GENEALOGY: Investigating a surprising divorce - Green Valley News: Lifestyle

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GENEALOGY: Investigating a surprising divorce

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Posted: Saturday, May 21, 2011 3:43 pm | Updated: 3:44 pm, Sat May 21, 2011.

Sometimes a divorce presents a different type of surprise. When I requested a divorce file in Chautauqua County, New York, the clerk returned snickering. "This is a juicy one," she exclaimed.

My great-great-grandmother Sarah (Bly) Thayer, a native of Ashville, New York, married Daniel Brainard Thayer in 1853. He died in October 1863 of illness contracted as a Union soldier in the Civil War. I learned of Sarah's divorce from her application for his widow's pension.

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