6 Replies Latest reply on Aug 12, 2020 1:06 PM by Tom Bidlack

    Seeking divorce records of Carl Bidlack & Mabel Wagner

    Tom Bidlack Newbie

      I am seeking a divorce record of my father, Carl Edwin Bidlack (1907-1980) from his first wife, Mabel Wagner.  I have the original church marriage certificate from the church stating they were married 31 Dec 1929 at St. Francis Xavier Church, LaGrange, Illinois.  He married my mother, Mildred Y. Felger (1913-1979) in July, 1939 at Van Wert, Ohio.  Their marriage license states he was divorced once; it was my mother's first marriage.  I assume his divorce was granted during the 1930s by either Illinois or Ohio.  I cannot find any record of the decree on any of my genealogy search sites.  Hope someone can help.

        • Re: Seeking divorce records of Carl Bidlack & Mabel Wagner
          Joseph Armstrong Wayfarer

          Hi Tom,


          Thank you for posting to the History Hub.

          It would appear that you have the following two records as you state that your father was divorced in the 1930's


          Carl E Bidlack

          Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871-1920



          Carl E Bidlack

          Event Type:


          Event Date:

          31 Dec 1929

          Event Place:

          Cook, Illinois, United States





          Birth Year (Estimated):


          Spouse's Name:

          Mabel L Wagner

          Spouse's Gender:


          Spouse's Age:


          Spouse's Birth Year (Estimated):



          1940 US Census


          Mabel Bidlack



          Estimated birth year:

          abt 1907







          Marital status:



          Divorce Records


          In the early 1800's, the legislature, the circuit courts, and city courts granted divorces. Illinois divorce records may indicate the date and place the marriage was dissolved. Circuit or city courts have handled most divorce proceedings. The Superior Court of Cook County in Chicago also has jurisdiction over divorces.

          The actual records before 1962 are available in the county where the divorce occurred.


          You may wish to contact the following person for assistance:


          Cook County
          Dorothy A. Brown
          50 W. Washington
          Suite 1001
          Chicago, Illinois 60602-1305
          Phone: 312/603-5030
          Fax: 312/603-4557


          Good luck on your search.



          • Re: Seeking divorce records of Carl Bidlack & Mabel Wagner
            Alice Lane Navigator

            Hi Tom,

            Welcome to History Hub. 


            In the 1940 Census it  shows that Mabel Bidlack was living at 8006 Maryland Ave..In the city of Chicago, Illinois in Cook County...with her brother Ralph Wagner...click on link below. it is on familysearch.org...if you are not familiar with family search it is a free site..but you need to join to search,


            Sine Mabel Bidlack lived in Chicago in 1940...you might want to start the search in Cook County..there are fees tor the service.

            The following website is for Cook County Illinois.

            You can Request a Search for an Archived Case by ...fees listed on the following page.



            Alice Lane

            Volunteer Researcher

              • Re: Seeking divorce records of Carl Bidlack & Mabel Wagner
                Tom Bidlack Newbie

                Thanks for your  help in finding the divorce records.  After hours of emails and phone calls, we found the divorce was granted October 18, 1938, by the Lucas County Probate Court, Toledo, Ohio.  I had contacted the State of Ohio Vital Records Division and they could not find anything.  Then I remembered he lived in Toledo prior to his Van Wert marriage in 1939; so I contacted Lucas County and hit the jackpot; they found it in the archives.  As a side note, they invited me to visit the court at my convenience to make copies of the decree at no charge............

              • Re: Seeking divorce records of Carl Bidlack & Mabel Wagner
                Cara Jensen Tracker

                Dear Mr. Bidlack,


                Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


                The Federal Government does not ordinarily create or maintain birth, death, marriage or divorce records. Such records are made and kept by State and local governments rather than the National Archives.  For divorce records after 1962, we suggest that you request a search from the appropriate Illinois County Clerk of Court.. Also, please review the FamilySearch Research wiki for Illinois Vital Records


                We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!

                  • Re: Seeking divorce records of Carl Bidlack & Mabel Wagner
                    Tom Bidlack Newbie

                    Thanks, Cara, for your response.  Yesterday was a 'eureka' research day, proof that persistence does pay off.  For months, actually years, we have been searching for proof that my father was actually divorced.  His marriage license with my mother indicated he was divorced, but I could never locate the actual document.  Plus I was not aware of any rule that required a divorced person to show proof of divorce when applying for a marriage license.  Neither my father or mother or any family member ever mentioned a divorce to me or siblings, and we were not aware of it until my geneaology project began over ten years ago.  We felt confident that the divorce was granted in Illinois, Ohio, or Michigan.  At any rate, we had a tip on Monday that he lived in Toledo, Ohio, during the 1930s prior to his marriage to my mother in 1939.  I contacted the Toledo, Lucas County, Ohio court system and hit the jackpot.  While I was on the phone, they located the divorce decree from their archives, which was granted in 1938.  They even invited me to visit the court and make copies of the decree at no charge.  As a new member to History Hub, I am grateful to you and several others who helped in finding this piece of family history.  I would still be at square one without your help.  So keep up the good work in helping others...............tom