JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen Divorced in the U.S., but not married in the U.S. #general


Liz Hanellin
 

Hello Genners,

My great-grandparents came to the U.S. >from Grodno (Poland, Belarus, Russia,
depending when and who you ask....) in about 1910. They were already married
and had three kids. The eldest was 9 years old at the time, so the marriage
must have taken place in 1900 or so.

from what I understand >from family lore, and based on the census records I
have found, they divorced sometime after 1920 and before 1940 and my
g-grandmother remarried.

My g-grandparents' names were Rebecca and Philip SHAYNES (with various
alternative spellings for the last name -- Schanes, Shanis, Schaynes,
Scheines, etc.; and variations on the first names as well -- Becky, Beckie,
Riwke for her and Pesach, Pejsach, Pasih for him). Her maiden name was ELFMAN
and her second married name was POPKIN (second husband's first name unknown).

However, I haven't been able to find any records of the divorce or the
remarriage, other than a 1940 census record that lists her under her
remarried last name, living with her daughter and son-in-law (my grandparents)
and their kids, and showing her as already being a widow of the second marriage.

What I'd like to know is how a divorce would have worked at that time, given
that the original marriage did not take place here. Would there have only been
a Jewish/religious divorce ("get") and Jewish/religious remarriage with no
civil divorce or marriage (which would explain why I can't find any civil
documentation)? Could there have been no actual divorce or remarriage at all
-- civil or religious? Was there a "typical" way that these things happened
(albeit that divorce itself was not so typical)?

I also know that my g-grandmother is not buried next to either husband. I
haven't seen the gravestone yet, but when I phoned the cemetery, they told
me that her record lists her as "Bessie Schanes aka Popkin" [the death date
is correct, so I know it's her, plus her son's name is correctly listed in
the record, and he also signed her death certificate]. The burial society
is the Erste Independent Tarnopoler Ladies' Society (and she has a lady
buried on each side of her neither of whose names I recognize). Does anyone
have any information about this society that might be useful?

As always, kind thanks for any insights you might have.

Best,
Liz Hanellin
NYC
Also searching: FRANKENTHALER and SHUKET

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