Enjoy this introductory offer as I familiarize myself with this record set. Philadelphia’s Office of the Prothonotary holds microfilm copies of the city’s divorce index from 1875 through at least 1975. Each roll spans several decades, but covers only a portion of the alphabet.
Early index entries include date, defendant, plaintiff, reference to the location of court documents, and a reason for the divorce. The stated reason is usually either “Divorce”, “Lunacy”, or “Habitual Drunkard”. Later entries carry less reason information, but distinguish better between “Divorce” and “Annulment”. Later entries also indicate where the former wife expressed an intention to resume the use of her maiden name.
The court records for some of the earlier divorces may be available to the public through the Philadelphia City Archives. Court records for later divorces almost certainly are not. As I familiarize myself with these records, I will gain a better idea of which divorce court records are available.