interesting marriage capers
Victim: George Sexton
Circumstance: George was a well-known preacher, and both the 1871 and 1881 Censuses have him away from home, probably preaching. But which home? In 1881, his wife was living in Lambeth with one of her sons (the other two and their daughter having left the nest in the 1870s). His other wife (well, she called herself Mrs Sexton in 1881) was at home with her four daughters in Islington. Both women gave their marriage state as Married. In 1871, the two families were both living in Camberwell, about a mile apart. In 1883, he left for a preaching tour of America & Canada and died there in 1898. It is believed that, whatever the two women knew, none of the children knew of the respective other families. George had an very varied faith history, and it seems that the illegitimate family was conceived during a period of atheism - but there are letters which show he stayed in contact even while he was safely out of the way, many years later in America!
Origin of this story: 1871, 1881 Censuses, families\' knowledge leading to convergent research by descendants of both sides, US/Canadian newspaper obituaries - which don\'t mention the families!