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Archibald Cann (1854-1934) m. Ada Georgina Murphy (1856-1917)

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Archibald Cann (1854-1934) m. Ada Georgina Murphy (1856-1917)

Posted: 9 Sep 2012 12:34PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 9 Sep 2012 12:34PM GMT
Surnames: Cann, Murphy
For many years now, I've trying to find information on either a divorce or other dissolution of marriage of my g-grandfather's first marriage above, or else documentation that the marriage never was formally ended. Yes, in the case of the latter, that is trying to "prove a negative," and that is never easy. If anyone out there help me with finding information on a dissolution of the marriage, OR confirming there never was a dissolution, I would appreciate it.

Following are the pertinent details that I can DOCUMENT and without guessing. They married 15 May 1880 at Yarmouth Methodist Church, as it was known at the time. He was not only a ship Captain, but the eldest surviving some of Lyman C. Cann, who owned numerous ships and a shipping company that he stood to inherit. I can last document him on his ship in Halifax in 1885, after which time I can next document him applying for U. S. citizenship in Astoria, Oregon on 29 May 1886, and where he also remarried in 1889.

To my knowlegege, he was never seen in Yarmouth or anywhere else in Nova Scotia beyond 1885. Also, as the original Captain of his ship (the Fannie L. Cann, named after his sister) which was owned by his father, he rather abruptly ceased to be Captain in 1884, and the ship he captained 1884-85 was owned by an owner other than his father and I have to wonder about the details of such an abrupt departure from the Fannie L. Cann after 12 years at the helm in 1884.

In a similar vein, when his father died in 1888 at which time he begun a new life in Oregon, his father had made him executor of his will as his eldest surviving son, and stood to inherit a good bit. However, after nearly 25 years of research I can find nothing to indicate that he ever returned to Nova Scotia again, and his mother eventually was legally appointed executrix so that his father's very large estate could be properly disposed of, and he was effectively "cut out" of the will.

By that time, he had remarried in 1889 in Oregon stating on the marriage application he was "never married" (I can document his first marriage to Ada Murphy). I descend from that second marriage (if it WAS a valid marriage), Ada Murphy went to her grave (in Yarmouth Mountain Cemetery) in 1917 still referring to herself as "a married lady" as late as her obituary. Also, she is buried in a Murphy family plot at YMC, but her marker reads Ada G. Cann with the only other names on the big beautiful marker are people named Murphy, which doesn't sound like someone who thinks she is divorced.

In summary, I would very much like to determine either 1. The details of their dissolution of their marriage or if it is possible, 2. confirm somehow that there never was any dissolution of the marriage, in which case his second marriage made him a bigamist. That was roughly 125 years ago and I have no desire to "dig up dirt" on anyone after all of this time, only answer some questions that have been stuck in my mind for a couple of decades now.

For "extra credit" maybe someone can also tell me why my g-grandfather so abruptly left the captaincy of the Fanny L. Cann in 1884, and went not only to another company and ship, but became captain of a ship home ported in Germany but which apparently did business in Nova Scotia. Far too many questions left unanswered here, so maybe someone else's fresh outlook into the situation might clear away some of the fog. I thank you in advance for your efforts.
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
David Cann 9 Sep 2012 6:34PM GMT 
shirley1934sm... 12 Sep 2012 1:57PM GMT 
David Cann 12 Sep 2012 7:59PM GMT 
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