I am indexing South Africa, Western Cape—Deceased Estate Files
Hello, I am indexing South Africa, Western Cape—Deceased Estate Files, and see the names of two wives on a particular record. One is the current wife, at the time of death. The other is the first wife and the marriage ended in divorce. Should I include both names? Would this fall under the "Do you see any more information on this image to index?"
can you please share the batch so we can have a look?
The batch code is in square brackets at the end of the project name and looks like this [MS27-MY4]
you can just reply with the batch code or you can copy and paste the URL into your reply
Having looked at the project instructions for the South Africa, Western Cape—Deceased Estate Files, 1951–1958 [Part B] it says
- If multiple spouses were recorded, such as divorced or deceased spouses, index the first recorded spouse's name.
However, the South Africa, Western Cape—Deceased Estate Files, 1974–2011 project does not have this instruction so the answer to your question lies in which project you are doing
Thank you thus far for your assistance. Here is the batch number [M3DH-N4M]
I do appreciate the link the instructions have for Afrikaans Genealogical Word List. That is quite helpful.0
Index the current spouse only. This is not a project where you would need to answer "Yes" to the "Do you see any more information on this image to index?".0
Your batch is part of the South Africa, Western Cape—Deceased Estate Files 1974–2011 project so there is no specific instruction on what to do with ex- or deceased spouses. The form includes an entry for surviving spouse (item 15) plus an entry for predeceased or divorced spouses (Item 17a).
I agree with @Teresa MM to index only the current spouse because he only had one spouse at the time of death (the other was an ex-spouse). The instructions for the 1951–1958 [Part B] project suggest this is the intention but really they should not come into the question.
Here is another thought - how to index if there was no surviving spouse (item 15 no name) but at least one predeceased or divorced spouse (in Item 17a). I would index the first name in item 17a but would I be right?0
Thank you so very much. I will look once again at the batch, complete anything unfinished and move forward to submitting. I will not include the divorced wife in the indexing project. If a family member is seeking information and come across this record in their searches, they will be able to add the information to their own records.
@Ontymay If the person is listed as divorced or a widow/er, I don't list the previous spouse. My thought is that these documents were meant to show potential heirs to a deceased person's estate, so a deceased or divorced spouse would generally not be considered heirs. This is just my thought process.
Forgot to include this - you technically no longer have a spouse if you are divorced or widowed (I don't want to get into religion here). I find it confusing because it makes it appear the person is married when they really are not.0
If there is a spouse listed on these, dead or alive, or divorced, I think you would still index the name. We generally try to capture any information that is available without thinking too much about the legality of the document. The general instruction for indexing a record with multiple spouses listed is to list the current (or most recent) spouse.0
@wandarochellebrenner1 you are totally right, provided the researcher can find the document in the first place.
@Teresa MM you are absolutely right that someone who was a widow/er or divorce/e when they died did not have a spouse at the time. However I also feel that @Melissa S Himes is right in that we are trying to capture information that will help researchers find the record which they can examine and draw their own conclusions. The instruction that applies to the 1951–1958 [Part B] project is consistent with this.
@Melissa S Himes I have never come across that instruction - I guess I have never done a project where it was relevant. With that said, I do wonder why not index all spouses the person had in their lifetime. Personally I have been grateful that in German records (marriage registers and family tables) all spouses were indexed (in separate records). It is very handy if you didn't know that a wife had died and the husband remarried, for example.0
I should have included the link to the Help Center article on Indexing Multiple Spouses or Parents.
Here you go:
When the document lists multiple spouses or parents, index only the current spouse or parents. Here are some quick guidelines for these situations:
- For multiple spouses, index only the present or current spouse.
- For multiple parents, such as a set of birth parents and a set of adoptive parents, index only the current set of adoptive parents.
- Do not add records to include the other individuals. The information is not lost. After we publish the records, researchers can view the image and gather any additional information in it.
As for the divorced or deceased spouses, they are listed on our Family Trees, so if they are on documents they should be included. For the purposes of genealogy, you do have a spouse or multiple spouses forever; Whether deceased or divorced, they are part of the journey. The "last" spouse is the most current spouse.1
thank you @Melissa S Himes - as always a font of knowledge😀0
Thank you so very much!