11 October 2010

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Hendricks

Andrew Hendricks v Elizabeth Deselma Holstine Hendricks
Mother Testified Against Her Own Child, Divorce in Williams County, Ohio, 1885
By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

Imagine your own mother presenting damaging evidence to a divorce court about you when your spouse requested a divorce.  Your mother revealed intimate details about your failure as a marriage partner.  Do you forgive her?  This genealogical detailing deals with such a scenario.

Andrew Hendricks, born on 11 July 1845, West Unity, Brady Twp, Wms Co, OH, was the son of Jacob and Catherine Ferrier Hendricks.  This family was listed in the 1850 Jefferson Twp federal census, p21, as Jacob 46 PA, Catherine 44 OH, Margaret 17 OH, Levi 14, Seneca Co, OH (Shinn's History of Williams County, 1905, p407), Catherine 11 OH, Martha 9 OH, Andrew 6 OH, Jacob 6 OH, Alpheus 3 OH.  Mother Catherine died on 19 Mar 1860 @52Y 3M 18D and was buried in Rings Cemetery, Brady Twp.

In the 1860 Jefferson Twp PO West Unity federal census, p173B, the family was enumerated as Jacob 55 PA, Catherine 20 OH, Martha 18 OH, Jacob 14 OH, Andrew 14 OH, Alpine 12 OH, Levi 24 OH, Fanny 20 PA, Amelia 2 OH. Answering the call to his country, Andrew Hendricks enlisted in Co H 197th OVI and served in the Union Army during the Civil War.

Andrew's father Jacob died on 29 Apr 1869 @65Y and was buried beside his wife in Rings Cemetery.  Shortly after this Andrew's brother Jacob Jr. died on 7 Dec 1869 @ 21Y 3M 6D and was laid to rest by his parents.  Note in the 1850 and 1860 federal censuses it appeared that Jacob and Andrew were twins, but if the tombstone reading for Jacob Jr. is correct, the calculated birthdate would be 1 Sept 1848, not 1845 as was found on Andrew's tombstone.  The family moved to Madison Twp as they were found there in the 1870 federal census, p6, as Alpheus 22 OH, Hattie 18 OH, Andrew 25 OH, and Joseph Smith 22 OH.

Next door neighbors in 1870 would become part of this story as in the 1870 Madison Twp federal census, p6, one finds Catherine Holstine 50 Hesse, Anna 28 Hesse, John 21 Hesse, and Elizabeth Hendricks 18 Hesse.  Whether there was some close relationship between these people to Andrew's family is not currently known. The Holstine family was earlier enumerated in the 1860 Madison Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census, PO West Unity p204, as Catharine (Ebaugh) Holestine 35, Anna 20 (insane), Charles 18, Mary 16, John 10, and Elizabeth 2 OH, all born in Germany.

Andrew married Deselma Hendricks on 1 Jan 1873, Wms Co (Marriages V4 p261).  This Deselma was the Elizabeth Hendricks living with mother Catherine Holstine in 1870.  Information about her father is not known, but the Holstines may have immigrated to US c1854. The couple was still residing in Madison Twp by the 1880 federal census, p481D, as Andrew 31 OH and Elizabeth 27 Germany.

Andrew appeared in the Williams County Civil and Criminal Court (Journal 13 p62-63 - 16 Mar 1885, Roll 41 Box 137 case number 1426 - 30 May 1885) and requested a divorce from wife Elizabeth D. Hendricks.  He stated that Elizabeth was guilty of gross neglect for the past two years and that she had debts in the amount of $620. 

Elizabeth's mother, Catherine Holstine, a 66 year old resident of Madison Twp, testified in court that from 1874-Nov 1884 she had lived with the couple and knew that Elizabeth had not performed her marital bedroom duties for the last 18 months; she did not cook for Andrew nor did she speak to him for days on end.  A William Huffman was at the home on many occasions to see her.  This man was a neighbor of the Hendricks as of the 1870 federal census, living with his mother Anna Huffman.  Elizabeth left home and went to Catherine's brother's house (her uncle), taking all her personal belongings.  The record did not reveal where this uncle lived.  The court granted Andrew a divorce and instructed him that he did not have to clear Elizabeth's debts. Whether Elizabeth and her mother ever spoke again is not currently known.

Later that year on 1 Nov 1885 Andrew Hendricks married Alverda "Bertha" Mary Spake, in Wms Co (Marriages V5 #736).  Bertha was the daughter of Harmon and Martha Liggett Spake.  She died on 17 July 1895 @38Y 11M 5D and was buried in Leggett Cemetery.  Andrew died in 1919 and was buried in the Edon Cemetery, Florence Twp. 

Sometime in 1886 Elizabeth Holstine Hendricks married William Huffman and together they were enumerated in the 1900 Florence Twp, Williams Co, OH federal census p3B as William 47Y Nov 1852 OH-OH-PA, Elizabeth wife 48Y April 1852 Germ-Germ-Germ (having no children); Elizabeth immigrated to US c1854 which matches with the other information. By the 1910 federal census for that area p9A, Elizabeth Huffman was listed as having been married twice while her husband William had only married once.  On 1 Aug 1910 Elizabeth died at her home in Blakeslee; according to her death certificate she was the daughter of JH Holstine and Catherine Ebaugh.  Note that her birthday was listed as 11 May 1853, which is different than the 1900 census record. Widower William A. Huffman died on 26 Apr 1911 in Toledo, Lucas Co, OH (birthdate on death certificate was 16 Nov 1852, son of John Huffman and ** Muffer, both German natives); he was buried in Blakeslee, Florence Twp, Williams Co, OH.

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