This question involves some of the same family as an earlier question of mine (Finding New York City/State records relating to Sellars family (British subjects) births/deaths mid 19th century?) but is intended to be standalone.
My 4th great grandparents Hugh Sillars and Agnes Macculloch were married on 15 Aug 1830 at Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland.
Hugh and Agnes had five children:
- Robert Sillars born 15 Oct 1830, and christened 7 Nov 1830 at Dundonald, Ayrshire, Scotland with parents Hugh Sillars and Agnes Mcculloch
- Agnes Sillars born 13 Apr 1833, and christened 28 Apr 1833 at Dundonald, Ayrshire, with parents Hugh Sillars and Agnes Mccully
- Hugh Sellars born 03 May 1835 at Govan, Lanarkshire, Scotland with parents Hugh Sellars and Agnes Mcculloch
- Jane Cowan Sellars born 28 Dec 1836 at Govan, Lanarkshire, Scotland with parents Hugh Sellars and Agnes Mcculloch
- Margaret Sellars born 21 Feb 1844 at Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland with parents Hugh Sellars and Agnes Mcculloch
I see the family in the 1841 Scotland Census where Hugh Sillars 37 born about 1804, an S Carp J [which I think is short for a Ship Carpenter Journeyman], is living at Slip Dock, Barony, Lanarkshire, Scotland with his wife Agnes Sillars 30 and children Robert Sillars 9, Agnes Sillars 8 and Hugh Sillars 6.
The 1844 christening is the last time I see the names of Hugh Sellars and Agnes Macculloch linked in a record and I suspect that they may have divorced.
To support my theory that their marriage foundered I have three pieces of evidence:
- Agnes Macculloch marries Robert Thomson on 16 Nov 1846 at Dundonald, Ayrshire, Scotland
- The 1855 New York State Census finds Hugh Sellars 52, Ship Carpenter, born in Scotland, living at Albany City, Ward 6, Albany, New York, USA with his wife Mary Sellars 50 (born in England) and four others Harriet Martin 32 Moody M Hale 54 Elizabeth A Hale 18 and Elick Crawford 26
- The 1865 New York State Census finds Hugh Sellars 60, Ship Carpenter, born in Scotland, living at Albany City, Ward 6, Albany, New York, USA with his wife Mary Sellars 60 (born in England) and two others: William H Hall, aged 8, recorded as Hugh's son (?) and Caroline R Foster, aged 7, a Boarder. Both Hugh and Mary are recorded as having been married twice.
All was not settled on the work front for Hugh either because on 5 Apr 1848 he applied for a form of bankruptcy called Cessio Bonorum as both a partner of H. Sellars and Co, and as an individual. This suggests why emigration to the U.S.A. may have appealed to him.
If I have surmised correctly above, where would I look for a record of the divorce? I am also interested to know whether any alternative theory of "double bigamy" would have any credibility in that time and place?