I was in family history class this week, and got a question that stumped all of us. A sister in our ward said her grandparents never married, and never lived together. She only met her grandfather once, and her grandmother said he wasn’t a nice man. Neither one of them ever married. I believe they have both passed away. The question is this: should she try to seal them together to tie the generations together? And if not, doesn’t this break the chain of sealing parents to children?
I mentioned that in 100 years, nobody will know what the relationship is, wonder why there isn’t a marriage certificate, and seal them together. But it seems pretty apparent that the grandmother wants no part of a sealing to the grandfather. Someone said they could add that to the notes of the FamilySearch record in order to try to prevent a sealing. (On that note, is there a way to mark on the record that the parents never married?)
But the thought occurred to me that prior to say 1990, there was no way to add a notation to a record, and we’ve probably sealed countless spouses together who simply didn’t want to be sealed. One researcher said this is a common problem in 1800s England–women gave birth to children with no intention of marrying the father, and we’ve probably sealed them anyway if we knew who the father was.
We speculated how to handle the situation, but it came down to basically this: ask FamilySearch. They’ll probably tell you to talk to your bishop. He won’t know the answer, and they’ll escalate it somewhere. Then come back and let us know what the answer is.
So I bring this to you. If you were in charge, how would you answer? What do you think is the best response? And can her mother be sealed to her biological parents and not have the parents sealed to each other?