Two Weddings and a Funeral –

Does anyone else have someone in the family who has married two sisters?  Not at the same time of course. I have come across it many times while helping to research other families and I have one of my own. My Gt Grandmother, Lucy BOLTON (right) died not long after her fourth child was born in 1896, and as seemed the right thing to do, her unmarried sister, Mary BOLTON, came to the farm to look after the children.  So as things happen he then went on to marry Mary.

The children all called Mary ‘mother’ which confused things a bit. So she was mother and aunt!

The following photograph is of the second wedding of Marshall Broadbent,


His 1st marriage was to Alice Mary BIRT. When Alice died after giving birth to twins in 1912 in Southern Cross, he then went on to marry Alices sister Viardot Lucella BIRT, in 1916. The above photograph is the second wedding. Marshall was a returned soldier who was killed in a mine accident in 1940.

The following photo is a little more unusual, in which a man has two wives in the same photograph. The bridesmaid on the far right would end up marrying the groom when her sister died.


Often where there are children involved it would have been necessary for a widowed man to seek help from the family and who better than the aunt of the children. Do you have one of these situations in your family??

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My name is Moya Sharp, I live in Kalgoorlie Western Australia and have worked most of my adult life in the history/museum industry. I have been passionate about history for as long as I can remember and in particular the history of my adopted home the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia. Through my website I am committed to providing as many records and photographs free to any one who is interested in the family and local history of the region.

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  1. Marrying your deceased wife’s sister was not allowed under the Anglican Curch and English law until 1907

  2. Nan Bailey says:

    I also have such a marriage in my tree. My Great great Grandfather Samuel Bennett Ross married Sarah Ann Godfrey in supposedly April 1834 at Shoreditch, Middlesex. Sarah died in the March quarter of 1853 and Samuel Ross married her younger sister, my Great Great Grandmother Elizabeth Adelaide Godfrey on 3 June 1854. I found out this year that they were sisters not cousins as I had been told and this was confirmed with finding London newspaper articles of the story of Samuel Bennett Ross being charged in court for not providing for the support of his younger children from his second marriage and that his second wife was unaware that her marriage was illegal.

    There are still many mysteries in this to be unravelled including what happened to Samuel Bennett Ross. I cannot find his death. Was he imprisoned? The search goes on.

    • Wow that is certainly complicated, amazing you have managed to unravel it all.

      • Nan Bailey says:

        Yes it is and getting more complicated the more I find out. I had a lot of help from various people in the Middlesex discussion group on Roots Web. The discussion groups are very quiet now, but have extremely helpful members. Also, you can go back years in the archives to search for snippets on your family

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