Sepia Saturday 496: A recap of the series on why my third great-grandmother Hannah (Hance) Blakeslee may have left her marriage in 1858.
In court records of my third great-grandparents’ 1866 divorce proceedings, no direct evidence was submitted by my third great-grandmother Hannah (Hance) Blakeslee to explain why she left her marriage — never to return.
In my third great-grandfather Zebulon Blakeslee’s divorce petition, he said Hannah left on 1 Nov. 1858 — just two-and-a-half weeks before their 30th wedding anniversary on 19 Nov. 1858. But what prompted her departure?
Having examined the court papers, reviewed a timeline of Hannah’s early and later married life, and chronicled what I know of her post-divorce years, I formed a theory of why she left Zebulon — and it flowed from her relationship with her daughters and grandchildren.
Here is a summary of the posts from this series (best read in order).
- 1858: Why did Hannah (Hance) Blakeslee leave her marriage?
- 1840-50: Hannah (Hance) Blakeslee’s early married years
- 1850-58: The later married years of Hannah (Hance) Blakeslee
- Why Hannah left Zebulon in 1858: A circumstantial theory
Thus ends my exploration of the separation and divorce of my third great-grandparents Zebulon and Hannah (Hance) Blakeslee, which were chronicled in earlier posts.
- Series Summary: The odd 1860 separation of Zebulon and Hannah (Hance) Blakeslee
- Series Summary: The 1866 divorce of Zebulon and Hannah (Hance) Blakeslee
The winding path of genealogy research
When I began writing about my Blakeslee ancestors 10 months ago, in A bewildering Blakeslee saga, I knew little about them and expected to simply write a post or two with what sources I had.
Yet as their stories unfolded and I carefully re-examined my past research, I noticed previously overlooked evidence — and whole new avenues of exploration unfolded.
Within six months I was traveling to Montrose, Penna., to obtain the Blakeslees’ divorce, tax and land records along with newspaper notices about them — a trip I never would have imagined when I first sat down to write their stories.
Writers talk about being the vehicle for a story that seems to write itself, as if guided by an unseen hand. I don’t know about that.
What I do know is that giving voice to an ancestor’s history — sitting down to write about them in a focused way with whatever sources you have — spurs further research that can dramatically move your family’s history forward. And I have my Blakeslee ancestors to thank for that discovery.
Up next: A fall break for Molly’s Canopy to relax and recharge. Please stop back when blogging resumes after the holiday season. Meanwhile, please visit the blogs of other Sepia Saturday participants here.
© 2019 Molly Charboneau. All rights reserved.