I clicked the link to start searching for a divorce for my Great-Grandfather Frederick Emory Webster, a.k.a. "The Traveling Dentist." Why was I looking for a divorce record for him? Because he was married twice. Ya, I hadn't mentioned that little fact on my blog yet. I descend from his second wife, Esther Matus Villatoro, who was from Mexico. His first wife was Kate E. Woodhouse. She was from England. Kate and Frederick married in Denver, Colorado on December 10, 1888.
I discovered that Frederick had a first wife some time ago. After learning this fact, I was really hoping that he hadn't just left the United States and married again without getting a divorce first.
Would you believe I found Frederick and Kate's Divorce Record Report in less than half an hour? Yep, it was absolutely time to do the Genealogy Happy Dance!! There is no index in this record set, but it is alphabetized, which does make it easier to peruse.
I have to admit, I was quite relieved to find the Divorce Record Report for Kate and Frederick yesterday. Thank you again Jen! You helped me check off one of my research goals for Frederick. Finding a divorce for Frederick and Kate was on my To-Do List.
|"Colorado Department of Health. Colorado, Statewide Divorce Index, 1900-1939," images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org: accessed 6 January 2013), image 1569 of 4516 images, Frederick E. Webster and Kate E. Webster, 1899, Colorado Department of Health and Environment, Denver, Colorado.|
|Webster Dental and Photo Boats circa 1896-1902|
Lake Charles, Louisiana
Click to Enlarge
And the Date of Decree is March 14, 1899. I'm not familiar with divorce lingo, and I'm not a lawyer, so I wasn't sure what a Decree was. I did a little research online and it looks like it means the divorce is final. I could be wrong though. If anyone knows the answer to this, please let me know. I'd really appreciate it.
Also, it looks like Kate was the one who filed for divorce from Fred. Now I want to know why. Was he negligent? Did he travel too much? Did she travel with him or was she left at home to care for the kids by herself? I'm hoping that I can locate the actual divorce records to answer these and other questions.
Assuming the Decree date is the actual date the divorce was final, I was curious to see where Frederick was at that time. So, I looked at my timeline for him and this is what I found. I have a photo dated 1896-1902 showing Fred Webster's Dental and Photo Boats at Lake Charles, Calcasieu, Louisiana. I also have another photo with boats with a date range of 1890-1902 in Morgan City, Louisiana.
Is Kate one of the people in this photo? If not, just who are all of those people with Frederick? Perhaps Kate didn't like this bohemian lifestyle of Fred's and called it quits.
Whatever the reason for Fred and Kate's divorce, I'm just so glad to find evidence that there actually was a divorce. And that Fred didn't just sail away in one of his dental boats to a new life without the proper legal separation from his old life.
Thanks for reading!
Copyright © Jana Last 2013