01 November 2010

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Perky

George W. Perkey v Elizabeth Richie/Richey Perkey

Plenty of Nasty Talk in Williams County, Ohio, Divorce cNovember 1848

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 20 November 2014) - check comment at bottom for updated info

Highly improper conduct can vary from one geographical and historical era to another.  The reader can determine if this early Williams Co, OH couple was inundated with accusations from nosey neighbors and concerned relatives.  If they had been left alone, perhaps there would not have been a divorce or was this action justified?  You decide.

Roll 7 Box 22 (#11) of the Williams Co, OH Civil and Criminal Court Records in Nov 1848 tells the tale of a couple who lived in this county about ten years before tongues wagged and reputations were ruined but eventually one of the parties appears to have rebuilt a damaged name and was accepted by society in Florence Twp, Wms Co, OH.  Obviously, other details had to be pieced together from various sources.

George W. Perkey was born 28 Nov 1815 in Columbiana Co, OH, the ninth of ten known children in the family of Daniel and Sarah Firestone Perkey.  George married Elizabeth Richey, daughter of Abraham and Catherine Glass Richey in Butler Twp, Columbiana Co, OH on 18 Sept 1837 where Elizabeth was born c. 1816.  Her parents were also married there on 26 Feb 1815.  The Richey family lived there according to the 1820 federal census where father Abraham later died in 1823.  Peter Richey was named both the administrator of the estate and the guardian for minors Elizabeth, William, Isaac, and Rebecca Richey.  In Columbiana Co, widow Catherine Richey married widower John Allomong, a native of Berks Co, PA, and sometime in the 1840's they moved to Florence Twp, Section 8. 

Perhaps earlier the young Perkey couple traveled here in June 1838 and the couple was enumerated in the 1840 Florence Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p232 as George W. Perky with male under 5 =1, m 20-30 =1, female under 5 = 1, and female 20-30 = 1.  Other records indicate that they had at least 4 children, 2 of each gender; one son, Daniel or David Perky is known to have lived to be enumerated in later census records.

Depositions from neighbors abound with sordid details of Elizabeth's improper conduct with William Demming between the summer of 1845 to Feb 1846, and again in Aug 1846.  People were called before the Wms Co court to state their claims.  Some of those called were James McClenan of Florence Twp, Sarah and James W. Welsh formerly of this twp but in 1846 living in Celina, Mercer Co, OH, David and Martin Perky, Lydia Sickles of Richland Twp, Steuben Co, IN, and Henry Rummell also of Steuben Co who was the brother-in-law of George Perkey.  All told tales of secret meetings between Elizabeth and William Demming down in the marsh.  Sometime later this couple took a sleigh ride together which the neighborhood felt was highly improper.  Lydia Sickles related that in Aug 1846 Elizabeth and William were living together as husband and wife but she did not state where this alleged cohabitation took place.  On 17 Dec 1846 George Perkey told the court "his wife had prostituted herself to the purpose of fornication and adultery with William Demming".  A published statement to that effect appeared in a local newspaper on 27 Sept 1848.

According to Issue Docket of Clerk of Court, Nov 1848, George Perky v Elizabeth Perky, divorce, decreed couple to have custody of the children; perhaps this was meant to be shared custody or a split of several to each parent. By Nov 1848 George was granted a divorce but he had to pay the court costs. 

What happened to George after this is not known at this time, but on 8 Sept 1850 Elizabeth Richey Perkey married widower Cyrenus Palmer in Wms Co, OH (V2 p113) and is enumerated with Cyrenus in the 1850 Florence Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p62B as Palmer, Cyrenus 50 NY, Elizabeth 35 OH, several Palmer children, and Daniel Perkey 7 OH.  They were also listed in the 1860 Florence Twp census, PO Lukes Corners, p19 as Cyrus Palmer 61 NY, Elizabeth 44 OH, William H. 8 OH, Margaret 7 IN, and Silas Palmer 4 OH.  By the 1870 Florence Twp census, Edon, p12, William H. Palmer is living with his step grandfather, John Allomong 74 PA and step uncle Joseph Allomong and his family. His father Cyrenus died in 1864 and his mother Elizabeth passed away in 1899 in Wichita, Kansas.

Elizabeth known as "Betsey" and Cyrenus Palmer were the parents of William Henry (27 Mar 1852 - 13 Apr 1917; m1 Annie J. Stewart; m2 Celestia Prough); Margaret 1853 IN - aft 1905) and Silas (1856 OH - aft 1905).  Elizabeth's stepfather, John Allomong, was first married to Julianna Elizabeth Rarick who died in Columbiana Co, OH 17 Feb 1827, probably in childbirth.  One of their sons, Joseph Allomong united with the Methodist Episcopal Church, leaving the Lutheran faith; father John Allomong was not pleased with this switch and John refused to give Joseph an 80 acre farm in Florence Twp.  Joseph moved to Alvarado, Richland Twp, Steuben Co, IN and eventually farmed 456 acres there.  Joseph also switched to the United Brethren Church because there was no close Episcopal Church in his neighborhood. 

Henry Rummell, George Perkey's brother-in-law, had married George's older sister Elizabeth Perkey and they were the parents of 16 children.  Another older Perkey sister, Sarah, had married Robert Carlin and they too lived in Richland Twp, Steuben Co, IN.  One of their sons would eventually become the Superintendent of the Steuben County Schools.  The Carlins are buried in NW Twp, Wms Co, OH in the Columbia Cemetery.  Elizabeth Richey Perkey Palmer's mother and stepfather are buried in the Leggett Cemetery, Florence Twp, having died 18 July 1859 @67Y 4M 13D (Catherine Allomong) and 31 Mar 1872 @75Y 8M 13D (John Allomong).


I am researching the Perkys as part of my Firestone project and I would like to bend your ear on George Perkey and his family. I found your article on their divorce a while back but am just now working on this branch of the family.

After his divorce from Elizabeth, George moved to Hancock Co., IL and later to Adair Co., MO where he is found in the 1860 census along with his son Daniel Perkey. At the same time, Elizabeth is still living in Ohio but by 1870 she has moved to Carroll Co., MO where Daniel Palmer is included in her household, the same age as Daniel Perkey and no Daniel Perkey is found in the census of the same age by any variation of the name. There is a Civil War service record for Daniel Perkey from Adair Co., MO who had joined the Missouri Home Guard, a Union unit.

Name: Daniel Perkey
Event Type: Military Service
Event Year: 1861
Age (Original):
Military Unit Note: Missouri Home Guards, N-Pi
Affiliate Publication Title: Compiled Service Records of Volunteer Union Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Missouri
Affiliate Publication Number: M405
Affiliate Film Number: 716

He was the only Daniel Perkey in the state at the time so it seems this is him. Daniel is living with his mother after the war and enumerated as Daniel Palmer as mentioned above.

There is a marriage record for Daniel Palmer in Madison Co., Iowa in 1860 to Angeline Stover.

Name: Daniel Palmer
Titles and Terms:
Event Type: Marriage
Event Date: 07 Dec 1869
Event Place: Madison County, Iowa, United States
Spouse's Name: Angeline Stover
Reference ID: p 116
GS Film Number: 1028196
Digital Folder Number: 004310072
Citing this Record: "Iowa, County Marriages, 1838-1934"
https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/KCWZ-DDL : accessed 18 Nov 2014

They are found in 1870 living in Madison Co., IA,
Daniel Palmer, 27, OH
Angeline Palmer. 24, IN

In 1880 they are found in Union Twp., Worth Co., MO. he is indexed as David Parmer but the image could be Daniel or David but the wife is Angeline and the children match the 1900 census so I'm sure it is him.

David Parmer, 36, OH, OH, OH
Angline Parmer, 34, IN, PA, OH
Samuel Parmer, 9, IA, OH, IN
Claud Parmer, 8, IA, OH, IN
Ralph Parmer, 5, IA, OH, IN
Cora S Parmer, 2, IA, OH, IN

In 1900 they are in Plattville Twp. Mills Co., IA
Daniel Palmer, July 1843, 56, OH, PA, OH
Angeline Palmer, May 1846, 54, IN, PA, OH
Claud Palmer, Apr 1872, 28, IA, OH, IN
Ralph Palmer, Mar 1875, 25, IA, OH, IN
Pearl M Palmer, Apr 1883, 17, IA, OH, IN
Lewis Palmer, Nov 1885, 14, IA, OH, IN

I searched for a Daniel Palmer of the same age that existed prior to 1870 with no luck and there is no duplicate census records for another Daniel Palmer after 1870 so it would seem that this Daniel is Daniel Perky. The variations in parents nativity seems to fall in line with other census records as George himself is enumerated as being born in Ohio in some records and PA in others.

George Perky married Anna Mason in Illinois in 1851.

Name: George W. Perky
Titles and Terms:
Event Type: Marriage
Event Date: 10 Apr 1851
Event Place: Hancock, Illinois, United States
Spouse's Name: Anna Mason
Reference ID: bk 1
GS Film number: 954177
Digital Folder Number: 004661306
Image Number: 00311
Citing this Record: "Illinois, County Marriages, 1810-1934"
https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/KFK3-RF6 : accessed 03 Nov 2014

They had 5 children, Melissa, Marian, Monroe, George W. Jr. and Clarence E. He was living alone in Hancock Co., IL in 1850 before his marriage to Anna. In 1860 they had moved to Liberty Twp., Adair Co., MO where Daniel Perkey is included in the household. In 1870 they had moved to Walnut Creek, Adair Co., MO. George died there in 1872 and his will was registered and went through probate there. It includes mention of two children from his previous marriage, Catherine and Sarah but not Daniel.

Last Will & Testament of G. W. Perky

Last Will & Testament of George W. Perky of Walnut Township Adair County and State of Missouri & by occupation a farmer.

I give bequeath & devise all my estate both real & personal as follows namely:

To my daughter Catherine A. Burns, residing near Lafayette, State of Indiana the sum of One Dollar.

To my daughter Sarah A. Smith of Carroll County, Mo, also one dollar.

To my daughter Melissa Perky, my son Marion Perky, my son Monroe Perky & my son George W. Perky, one dollar each, last four named living at home with myself and their mother.

And the remainder to my wife Anna Perky and I desire her to take care of the unmarried children & pay off all my debts as soon as practicable.

This will also applies to any property now due my by right of will or inheritance.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand & seal this Thirty first day of October 1871.

George W. Perky {seal}

The above instrument was signed & sealed in our presence & at our residence in Morris Township Sullivan County, Mo. the date above written by George W. Perky of Adair County Mo. Oct 31st 1871.

Attest{ Franklin Williams
      { Mary Williams

County of Adair

I Jacob Sands Clerk of the Probate Court of Adair County having examined the foregoing instrument of writing purportions to be the last will & testimony of Franklin Williams and Mary Williams the witnesses above named, do adjudge & declare the said instrument of writing to be the last will & testament of George W Perkey decd.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand & affixed the seal of said Probate Court of Adair County at office in said County this 10th day of February AD 1872

Jacob Sands Clerk
Probate Court Adair Co.

Notice the name is written as both Perky and Perkey. I wonder if Daniel is left out because he adopted the Palmer name or is he dead? Images of the will and probate records can be found on Family Search, Missouri Probate Records 1750-1998.

I just finished up Catherine's line. She married George W. Burns and their family stayed pretty much in the Tippecanoe Co., IN area. Now I am moving on to Daniel and the other children. I just wanted to pass on the information on George so it doesn't seem like he just fell off the face of the earth. Perhaps at some point you can update your article.

Elizabeth's son Silas moved to Kansas as did her daughter Margaret Melissa who married Hiram Smith. Elizabeth died in 1899 at Melissa's home in Wichita, KS.

I would like to hear your opinion on the Daniel Palmer mentioned above and if you want to see any of my Firestone information you can find it online at the link in my signature below.

I look forward to hearing from you!
Denny Shirer - drdx@neo.rr.com - Canton, OH
Shirer Family Genealogy -

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