20 October 2010

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Lightfoot

Mary Hughes Lightfoot v William Lightfoot (Journal 7 p433  - 17 May 1870; Roll 22 case number 13 - May 1870)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married on 1 Sept 1830 in Westmoreland Co, PA.  William, son of William and Esther Schmidt Lightfoot, was born c1808 in York Co, PA.  Mary "Polly" Hughes, parentage unknown, was born on 6 Nov 1810 PA.  The couple had the following children: Margaret, Alexander (b1838 PA), John (b1840 PA), Caroline E. (b1842 PA), Levi (b1844 PA), Lewis, Jacob (b1847 OH), Mary Jane (b1849 OH, and Lydia Alicia (b May 1853 OH).  The family appeared in the 1850 Brady Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census, p5B, as William 40 PA, Mary 36 PA, Alexander 11 PA, John 9 PA, Caroline 7 PA, Lewis 5 PA, Jacob 3 OH, Mary 1 OH.  Again they were found in the 1860 Brady Twp federal census, p158a, as William 50 PA, Mary 47 PA, John 19 PA, Caroline 17 PA, Levi 15 PA, Jacob 13 OH, Mary 11 OH, and Lydia 7 OH.  According to the 1870 Brady Twp federal census, p12, Mary was the head of house at 58 PA and Lydia 17 OH while on p18, William 62 OH, a farm laborer, resided with William H. Snow and his wife Mary. 

Mary charged William with extreme cruelty, gross neglect, and habitual drunkenness for more than twenty-five years.  She told the court that the couple had seven children but Lydia was the only minor.  William would get drunk whenever he could; for more than twenty years he neglected and refused to supply her with food, clothing, or shelter.  He threatened her by carrying a concealed weapon and often told her he would kill her.  He beat and choked her on occasion.  Sixteen years ago he put her life in great peril and she sought refuge elsewhere with daughter Lydia, an infant at the time.  She brought the following witnesses to substantial her claims: M/M Joseph Lantz, Henry Tuttle, and Moses Shoemaker.  A divorce was granted.

Mary Lightfoot died on 12 Feb 1889 @78Y 3M 6D in Wms Co (Deaths V2 p49) and was buried in the Lockport Cemetery beside her granddaughter Ada Luella Rittenour.  Nothing further is known of William.

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