Many of you have asked why you have to find documentation on other marriages for the people in your lineage. There are a number of reasons.
1. Documenting all marriages makes the historical record complete. As family historians, we should always be striving for as complete a record as we can possible produce.
2. If the line carrier has children from another marriage and descendants from that line apply for membership, the documentation will already be in the record.
3. Documenting other spouses can explain evidence that would otherwise not make sense. For example, you have listed your ancestor John Doe and his wife Sally Smith, yet he shares his headstone with a wife named Mary. If you document John’s second marriage to Mary then no one gets confused.
4. Documenting multiple marriage explains name changes for women—particularly important for female line carriers. If Sally is Smith on her birth certificate, marries John Doe, but shows up as Sally Rogers on her death certificate, you can’t be sure that she is the same woman without knowing about the second marriage!