19 October 2010

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Landis

Rachel A. Spencer Landis v Samuel Landis (Journal 6 p315 - 11 Nov 1863; Roll 16 case number 77 - 11 Nov 1863)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married on 14 July 1859, Wms Co (Marriage V3 p64).  Rachel, b 1842 OH, was the daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Turner Spencer, natives of PA and MD, respectively.  The Spencers were enumerated in the 1840 Brady Twp federal census, p237; they were listed in the 1850 Brady Twp, Wms Co federal census, p6, as Thomas 56 OH, Elizabeth 51 OH, Dorcus 18, Nancy 16, Thomas 13, Willliam 11, Rachel 8, and James 1, all born in OH.  They appeared in the 1860 Millcreek Twp federal census, p135a, as Thomas 58 PA, Elizabeth 56 MD, William 21 OH farm laborer, Rachel Landis 18 OH, and William Spencer 10 OH. In 14 Oct 1858 Thomas Spencer was arrested for trying to kill a William Coleman with a knife but the case was later dismissed; later Thomas Spencer served in the Civil War as part of the 68th OVI. Samuel Landis may have been the son of Susannah Landis.  

Samuel had willfully abandoned Rachel for three years or more.  She wanted custody of the minor son Thomas E. Landis and $500 alimony. The court granted the divorce.  In 29 Aug 1864 James M. Viers, administrator of the estate of Susan Landis sued Rachel Landis, et al, over property rights of the deceased Susan Landis.  In the suit the record stated that Susan's heirs, Joseph, Jacob, Samuel, and Abraham Landis were all living in Minnesota.  Rachel Landis claimed some rights to the interest of Samuel Landis who owed her money; however, the estate had more debts than assets so Rachel did not appear to receive any money.

On 6 Aug 1865, Wms Co Rachel Spencer married John Zuvers Dunscomb (Marriage V3 p454).  John, b1841 OH, was the son of Gilbert Shannon and Nancy Donutt Dunscomb of Brady Twp.  They had two known sons born in Brady Twp, John H (b 6 Oct 1873 - V1 p61) and Andrew Bates (b 11 Oct 1875 - V1 p84).  Rachel’s mother, Elizabeth Spencer, appeared in the 1870 Brady Twp, Williams Co, OH federal census p12B as Elizabeth 62 PA; she lived alone.  From the 1870 Jefferson Twp, Williams Co, OH federal census p102A the Dunscomb family was enumerated as John 30 OH, Rachel 25 OH, Francis 6 OH (listed as male but really a female as she married 14 Jan 1898, Fred Keyes in Kalamazoo, MI), Nancy 4 OH, and Thomas Landis 9 OH, who is later listed as Thomas Landis 19 OH, living with his uncle William Spencer in the 1880 Brady Twp, Williams Co, OH federal census p499.  His mother and stepfather had moved to Eden, Lake Co, MI as evidenced in the 1880 federal census for that location p55 and were listed as John Dunscomb 39 OH farmer, Rachel 38 OH wife, Nancy 14 OH, William S 9 OH, Johny 6 OH, Balis (m) 4 OH, and Lula Bell 1 OH.

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