Decrees of Legal Death

In April 1921, a 33-year-old man named Albert found himself unemployed after having worked for a while at the infamously short-lived Steel’s.[1] The circumstances leading to his unemployment aren’t currently known, but one thing is: That same month, Albert walked out of his Manhattan apartment and never returned.[2] He left behind his 28-year-old wife, Mary, and their two daughters, 9 and 3.[3]

After years of searching and waiting, Mary wanted to remarry. In order to do so, she first had to have Albert declared legally dead. How did she do it? Where are those records? And what can they tell you?

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