Monday, March 21, 2011

Amanuensis Monday: The Divorce of Alfred H and Myrtle Connevey

Amanuensis: A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another.

I continue my project to transcribe family letters, journals, newspaper articles, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts. Not only do the documents contain genealogical information, the words breathe life into kin - some I never met - others I see a time in their life before I knew them.

This week I transcribe the divorce decree issued for my maternal grandmother and, I believe, her second husband. I discovered a newspaper record of this divorce a month ago, and have since retrieved the below document from the El Paso District Court.

Thursday, February 26th, 1920, court met pursuant to adjournment, all officers present same as of yesterday.

In the 34th Judicial District Court, El Paso County, Texas.

Myrtle Connevey
vs No. 17,859
Alfred H. Connevey

On this 26th day of February, A.D. 1920, came on to be heard the above entitled cause and it appearing to the Court that the defendant has been duly cited, according to law to appear, and answer this petition, after hearing the evidence and argument of counsel, and it further appearing to the Court that the plaintiff having established the material allegations contained in her petition is entitled to a decree against the said defendant, Aldred H. Connevey.

It is further ordered, adjuged and decreed by the Court that the bonds of matrimony heretofore existing between the plaintiff, Myrtle Connevey and the defendant, Aldred H. Connevey be, and the same is hereby dissolved and annulled, and that the plaintiff is divorced from the said defendant..

And it further appearing that before her marriage to the defendant, she was going under the name Myrtle Van Every;

It is further ordered, adjudged and decreed by the Court that she be restored to her maiden name, and that from now on she be designated as “Myrtle Van Every”; that she have judgment, also for costs of suit.

Court then adjourned until Friday, February 27, 1920.

Friday February 27, 1920, court met pursuant to adjournment, all officers present same as yesterday.

No further business appearing, it is the order of the Court that Court do now adjourn Sine Die.

(Signature) W.D.. Howe
Judge, 34th Judicial District of Texas.

Attest: C.M. McKinney
Clerk, District Court, El Paso County, Texas, 34th Judicial District.

By (signature)


1) It is frustrating that reference is made to the "material allegations" in my grandmother's "petition," but those allegations aren't stated. I am going to contact the clerk's office and see if those allegations were entered into the court record on an earlier date.

2) This marriage didn't last long, as I am fairly certain my grandmother went through another divorce in June of 1919. An Alfred Connevey died in 1973 in Bexar, TX, and was recorded as, 'single' in the Texas Death Index ( I believe this is the same individual.

3) Beyond the exact date of their divorce, I don't think this document tells me much more than I knew from the few lines in the following day's newspaper.

4) The typo 'Aldred' is made twice in the document. Since it was cumbersome to retype, I suspect the custom was to underline the error to indicate it was a mistake.

No comments: