Thursday, July 16, 2009

Another Time Travel Wish: Kissing Cousins

Running a close second to my ultimate time travel visit to talk with my third great-grandmother, Cora King, is my wish to visit with my 2nd great-grandaunt, Myrtle Lavina Pemberton. I would ask this, "Myrtie, why did you marry your first cousin twice, once in 1903 and once in 1913, and why did you marry him in Canada both times, since you both lived in Ohio and Michigan? Obviously, the second time didn't work out either, because I know you married Harry Hendrickson in Cleveland in 1918 and remained married to him until his death in 1945."

These are some thoughts I had as I went through my database tonight. I think some of the answers to my questions may lie in the divorce papers of Hayes Finkle and Myrtie Pemberton. They must have divorced because Hayes did not die until 1953, and Myrtie died in 1959. Hayes' mother, Eliza (Pemberton) Finkle, and Myrtie's father, John Pemberton, were siblings. I have a suspicion that they married in Canada because there were no laws in Canada banning first cousins from marrying. In Michigan, it was illegal to marry your first cousin. I think I will have to do a search at a Cleveland courthouse or at the Cuyahoga County Archives for their divorce records. They lived in Cleveland at the time of the 1910 census and were married at that time (at least according to the census). I believe the shipping industry brought them from Michigan to Cleveland, as Hayes was a sailor. It doesn't appear that they had any children or that Hayes ever remarried. Myrtie stayed in Cleveland, but Hayes moved back to his hometown of Port Huron, Michigan, before 1920 and died there in 1953. Was Hayes Myrtie's true love, or was she glad to be finally rid of him? Did Hayes die pining away for Myrtie, or was he a stereotypical drunken sailor who had several girlfriends on the side? Oh, Aunt Myrtie, how I wish I could talk to you.

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