walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

My Uncle Harry's Mystery Marriage

I grew up in a family with rigid beliefs about a lot of things and, as an inevitable consequence, a lot of people doing things at odds with those beliefs. As children, we were mostly just unaware of a lot of this stuff. As we got older, we inevitably both noticed more things and got more persistent with our questions. And once we could drive and socialize independently, other Jehovah's Witnesses would volunteer information about our dirty secrets if we didn't know about them already. At the time, this was all very disturbing. Now, of course, it seems so predictable it is almost boring.

However when I was all excited about tracking down Long Lost Relatives, one of my cousins-by-marriage (on my mother's side), who is also an fb friend, brought up My Uncle Harry's Mystery Marriage. He had heard the story from (and I'm not making this up) one of my cousin's on my father's side. Small world, etc. I relayed to him the marriage record for that marriage that I had stumbled across, pointing out along the way the notable fact that the officiant for that marriage in 1967 was my sister C.'s father-in-law.

I did mention the small world, right?

Anyway. My Uncle Harry married a woman named Audrey M. in 1967, Harold H. officiating. I found this when I was searching for my great-uncle Harry's marriage certificate (which I eventually found after my newly-reconnected distant cousin told me the bride's name), and noted the information down. I know that Audrey and Harry were still married in 1969, because I distinctly remember seeing a card from Audrey in my baby book. My cousin had it in his head that the child might be my Uncle Harry's, but I had been told years ago when I first heard the story that it was not and knowing now that she was born in 1922 makes it really, really unlikely that anyone was lying about that. (<-- Notice I did not say impossible.)

Today, I thought, gee, I wonder if I can find her first marriage? Sure enough, there it is, to Roy. And while Audrey died in 1989, Roy hung on until 2000 (my Uncle Harry is still alive). This is a little less improbable than it might seem; Audrey married younger men both times.

When my cousin brought the whole story up, he mentioned that he'd heard she was a little nutty. I pointed out that anyone who married my Uncle Harry would _have_ to be more than a little nuts (even in 1967 as a single mother). But a woman who marries younger men [edited to correct where I initially typed women!] twice and gets divorced twice? Back then? Now I sorta wish I'd known her. She sounds like a Character. Audrey and Audrey's first husband Roy are easily findable in my online tree. Audrey's also connected to a Living ---, which would be my Uncle Harry. I really don't mind violating his privacy. Not one little tiny bit.
Tags: genealogy

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