thousands of 19th and 20th century divorce records are going online

First published in National News © by

Thousands of divorce proceedings from the 19th and early 20th centuries have been published online for the first time, revealing details why marriages broke down.

Adultery, mistreatment or inability to consummate marriage were some of the reasons given for almost 70,000 divorces listed by family history website Ancestry.co.uk.

Names of the husband, wife and any "involved party" as well as grounds for divorce are included in the UK Civil Divorce Records 1858-1911.

Mainly due to the high cost, divorces were relatively rare in the 19th century, with around 1,200 applications a year, compared with more than 100,000 each year.

Miriam Silverman, of Ancestry.co.uk, said: "Just like the Victorians of the day, we couldn't help but be fascinated by the accounts detailed within these divorce records.

"At the time, such tales often developed into national news stories, but now they're more likely to tell us something about the double standards of the Victorian divorce system or help us learn more about the lives of our sometimes naughty ancestors."

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree