Search divorces & matrimonial
causes 1858 - 1903
Divorce and matrimonial causes
The Archive of Indexes to Divorce and Matrimonial Causes contains digitized images of the original entry books where divorce and matrimonial suits were filed.
The original entry books are held by, London, England, under the series title J78 and are made available here under license.
The entries provide summary details of causes such as divorce, restitution of conjugal rights, legitimacy and protection of earnings etc, raised in the Court for Divorce and Matrimonial Causes 1858 to 1873.
Search Tips for the Index to Divorce and Matrimonial Causes 1858 – 1903
This search allows you to view the original indexes of divorce proceedings brought between 1858 - 1903.
Searching is free, and you will be charged one unit (special introductory price) for each record that you choose to view from the search results.
You will need to enter the full surname you are searching for. You cannot use wildcards on this search, but if you are looking for a name that can be spelt several ways click on the "Include variants" box. This will ensure that if you’re looking for Brown you will also be shown anyone recorded as Browne, or Clark and Clarke, for example.
You also have the option to enter a forename, middle name and indicate a year range. Forename and middle names are often abbreviated.
Tip: The more information you enter the more relevant your search results will be, but you may also miss out on an entry if it is not recorded exactly as you expect. Start with just a surname search unless the name is very common and will return too many results, and then browse the results, or redefine your search to narrow the results. Start broad and become more specific is a good rule for searching.
Click on the Search button to activate the search..
Tip: If you include a first name then the results will show that name as well as any single initial in the database starting with the same initial and matching the surname. For example, the name John Smith will produce results with \"John Smith' and 'J Smith'.
Likewise, if you include a surname with only an initial, the results will show all matches with the surname and initial and also first names beginning with the initial. For example, the name E Jones will produce results with 'E Jones' and first names beginning with E, such as 'Elizabeth Jones', 'Eliza Jones', 'Emma Jones', and 'Ernest Jones'.
You will be presented with a list of your search results. From the search results displayed, scroll through to find the entry you wish to view.
Tip: If you can’t see the result you are after, you may want to refine your search by clicking on 'Redefine current search'.
Choose which entry you’d like to see and click on View. The original image will appear in a separate window, and you can make a print out or save the image to your hard disc to view at any time.
The credits will be deducted from your account.
To view the image you must already have registered and signed in the site, downloaded the DjVu viewer and have credits in your findmypast.co.uk account.
You can return to the image at any point during your current session, or save it to your hard disk to view at any time.
The entries are listed chronologically by hand and are not in true alphabetical order, but grouped by the first letter of the Petitioner's surname. In many cases the reference 'orse' (meaning otherwise know as) is used for parties known to have more than one surname.
In some cases where the Defendants' surname is the same as the Petitioners surname, only the first letter of the Defendant’s surname is included.
Often, if a previous or later petition exists, a cross reference may be added although it should be noted that not all additional petitions are noted in the entry books.
If you find an entry in the index, there should be a case number recorded. Not all pages include the date of the entry; you will need to refer to the date shown in the search results. The year of entry and cause number is the vital reference for finding the case notes. Case notes contain the petition and often copies of any affidavits and decrees. Case notes can be ordered at the National Archives.