Arthur French wrote:
John BOVEY, baptised in Ipplepen, Devon, 10 Mar 1811, seems to have
tailor in London. He came back to the village 5 Mar 1836 and married Susan
Mary ADAMS, also born 1811, and took her to London, where they had at least
3 children aged 14, 12, 10, as you can see in the 1851 census.
The problem is, that in Southwark in 1851 there is a Sarah BOVEY, born about
1815, head of household, but married, with "allowance by husband", not
present. She says she is born in Westminster, and has 3 children, rather
oddly aged 19, 7, 2.. From the children's birth certificates (and middle
names) we know she is "formerly JEBOULT", and her husband is John BOVEY,
In 1851 there are only 26 John BOVEYs in the whole country (mostly in Devon,
of course!), and I can't find another John BOVEY, tailor, of the right sort
of age. So could this be bigamy? Or did he have more children with his Ex
after a gap of 12 years?
It could well be bigamy. The children's ages certainly seem to
suggest it although the 19 year old would have been born before civil
registration began so may not, in fact, have been John's. Unless a
registrar as any reason to doubt what he is told, he'll believe what
the informant says even if he's being lied to.
Have you been able to find Sarah's children's baptisms on Ancestry's
London CMBs? That might help clarify whether they were your John's or
not. You may be able to find their marriage as well, if John and
Sarah did actually marry. Ditto Susan's children's baptisms.
Do you know when Susan died? If so, was it before Sarah's 7 year old
Divorce was an expensive business and beyond the means of ordinary
people, however, it might still be worth checking the Divorce database
in the National Archives just in case John did marry and subsequently