19 September 2010

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Casebeer

Maria Barnhill McDonald Casebeer v Adam Casebeer ("Bryan Democrat", 21 May 1863; Roll 16 case number 94 - Feb 1864)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 27 October 2010)

The couple was married on 8 May 1862, Wms Co (Marriage V3 p240).  Adam, b 4 Oct 1809, Hopewell Twp, Washington Co, PA, was the son of John W. and Nancy Best Casebeer.  Adam was first married to Susan A. Porter, 17 Apr 1836, Medina, OH.  They were listed in the 1850 Milford Twp, Defiance Co, OH federal census as Adam 41 PA, Susan 35 OH, John 14, Calvin 12, Martha A 11, Betsey 8, Peter 5, Edward 3, and Susan A 5/12.  They were the parents of Nathan, John G, Calvin, Martha A, Luther A, Elizabeth B, Samuel Peter, Edward James, Susan A, Leander, and Theodore L; the first two sons were born in Tuscarawus Co, OH, while the rest were born in NW Ohio or DeKalb Co, IN.

Maria, b1821 OH, Barnhill parentage unknown, was the widow of Robert H. MacDonald, whom she married in Wms Co on 1 Jan 1838 or 4 Mar 1840 (Marriage V1 p42).  Robert and Maria had the following children (with married names if known): Nancy McComb (b1841), Susan Erskin(e) (b1842), Mary Colbert (b1844), Margaret Millicent Reeder (b1847), Robert (b1851), Maria Sharrard (b1855), John (b1856), and William (b1859).  Robert owned real estate in Montpelier, Lots 4, 20, 56, and 132 plus 93 acres there.  They were enumerated in the 1840 Superior Twp federal census p231, and the 1850 Superior Twp federal census p36B. 

Robert  b 1813, Massachusetts, died of lung fever in Jan 1860 at his home in Superior Twp; the US Mortality Schedule listed him as 48 years old and a native of Ireland. Later in the 1860 Superior Twp federal census, p200A, the family was listed as Maria McDonald 40 OH, Mary 14, Margaret 12, Robert 9, Maria 6, John 4, William 6/12, Jesse Erskin 24, Susan 18, and John 2/12.

From probate records one learns that Robert and Maria’s children under 15 at the time of his death were Margaret, Robert M, Maria, John James, and William W.  His coffin was ordered on 16 Jan 1860 and a list of medical services stopped on 23 Jan 1860; there was also indication that mother and babe were serviced on 28 Dec 1859, which may be William’s birthdate.  Later in the 1860 Superior Twp federal census, p200A, the family was listed as Maria McDonald 40 OH, Mary 14, Margaret 12, Robert 9, Maria 6, John 4, William 6/12, Jesse Erskin 24, Susan 18, and John 2/12.   An administrative bond was made by Peter Dechart, HJ Reese, and William Akey.  An appraisal was made on 16 Feb 1861 by William Akey, Ephraim Hughes, and David Merchant.  Later Peter Dechart had a final hearing as administrator of the estate on 6 Feb 1864.  He asked for an additional stipend as he had to go out and collect debts owed to the estate from numerous people.  There was an extensive listing of the goods and chattel belonging to the widow Maria.  Note that at the start of probate Maria hasn’t remarried so she’s Maria McDonald; by the final account in 1864 she has remarried and divorced so she is referred to as Maria McDonald. 

Maria and Adam had a daughter, Alice b1864, OH.  She was listed in the 1870 Superior Twp federal census p10, as Maria McDaniel 55 OH, Maria 15 OH, John 14 OH, and Alice 6 OH. Alice eventually married a Charles Greenhoe. The divorce record did not shed any light on the reason for the action.  Adam died near Edgerton, St. Joseph Twp on 5 Mar 1899 of paralysis. 

Maria McDonald, 82 year old widow and PA native, mother of 9 with 8 surviving, was enumerated in the 1900 Viola, Audubon Co, IA federal census p12 with her daughter Mary and husband Jessie Colbert. Maria died on 13 Nov 1910 in Coon Rapids, Carroll Co, Iowa and was buried in Montcalm Co, MI.


Pamela Pattison Lash said...

I cut and pasted your comment to me so other researchers can view your data. Thanks for the info. I will email you privately.

Hi Pam,

I just ran across your recent updated information on my ancestor Adam Casebeer and his divorce. You are really good! But before I ask you for specifics I have some information on how the divorce finally ended that I thought you’d like. I tried to post it to your site but, wasn’t familiar with the “Comment as” drop down selections.

Here is what I found at the Steuben County Courthouse, Court of Common Pleas, Order Book #3, p 490. On 6 January 1866, Maria Casebeer vs. Adam Casebeer, Divorce, the court decreed the marriage contract “hereby dissolved, cancelled, and forever set aside” as if it never existed. Maria was awarded custody of Alice M. Casebeer, the “issue of the said marriage,” and Maria’s name was changed back to McDaniel. Finally, Maria was ordered to pay Adam’s expenses.

Could you tell me how you tracked down the information on Maria in Iowa and her burial in Michigan and where and when Alice married Charles Greenhoe? I have been trying to find out what happened to Maria and Alice for years and thought I’d checked the census records thoroughly, but I guess not. I have no information on Adam after the 1866 divorce until his death in 1889 near Edgerton OH. I’m hoping your information may shed some light on the “mystery.”


Joel Casebere

Pamela Pattison Lash said...

Items listed in Robert H. McDonald's estate were: 2 spinning wheels, 2 stoves, 1 family Bible, other books, 1 cow, 4 sheep, 2 beds and bedding, cooking utensils, 1 table, 6 chairs, 6 knives and forks, 6 tea cups and saucers, 1 sugar bowl, 1 large bank note, 1 clock, 4 barrels, 1 cupboard, and 1 brass kettle. There were many more items.

ajohnsal said...


Alice Casebear was my great, great grandmother on my mom's maternal line. Alice died in 1941 in Montcalm County, MI. The Greenhoe's are a huge clan in the Vickeryville/Sheridan/Stanton, MI area. She was an active member of the Community Methodist Church in Sheridan, MI. Contact me at arjohnston2002@yahoo.com and I can put you in touch with my mother, who may have more information.

Thank you,
Albert Johnston