17 September 2010

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Camp


Jospehine or Joanna(h) Catherine Thurston Camp v William Camp (Journal 7 p410 - Mar 1869; Roll 21 case number 108 - Nov 1869)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married on 8 Apr 1865 in Wms Co, OH (Marriage V3 p545; date was 8 Apr 1866). Joanna, b 9 July 1839 in Benton, Columbia Co, PA, was the daughter of Samuel Moore and Mary Ann Appleman Thurston; her father had died on 6 Aug 1849 in Stryker, Williams Co, OH and in the 1850 Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p98b, the Thurston family was listed as Mary Ann 41 PA, Sarah 13 PA, Joanna 11 PA, Mathias 9 PA, and John 6 PA.  By the 1860 Springfield Twp federal census p72, mother Mary A had married Hiram Theodore Betts on 22 Aug 1854 in Wms Co (Marriage V2 p145) and the family was listed as Hiram 28 NJ, Mary A 40 PA, Franklin 5 OH, Chauncey 2 OH, Mathias Thurston 19 PA, John Thurston 17 PA, and Harriet Thurston 8 PA.  Note that Joanna did not reside with this family. Stepfather Hiram was a   Springfield Twp trustee, the first advocate of abolition in the area, and active in the Pomona Grange as cited in the History of Williams Co, Ohio, Goodspeed, 1882, p706-707.

William A. Camp may be a native of Shelby, Orleans Co, NY, born c1826; also, he may be the son of Aaron Pixley and Mary Welch Camp. The couple’s daughter, Mary Josephine, was born 12 Dec 1866 in Archbold, Fulton Co, OH.

Joanna charged that on 1 Dec 1868 in Cleveland, OH, William was sentenced to a term of several months to the Ohio Penitentiary for passing counterfeit money.  “He currently resides in prison”.  On 21 Apr 1869 he received a summons to appear in court on another charge in Archbold, Fulton Co, OH.  The couple had a two-year-old daughter, Mary Josephine.  The wife brought witness John Sloan, a neighbor to the Thurston-Betts family in 1850 and 1860, to court to corroborate these facts.  A legal notice of intent to divorce appeared in the Bryan Union Press.  The divorce was granted. 

In the 1870 Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p26, the Betts family was enumerated as Hiram 38 NJ, Mary A 53 PA, Franklin 15 OH, Clarence 12 OH, Mary Camp 3 OH, and Hiram’s parents, John L 66 Nova Scotia, and Sarah (Pryor) 65 PA.  Note the presence of Joanna and William Camp’s daughter, Mary, who lived with the Betts family.  Joanna C. Thurston died on 11 Nov 1892 @53Y 4M 2D and was buried in Boynton Cem, Springfield Twp along with her brothers John, a Civil War casualty, and Samuel L. Thurston.  Her mother Mary Ann Betts later died on 31 Jan 1907 @90Y and was buried in Oakwood Cem, Stryker, OH.  Wms Co, OH Marriage Records show a Mary E. Camp became the bride of John M. Zimmerman on 30 Nov 1893 (Marriage V6 #1073).

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Cameron


Lydia Iosetta Christy Cameron v Robert C. Cameron (Journal 11 p6 - 9 Nov 1880; Roll 36 case number 814 - Nov 1880)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married in Steuben Co, IN on 25 Dec 1871.  In the 1870 Richland Twp, Steuben Co, IN federal census p165 a Cameron family was listed as John Cameron 56 Scotland, Mary Ellen (Carlin) 47 OH, Robert 22 IN, Savia 24 IN, Mary A 19 IN, John F 15 IN, Margaret 13 IN, Josina 8 IN, and William 3 IN.  This may be the family of Robert Cameron. In early 1875 they moved to Wms Co.  Lydia charged that between 1 Sept 1878-Nov 1879 in a building Robert used as a store and residence he committed adultery with Sarah Hanna.  Lydia said she helped to purchase the store in Columbia, NW Twp, with her own funds.  She said Robert threatened to defraud her by selling, converting, and disposing of money and property that is hers.  She also stated that Robert owned a 1/8th share of 180 acres in Steuben Co as inheritance from his father, who died in 1878.  The divorce was granted.

In the 1870 Nettle Lake, NW Twp federal census, p30, the Hanna family appeared as William C. Hanna 30 OH grocer, Sarah M 20 OH, Maud A 2 OH.  On 9 Apr 1881 in Wms Co (Marriage V4 p745) Robert C. Cameron wed Sarah M. Foster.  In the 1900 Fremont, Steuben Co, IN federal census p13, the Camerons were listed as druggist Robert C b Mar 27, 1848 (52) IN-Scot-OH mar 19Y and wife Sarah b Aug 22, 1850 (49) OH-OH-VT, having one child but not living; from the same location in the 1910 federal census the Camerons are cited as being married 26 years, each married twice.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Byers


Samantha J. Schlott Byers v Simon S. Byers (Journal 10 p511 - 21 June 1880)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married on 13 Nov 1865 in Wms Co (Marriage V3 p490).  Samantha, b 9 Jan 1846 in  OH, was the daughter of Levi and Rosannah Schober Schlott, natives of Lancaster Co, PA and Franklin Co, PA, respectively, who were enumerated in the 1850 Pulaski Twp federal census, p88B, as Levi 40 PA, Rosannah 35 PA, Elizabeth 15 PA, Jeremiah 12 OH, Franklin 10 OH, Wilson 9 OH, Samantha 4 OH, Rolandus 2 OH.  They appeared in the 1860 Bryan federal census, p45A as Levi 48 PA, Rosanna 44 PA, Jeremiah 22 OH, Samantha 15 OH, Rolandus 11 OH, Alice 6 OH, and James 3 OH.  According to the Bryan Democrat, 12 Jan 1871, Levi Schlott owned a saloon in Bryan on North Main St. He died on 25 May 1877 @67Y 4M 4D and was buried in the Fountain Grove Cemetery in Bryan.  His wife, Rosanna died on 26 Apr 1898 and was buried beside her husband.

In the 1860 Hudson Twp, LaPorte Co, IN federal census p238, Simon Byers was listed as Simon 20 OH farm laborer in household of Levi Solloway.  By the 1870 Bryan federal census p4, Simeon Byers was listed as 26 OH plasterer along with wife Samantha 28 OH, and son Howard 2OH.  According to the 1880 Jefferson Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p517, the Byers family changed to Catharine Byers 62 OH-PA-PA son Simon 40 OH engineer, daughter Malinda 30 OH, and son Edd W 20 OH. The details of the divorce are not currently known, but a divorce was granted well before Simon married Amanda E. Everett on 23 Dec 1882 in Wms Co (Marriage V5 #261).  Amanda was listed in the 1880 Bryan, Pulaski twp federal census as Amanda Everett 20 OH, servant in household of JW Smith.  Simon died on 20 Oct 1886 (Death V2 p37).  This new wife Amanda married at least two more times. 

An Internet source stated that Samantha married Charles H. Rydman, son of William L and Jane Madden, natives of VA and DE, respectively, and the couple had a daughter, Lottie, b 1884. Charles b 1850 OH, a plasterer, was listed with his family in the 1870 Toledo, Lucas Co, OH federal census p131 and the 1880 Toledo federal census p149.  By 1910 Lucas Co, OH federal census Samantha was listed as 63 widow; Samantha later died in Oct 1910, Lucas Co, OH.

Update on Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Bruot

Emmeline DeGroff Bruot v Emile Bruot
French Charm Does Not Last, Divorce in Williams County, Ohio, 1885
By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 27 May 2011)




A big shout out to Roger Douglass for this additional information on Emily DeGroff Bruot.  Thank you, Roger.  If you as the reader have any additional data, you can reach Roger through his email address below.
Roger Douglass
Toledo, Ohio- formerly Hillsdale Co., just a stone's throw over the Wms Co. line.

The language of love may not last but when there are children involved, a divorce can take a nasty turn.  He has money and she, with three small children to support, does not.  She asks for reasonable alimony and eventually obtains it.  She is the victim of the French charm that does not last.

Native Williams County, Ohio Emeline "Emily" DeGroff, daughter of David and Elizabeth Spangler DeGroff, was born 1858, probably near Stryker, Springfield Twp.  Her parents were married here on 5 May 1858 (Marriages V2 p178) and first appeared as a family unit in the 1860 Brady Twp, Wms Co, OH PO Stryker federal census, p17b, as David DeGroff 27 OH, Elizabeth 20 OH, Emily 2 OH, Chester 4/12 OH.  Again in the 1870 Brady Twp federal census, p20, the family had grown as David 30 PA, Elizabeth 31 OH, Emily 12 OH, Chester 10 OH, Phebe A 8 OH, Margaret 5 OH, Clara J 2 OH, and Sylvester 1 OH.  Note that father David's birthplace changed from OH to PA.  He was listed with his parents, William and Margaret DeGroff, from the 1850 Jefferson Twp federal census, p22, as David 20 OH.

Emily DeGroff married Louis Emile Bruot, a native of Valentigney, FR, on 10 Aug 1878, Wms Co (Marriages V4 p587).  Emile also known as "Lem", the son of Pierre Louis and Marianne Louise Brognard Bruot, was born on 29 Mar 1858.  His family immigrated to the US and eventually settled in Springfield Twp after 1867.  They were listed in the 1870 Springfield Twp federal census, p21, all natives of FR, as Peter Bruot 41, Mary A 35, Amale (m) 12, Henry 10, Alseda 8, Louisa 9, Alla 6, and Eulice (Ulysses) 3.  Emile and his family lived in Brady Twp as the 1880 federal census p503B, showed as Emile 22 FR, Emily 20 OH, Albert 1 OH, and George Julliard 50 FR.

Emily Bruot appeared in the Williams County Civil and Criminal Court (Journal 13 p61 - 14 Mar 1885; Roll 41 Box 137 case number 1399 - 27 Dec 1884) asking for a divorce.  The Bryan Press starting with its issue of 12 Mar 1885 and running six consecutive weeks demonstrated her desire for this action.  Emily stated that on 9 Nov 1881 Emile willfully absented himself and that he "is a sinful person."  Emily listed the names and birthdates for their three children as follows: Albert "Bert" (7 Feb 1879, Brady Twp, Births V1 p118) who lived with his grandparents, Peter and Mary Bruot;, May or Mary (7 June 1880), and Daisy (29 Apr 1882).  Note that when Emile left her in Nov 1881 she was pregnant with Daisy. 

Emily told the court that Emile had received money from hs parents but had not given her anything for the support of the children.  She believed Emile was in Ft. Wayne, Allen Co, IN for a year but at the time of the divorce filing she was unaware of his residence.  She further produced witnesses that corroborated her statements; her father David DeGroff and her brother Chester plus a concerned friend, Charles Besanson, told the court of Emile's shameful dealings with his family.  Emily requested and received a reasonable alimony of $800.

Emile's parents were buried in the French Cemetery, Springfield Twp as Peter Bruot (8 Mar 1829 - 5 Oct 1889) and Marion (d. 15 Feb 1897 @61Y 10M 22D).  Emily's parents rest in Floral Grove Cemetery, West Unity, Brady Twp as David DeGroff (1831 - 1909 @79Y 7M 27D) and Elizabeth (d. 8 Mar 1894 @54Y 11M).

Emile married Phoebe Blackburn, born 1855 in New Haven, Allen Co, IN, and had children Lewis, Roy, and Amelia Bruot according to an entry in the Williams County, Ohio History, WCHS, 1980, p472-473.  By the 1910 Madison Twp, Allen Co, IN federal census p132, Emile Bruot was head of house as Emile 53 FR, Phoebe 54 IN, Lewis 20 IN, Amelia 20 IN, and Roei 17 IN; this record stated that Emile was naturalized in 1887. Louis Emile Bruot died in Ft. Wayne, IN in 1913/1914 according to an Internet source; Phoebe passed away in 1944.

In 1900 Emily and Emile’s son, Albert or Burt, born Oct 1878 (21) OH hostler lived with the George and Ida Sherwood family in Brady Twp.  Note that his birthdate does not match the earlier cited birth record.  



Emily next married Warren James Gleason on 17 Dec 1885 at Adrian, MI.  Warren, who was previously married and divorced, was the son of James Morrison and Susan Mary Detrick Gleason.  The couple had four children, Bessie Elizabeth, Estella A, Albert Warren, and Donald Sidney.  Prior to 15 May 1905 the couple was divorced.  In the 1910 Perkins, Erie Co, OH federal census Warren is listed as 65 NY-NY-PA divorced; he was a resident of the Ohio Soldiers and Sailors Home. Warren later died in Toledo, Lucas Co, OH.

1900 Franklin, Fulton, Ohio; Roll: T623_1270; Page: 6B; Enumeration District: 6.
h/h 126/129 Gleason, Warren J (Nov 1845) 54 mar 16Y NY-NY-PA farm laborer
Emaly wife (Apr 1858) 32 7/7 ch OH-NY-OH
Bessie E dau (May 1886) 15 MI-NY-OH
Stellie A dau (July 1887) 12 MI-NY-OH
Albert W son (Apr 1891) 9 OH-NY-OH
Donnel S son (Aug 1893) 6 OH-NY-OH

The next romantic tie for Emily came in the person of Eli Saums, son of Levi and Polly Carter Saums.  The married on 15 May 1905 at Charlotte, Eaton Co, MI.  Eli, a Knox Co, OH native, was 62 and Emma D. Gleason, married twice before, was 46. Eli died on 13 Nov 1916 at Eaton Co, MI.

1910 Hamlin, Eaton, Michigan; Roll: T624_645; Page: 7B; Enumeration District: 0090; Image: 461; FHL Number: 1374658.
h/h 194/194 Saums, Eli J 67 mar 2x mar 5Y OH-VA-MA farmer
Emily D wife 51 mar 2x 7/7 ch OH-FR-OH
Gleason, Albert step son 21 single OH-OH-OH farmer
Grey, Desford grandson 4 MI-OH-OH

Emily’s next husband was Charles V. Lewis, whom she married in Eaton Rapids, Eaton Co, MI on 14 Feb 1919.  Note this was Valentine’s Day. Charles was the son of Samuel and Lydia Rose Lewis. On the marriage record Charles is listed as never having been married before and Emily is listed as having been married once before.  She was 54 and recorded as Emily D Saums.

1920 Eaton Rapids, Eaton, Michigan; Roll: T625_763; Page: 5B; Enumeration District: 99; Image: 309.
h/h 139/141 Lewis, Charles 55 MI-US-US cement work laborer
Emlie 61 wife OH-Fr-OH
Gleason, Albert bro-in-law 25 divorced MI-MI-OH section hand NYC RR

1930 Eaton Rapids, Eaton, Michigan; Roll: 983; Page: 27B; Enumeration District: 14; Image: 599.0.
526 Michigan St
h/h 792/792 Lewis, Charles V 72 widower 62 at marriage MI-MI-MI odd job laborer



Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Brown (Orlando)


Orlando L. Brown v Harriet L. Thomas Brown (Journal 9 p13 -15 Nov 1876; Roll 30 case number 22 - 26 May 1876)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married in Burr Oak, St. Joseph Co, MI on 1 Aug 1871.  Orlando charged that on 20 Dec 1874 at their home in Burr Oak Harriet committed adultery with Elias Thomas; on 23 Dec 1874 she was with a man unknown to Orlando; and at other times she committed adultery with Elwin Russel and other men.  At the time of this filing she lived at Fauvre River, St. Joseph Co, MI.  The divorce was granted.  Orlando later married Lucinda Moore on 19 Jan 1877, Wms Co (Marriage V4 p503).  In the 1880 Bryan, Pulaski Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p624 the Browns were enumerated as Orlando 50 NY –VA-NY sexton of graveyard, Lucinda C 35 OH-PA-PA, and Charles H 23 MI-NY-MI. In the 1900 Bryan, Pulaski Twp federal census p183, the Browns were listed as Orlando Apr 1829 (71) NY-VT-NY married 23 years, Lucy May 1845 (55) OH-PA-PA no children. Orlando died in Wms Co on 6 July 1908 (Death V3 p13). By the 1910 Bryan federal census p184 Lucy Brown appeared as Lucy 64 and Gilbert Moore 62 OH brother. 

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Brown (Nicholas)


Nicholas Brown v Veronica Meister Brown
Mary Krieger Deeds Brown v Nicholas Brown
John Michael Weicht v Caroline Brown Weicht
The Puzzle of Nicholas Brown,
Divorces in Williams County, OH 1863 and 1867 – see Albright

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

Nicholas Brown was born in Niederkechen, Germany, on 21 Sept 1811 and married his bride Catherine Brown, 30 Mar 1837 in Germany.  Catherine, b. 17 Aug 1815, immigrated to the US with her husband shortly after their marriage, first settling in Tuscarawus Co, OH and then making St. Joseph Twp, Wms Co, OH their home.  The Browns had the following children: Elizabeth (8 May 1839 Tuscarawus Co, OH - 15 Apr 1916; m. George Fix, 31 Jan 1862); Julian (1840 - aft 1860); Caroline (1842 - 1927, m. John Michael Weicht); Catherine (22 June 1844 - 20 Jan 1866); Louisa (1845 - 3 Mar 1856); John (1849 - aft 1860); four children all dying young - Sevilla, a young child, Andre Andrew, Daniel; and Lucinda (1857 - 1935; m. Thomas L. Donaldson).

The Brown family was enumerated in 1850 St. Joseph Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census, p80B, as Nicholas 38 DEU, Catherine 34 DEU, Elizabeth 12, July Ann 10, Catherine 5, Caroline 8, Lavina 4, Andrew 9/12, with all the children born in Ohio.  In the 1860 St. Joseph federal census, they were listed as Nicholas 49 Germany, Catherine 43 Germany, and Ohio born children, Elizabeth 21, Juliann 19, Caroline 18, Catherine 16, John 11, Lucinda 3.  Sometime after this 1860 census was taken, mother Catherine died, although there is a puzzling tombstone inscription on her marker found in Thomas Cemetery, St. Joseph Twp which lists her date of death as 19 Nov 1858 @ 43Y 3M 2D.  If this is correct then the Catherine aged 43 of Germany is someone else in the census. 

There are two more pieces of data to add to the mystery.  On 2 Jan 1860, Fulton Co, OH, a Nicholas Brown married Veronica Meister.  According to the Williams County, OH Civil and Criminal Court records (Journal 6 p311 – 10 Nov 1863; Roll 16 case number 66 - 18 June 1863) Nicholas Brown brought a suit against his wife, Veronica, who had been absent for three years.  He called the following witnesses to attest to his errant wife's behavior: George Arnold, John Robinson, George Runkle, and Elizabeth Fix.   Nicholas was granted this divorce. The puzzling questions are (1) Was Veronica Meister known as Catherine and was she the 43 year old included in the 1860 census? (2) Was the witness for the plaintiff Nicholas Brown, his daughter Elizabeth Brown Fix? Finally, (3) was this divorced Nicholas Brown the subject of this detailing?  Nothing further is known to date of Veronica.

Another puzzle comes along two years later as Nicholas Brown married Mary C. Deeds, 22 Oct 1865, Edgerton, Wms Co, OH (Marriages, V3 p481).  It appears that this Mary was Mary Krieger Deeds, widow of Samuel Deeds.  For further information on her early life see Albright detailing. Trouble started shortly after the marriage, which made it necessary for Mary to bring a suit of divorce against Nicholas in the Williams Co, OH Civil and Criminal Court records (Roll 18 case number 51 - April 1867).  Mary Deeds Brown stated that on 1 Mar 1866 and other times Nicholas committed adultery with Mary Flickinger.  On 30 April 1866 he committed adultery with Charlotte Miller.  By 13 May 1866 Nicholas deprived Mary of the comforts of his home and compelled her to leave.  She charged him with gross neglect, extreme cruelty, and adultery.  Mary stated that he had property, livestock, and a large amount of cash always on hand in his home.  The land property was described in the suit and valued at $5,000.  Mary desired alimony and called a huge number of witnesses such as Jacob Geib, Elizabeth Fix, Michael Weicht, Catherine Weicht, John and Elizabeth Richmond, John, Peter, and Christian Manweiler, George Firestone, George Barkdoll, Mary McAntoffer, Henry Kissinger, Reuben Everhart, and Margaret Goll.

Next it was Nicholas' turn to call witnesses such as George Herman, George Fix, George Kochendorfer, and Reuben Everhart.  Nicholas stated that for the court's knowledge Mary was not even a resident of Ohio and was not when she filed this suit.  He called Andrew Barger of DeKalb Co, IN who testified that he had fetched Mary's belongings at her request and moved them to the home of George Firestone on 18 Feb 1866.  Nicholas said Mary had deserted and abandoned him; he never abused her nor compelled her to leave.  "Mary had gone into bad company and received bad advice in making these false and malicious statements."  He never committed adultery but he wanted a divorce from Mary.  After listening to the witnesses, the court granted a divorce in favor of Mary on 17 May 1867.  Nicholas died in St. Joseph Twp on 25 Mar 1895 @84Y 6M 4D and was buried in Thomas Cemetery next to his first wife.

While this divorce was happening, another divorce was also set in motion by Nicholas' son-in-law, John Michael Weicht, husband of Caroline Brown, b. 1842, Wms Co, OH, whom he married on 24 Dec 1865, Center Twp, Wms Co (Marriages V3 p511).  John, b. 22 May 1842, Bolivar, Tuscarawas Co, OH, was the son of Hess-Darmstadt natives Michael and Catherine Spry Weicht.  Note that Michael and Catherine appeared in the previously described divorce giving testimony against Nicholas.

John Weicht went to the Williams Co, OH Civil and Criminal Court (Journal 6 p613 – 5 Nov 1866; Journal 7 p248 – 18 Nov 1868; Roll 18 case number 46 - Oct 1866) and stated that on 1 Jan 1866 Caroline had refused his marital rights and had departed for her father's home, refusing to return to him.  She was guilty of gross neglect and abandonment without provocation on his part.  "Caroline has an evil and malicious disposition which renders her vicious and disagreeable.  She is an unfit wife for any good man."  Henry Herman of DeKalb Co, IN sided with John and gave damaging testimony about Caroline.  Catherine Weicht, John's mother, said Caroline has resided in DeKalb Co, IN for several months and that in March 1866 she completely abandoned John.  "Caroline is the mother of a six-month old child and John is not the father.  Caroline would not do washing or mending, and seemed indifferent to John's comfort and appearance."  The court granted John a divorce on 13 Dec 1867.

Prior to this Caroline sued John for a divorce in DeKalb Co, IN and ran notices of such in the "DeKalb Democrat" on 21 and 28 Apr 1867.  The DeKalb County Civil and Criminal Court awarded Caroline a divorce in May 1867, more than six months before John obtained his divorce.  Caroline for some reason came back to Wms Co and sued for another divorce on 18 Nov 1868, charging John with being willfully absent.  She stated that she had a minor child, Charles N. Weicht, aged two years old.  The Wms Co Court granted her alimony of $200. (The Bryan Democrat, 26 Nov 1868 p3)

Caroline Brown Weicht did have a son whom she called Charles N. Brown (1866-16 July 1898; buried Thomas Cemetery, St. Joseph Twp, Wms Co, OH; m. Addie M. Porter, 27 Dec 1891, Wms Co [Marriages, V6 #582]).  Charles was tragically kicked in the head by a horse and left a widow and two children ("Bryan Democrat", 21 July 1898, p5).  Caroline Brown was listed in the 1870 St. Joseph Twp federal census, p24, with Nicholas Brown 60 Baden, Caroline 27 OH, Lucinda 14 OH, and Charles Brown 3 OH.  The 1880 federal census for that township, p24, enumerated the family as Nicholas 68 Bavaria, Katherine 38 OH, Lucinda 22 OH, Charles 13 OH, and Charles Parrish, boarder, 19 Saxony.  Note that the census taker mistakenly listed Caroline as Katherine.

Caroline died in 1927 and was buried next to her son.  If she married again it is not currently known.  John Weicht married Mary Perky on 16 Aug 1868 and had two children, Willis who died in infancy and Artie who married Arthur Freed of Terra Haute, IN.  The Weicht family was enumerated in the 1900 Troy Twp, DeKalb Co, IN federal census, p143, as John M. b. May 1839; married 31 years; Mary b. 1833 OH; mother of 7 children with 4 surviving.

The Butler Weekly obituary for John on 21 June 1912 stated that he died on 14 June 1912 in Troy Twp, near Arctic, IN and was buried in the Hamilton Cemetery.  His daughter and two stepchildren survived John, a butcher by profession.  His wife Mary had died on 29 May 1908.  To pick up the threads of this family with one more divorce see Nicholas' daughter, Lucinda, who married a divorced man, Thomas L. Donaldson, "An Irish Businessman and His Temper."

16 September 2010

A Word About Divorce Records

By Pamela Pattison Lash

Our WCGS website, found in the links section of this blog, contains my divorce primer. There is a data base where all divorces discovered from 1830's-1886 are listed. The thought occurred to me as I'm updating my findings is to post the following for a guest who may not be familiar with the value of divorce records.

As you, the reader, see the laundry list of possible findings in the divorce records, you will hopefully realize the value these records hold. When I began delving into these records, I quickly discovered that they were hidden "gold mines" of data for family research. Most people would never think to consult such records because first of all they never conceived the notion that an ancestor had divorced or had experienced the divorce process. Secondly, if they wondered whether there was a divorce, they did not know where to look or did not want to find anything distressing. If the latter is the reason you, the reader, have never looked at divorce records, then do not do it. The material within may indeed be unsettling. If, however, you share my view that these people were flesh and blood with human frailties and that one can never know all of the circumstances that surround the situation of divorce, then "go for it."

The method I used to compile this publication consisted of a two-pronged attack. First I paged through the first 14 journals of the Williams County Civil and Criminal Court records (1824 - June 1886), from which I created a list of divorces that were mentioned therein. This gave me surnames and dates, such as Phebe Daggett v. Ethan Daggett, Journal 7, November 1869 Term, p 369, 380-381. By the way, this case was the first one I waded through because I was writing a genealogical detailing of the couple for the Williams County Genealogical Society's newsletter, Ohio's Last Frontier, entitled "A Native Daughter Abused: A Bill of Divorce in Williams County, OH (1869)". The reasons for my interest in this case are contained within that two-part article, which I have included in this publication along with an update on Ethan Daggett.

Next, I used the indices to the microfilm rolls of the Williams County Civil and Criminal Court records, which are located at both the Williams County Records Center and the Williams County Public Library, Bryan, Ohio. The index directed me to Roll 21, case numbers 39 and 57, which yielded a great deal of information about the couple and their subsequent divorce. I further learned that Ethan Daggett's attorneys later sued Ethan for failure to pay representation fees.

The indices for the early rolls are listed by surname only. Some divorces were mentioned in the journals but no case file was included in the microfilm rolls or vice versa. Some divorces were mentioned in old county newspapers such as the Bryan Democrat, 21 May 1863, without being discovered in either the journals or the rolls.

I also want to alert you as to what may not be in the divorce records. Each divorce was as different as each couple who experienced this process. Some cases were full of detail and some only contained the bare necessities of the filing process. Also, not all people who sought a divorce received one. In fact, some of the over 360 divorces listed herein were dismissed or continued and then later dismissed because the court felt there was not enough evidence or one or both of the parties requested a dismissal. Some of the dismissed cases were refiled as many as three times before the court acted upon them.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Brown (John)


John B. Brown v Louise Brown (Journal 12 p14 - 21 Feb 1883)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

John charged Louise with being willfully absent for three years or more.  A divorce was granted.  In the 1870 Pulaski Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p5, John Brown was enumerated as John 40 BAD, Caroline 26 OH, Elmer 5 OH, Philetus ½ OH. Again there was a John B. Brown 49 Baden with wife Caroline (Wilson) 36 and sons Elmer 15 and Ira 9 enumerated in the 1880 Pulaski Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p627C, but whether this was the couple has not been substantiated. 

This couple was also enumerated together in the 1900 Bryan federal census as married for 40 years, which would mark the marriage c1860.  Caroline (1844 – 1935), John B (1830-1907), and son Harvey who died in 1875 @5M 27D are all buried in Brown Cem, Center Twp.  The absence of a discovered roll dealing with this case makes me doubt that this is the family, unless they divorced and later remarried, or chose to ignore the divorce.  Another possibility is that Louise was also known as Caroline.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Brown (Elias)


Rosanna Wingard Snyder Brown v Elias Hyram Brown
Second Time Around Wasn't Lovely, Divorce in Williams County, Ohio, 1866
By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

They were both married before and each had many children from their former marriages.  This marriage was short-lived as each party told a different version of the events that led up to the divorce.  Love was not lovelier the second time around.

Elias H. Brown, a shoemaker and farmer, born on 13 Aug 1811, Schuylkill Co, PA, was first married to PA native Susannah Tressler, b.c. 1820, on 5 Sept 1840 in Williams Co, OH.  Elias may be the son of John Balzar and Christina Scholl Brown. The couple appeared in the 1850 Jefferson Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census, p18, as Elias 38 PA, Susannah 30 PA, Delilah 8 OH, Thomas 7 OH, Sanders 5 OH, Bradley 3 OH, and Zachariah 1 OH.  Wife Susannah died on 8 Apr 1858 @38Y and was buried in the West Jefferson Cemetery.

Elias and his children were enumerated in the 1860 Jefferson Twp federal census, p167A, as Elias 42 PA, Delia 18 OH, Thomas C. 17 OH, Sanders V. 15 OH, Bradley 13 OH, Zachariah 10 OH, Winfield S. 7 OH, Andrew 6 OH, Charles F. 4 OH, and Isabel 4 OH.  Within a span of eleven days between 8 Sept 1862 -18 Sept 1862, four of the children died of black diphtheria (Delilah, Zachariah, Andrew, and Isabella); also dead within that timeframe was a grandson, AP Phillips; all were buried with Susannah Brown. The existence of the deceased grandson @ 14Y leads one to speculate that there must have been an unknown older daughter of this couple. This tragedy left Elias a widower with five children when he married a second time.

His new bride was Mrs. Rosanna Snider/Snyder, the widow of Edward Snyder; they were married on 21 Jan 1849.  Rosanna may be the daughter of Joseph and Mary Kauffman Wingard. According to the 1850 Bethlehem Twp, Stark Co, OH federal census p117A the Snyder family was enumerated as Edward 25 PA, Anna 30 OH, and Diana 2 OH. Rosann or Anna Wingard Snyder was a resident of Stark Co, OH and had five children at the time of her marriage to Elias on 31 Jan 1864, Wms Co (Marriages V3 p349).  Her Snyder children were Richard 15, Amanda 14, Cuquel 10, Aaron 8, and Sarah 6.

Rosann, dissatisfied with her new husband, petitioned the Williams County, OH Civil and Criminal Court for a divorce (Roll 18 case number 4 - Oct 1866).  She stated that on 1Nov 1865 Elias beat and choked her.  Between Aug 1866-Oct 1866 she was very sick and unable to move; Elias in a vile manner, using abusive language, beat her daughter Amanda.  On 1 May 1866 Elias drove Anna out of the house and would not allow her to take her clothing and other belongings.  She stated that Elias was worth $10,000 - $12,000 plus he owned real estate in Jefferson Twp, such as 160 acres on the southeast corner of West Jefferson.  Rosann wanted a reasonable alimony.

Elias by deposition said he did not receive any money from her before or after the marriage so he did not owe her anything.  She could have what few articles she had any time and he did not drive her from his home.  He was willing to support her if she would return but not if she remained apart.  Elias said Anna neglected him and was often gone for weeks at a time.

Bradley Goodwill Brown, Elias' son, by deposition said Anna left without cause but that she had returned frequently to the Brown home and had stored her belongings there of her own free will.  His father did not neglect her or refuse medical attention or financial assistance.  Her own daughters were in the home when Anna was sick.  Anna did not provide regular meals for the family.

The court granted Anna a divorce plus $50 in alimony to be paid in Oct 1866 and a further $50-60 in a year's time.  In the 1870 Jefferson Twp federal census, p25, Elias Brown was listed as 60 OH without occupation along with children Sanders 24, Bradley 22, and Sarah (Tingle) 20, Sander's new bride.  Elias H. Brown was the owner of extensive land in Sec 17 of Jefferson Twp according to the 1874 Wms Co Atlas, p40.  In the 1880 Jefferson Twp federal census p522, Elias H. Brown was enumerated as Elias 62 PA with PA native parents and was divorced; he lived alone.

On 26 June 1890 Elias died in Wms Co (Deaths, V2 p58) and his estate was probated on 10 June 1890 (#3092).  A Rosanna Snyder was listed in the Wms Co Deaths (V3 p119) for 19 Oct 1894.  Whether she was the divorced Mrs. Brown has yet to be determined.  Also a marriage record in Wms Co (Marriage V3 p460) revealed the wedding of a Thomas Corwin Brown to Amanda A. Snyder on 19 Sept 1865.  This was  Elias' son and Rosann's daughter; Thomas and Amanda moved to Elkhart Co, IN where Thomas was an engineer on the Lake Shore and Southern Michigan Railroad.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Brown (David)


David Franklin Brown v Sarah J. Church Brown
Jane Richard Barber Brown v David Franklin Brown
A Connecticut Yankee in the Williams County, Ohio Courts
Two Divorces, 1864 and 1883

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

This Connecticut native appeared in court requesting not one but two divorces and was sued numerous times for other legal matters.  Our subject brought the first planting machine to this county c.1860 and spent over forty years here as a leading citizen even though he was found guilty of embezzlement.

David Franklin Brown, the eldest of ten children of CT natives, Elijah and Mary Ann Saunders Brown, was born in Stonington, New London Co, CT on 3 June 1826.  By 1843 David was 16 years old and having learned the carpentry trade in RI, he eventually moved to New Hartford, CT by 1848, making sashes and doors.  David married CT native Sarah Frances Church on 10 Oct 1848 in Mystic, New London, CT; Revrend Nehemiah B. Cooke officiated. Sarah, parentage unknown, was born on 4 Mar 1831 in East Glastonbury, CT.  David was enumerated with his parents who ran a boarding house in the 1850 Westerly, Washington Co, RI federal census p416 as David 23 CT carpenter, but his wife was not listed. 

From Mystic the couple moved to Delaware City in 1853 and then traveled to parts west including stays in Minnesota, Iowa, and Norwalk, OH.  In 1860 they moved to Stryker, Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH where David brought his planting machine.  Three children were born to the couple but only one survived through childhood, Frances Wilhelmina, b. 19 Aug 1852, Ansonia, CT; the other two were Frances (27 Mar 1850 – 4 July 1850, East Hartford, CT) and Franklin Fremont (10 Sept 1857 – 15 Mar 1858, Ansonia, CT).  David appeared in the 1864 Wms Co Atlas as resident of Stryker. 

From Journal 6 p357 (20 Feb 1864), p390-391 and p428 (11 Nov 1864) and Roll 16 case number 65 (May 1864) and Roll 18 case number 95 (17 June 1867), one learns that David F. Brown sued wife Sarah for a divorce citing her with adultery, and Sarah, not to be outdone, sued him for the same grounds.  Sarah, allegedly living with a Nathan Heath at the Grand Haven Hotel in Ottawa Co, MI, was arrested with Heath on a complaint set by Mrs. Heath.  The couple was jailed there for ten days c. Nov 1863.  As early as 30 June 1862 Sarah claimed that David committed adultery with a Susan Hiles/Hill at the Brown home in Stryker.  David brought suit in Feb 1864 and in Mar 1864 Sarah appeared in court stating that she had been in Lucas Co, OH for several months, was destitute, suffered poor health, could not perform manual labor, and was unaware until then that her husband had filed this action.  The only money she had received from her husband was $5 a year ago.  The court listened to a long list of witnesses including Susan Yeager, Timothy Lucas, Alice Babcock, Mary Lyons, Nathaniel Reynolds, and AW Grice.  The Michigan hotelkeeper, James A. Rice, testified that the couple (Sarah Brown and Nathan Heath) was looking for a house to buy.  Heath presented himself as a cooper and Mrs. Brown did needlework.  They were arrested because their articles of clothing were in the same trunk.  The hotel proprietor boasted that after the arrest the couple was treated to a fine oyster supper.

Sarah Brown wanted and received immediate alimony of $50, twice during the long proceedings, and eventually would receive a $40 yearly allowance of separation and an interest in David's real estate.  Later she brought an injunction against David to keep him in this court's jurisdiction.  He received custody of daughter Frances who was 12 years old at that time; furthermore, he stated that his daughter would live with her grandmother, Mary Ann Brown, presumably residing in CT, but Sarah did receive visitation rights.  Sarah stated that when Frances turned 15 she could live with Sarah or anyone of her choice.  Frances would later marry Charles Thompson Downs on 17 Nov 1870 in CT and as of 1902 lived in NY City.

Again on 17 Jan 1867 David appeared in court and asked for a divorce, citing that Sarah had committed adultery in Toledo with an Andrew York.  Sarah countersued citing that David had committed adultery in Stryker with a Jane Barber on 4 July 1866. At this time the couple was formally granted a divorce due to the separation of the parties for more than three years; apparently there was no hope of reconciliation.

David later married Mrs. Jane E. Barber on 11 Apr 1867, Wms Co (Marriages, V3 p673).  Jane, the daughter of Joseph and Rose Didier Richard, was born in May 1835, Robertsville, Stark Co, OH, and was formerly married to Bradford Albert Barber, 3 Oct 1852, Wms Co (Marriages, V2 p128).  Bradford was enumerated in 1850 Springfield Twp federal census, p100B, as 18 NY farmer.  Together Bradford and Jane had the following children: Mary Adaline (2 Aug 1853 OH – bef 1917, m. Franklin Lloyd, 21 Sept 1871), John Charles (9 Nov 1855 OH – aft 1917), Isaac James (1 Jan 1858 OH - bef 1917 ), Laura L. (27 Apr 1860 – bet 1880-1917), Catherine Ann (20 June 1862 – aft 1917; m __ Elliott).  The Barbers were enumerated in the 1860 Springfield Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census, PO Stryker, p70B, as Bradford 27 NY, Jane 24 OH, Mary A 6 OH, John 4 OH, Isaac 2 OH, and Laura 1/12 OH; they lived next door to Jane’s father, Joseph Richard 66 FR.

Bradford Barber, b. 1832 Saratoga Co, NY, the son of Thomas and Mercy Ann Keech Barber, died on 9 Nov 1864 in Andersonville Prison, GA.  He enlisted on 11 Oct 1862 in Co D 10th Reg. OVC and was later wounded in the left forearm at the Battle of Claiburn.  He was transported to a hospital and was soon taken prisoner where he died of chronic diarrhea and starvation. The Barber children were granted guardians on 25 Feb 1863 (Probate #1197), a full year and nine months before their father's death. 

The Brown-Barber family was listed in the 1870 Springfield Twp federal census, p40, as David Brown 43 CT carpenter, Jane 35 OH, Adaline Barber 17 OH, John Barber 14 OH, Isaac Barber 12 OH, Laura Barber 10 OH, Kattie Barber 8 OH, and Birtuh Brown 2 OH.  The last named child was Myrtie Eloise Brown, b. 17 May 1868, the daughter of David and Jane. On 18 May 187* Mrs. Mary A. Barber Lloyd, one of these children, now married, filed a lawsuit charging David F. Brown, her stepfather, with embezzlement of pension funds of her deceased father and was granted a return of the money.  On 14 Dec 1878 Laura L and Catherine A. Barber petitioned the Williams County Probate Court to remove David F. Brown as their guardian and the court appointed their uncle John E. Meek for the duty.

By the 1880 Stryker, Springfield Twp federal census one learns that David ran a sawmill as Frank Brown 53 CT, Jane 44 OH, daughter Myrtie 12 OH, step-daughter Laura Barber 20 OH, step-daughter Katie Barber 18 OH, and father-in-law Joseph Richard 84 FR.  Goodspeed's History of Williams County, Ohio, 1882, p711-712, gave an account of David's early life and did mention his two wives, but did not hint at any divorce.  The reader would be led to believe that Sarah had died and David, as a widower, would marry the Widow Barber.

From Journal 12 p168-167, 20 Dec 1883, Jane Barber sued husband David F. Brown for a divorce charging him with gross neglect and habitual drunkenness.  David owned Lot #1 in Stryker containing a little more than 2 acres, which Jane wanted, plus a bushel of wheat and substantial alimony.  Jane stated that David was indebted to many people and she wanted to secure her financial interests in his property.  The interesting thing about this suit was that she appeared in court twice during the same day, once to complain and the second time to ask for the proceedings to be dismissed.  Searching later journals, one may find a final divorce action because David's obituary ("Bryan Democrat", 18 Dec 1902, p3) stated that David died on 29 Nov 1902 @76Y 5M 26D in Defiance Co, OH, and his wife, Nancy Corwin, had died on 18 Feb of the same year.  Two daughters survived him, Frances W. Downs (Charles Thompson) of NY City, and Myrtie Ogle (Loren L) of Rugby, ND.  Family records stated David was buried in the Evansport Cemetery but no stone exists now. 

Third wife, Nancy A. Justus/Justice, b. 1842 OH, daughter of Michael and Margaret Justice, was first married to John E. Purtee, 12 July 1857, Defiance Co (Marriage V1 p144).  The couple was enumerated in the 1860 Tiffin Twp, Defiance Co federal census with their two children, William b. 1858 and Jane b. 1859.  Nancy next married Benjamin F. Corwin, and together they had at least two children, who both died young; sometime after 1883, she married "the Connecticut Yankee", David F. Brown. 

What happened to his first two wives?  Sarah Church Brown died 24 Mar 1903, Wms Co, OH (Probate #4450 - 11 Apr 1903).  Jane E. Richard Barber Brown died prior to 6 Mar 1917 (Probate #6212).  Jane was buried in St. Peter's Cemetery, German Twp, Fulton Co, OH, close to her father.  By family records Jane was petite, had dark eyes and hair, and was a meticulous housekeeper.  She served as a midwife for the Styker-Archbold area often riding a horse to perform the birthing duties in severe weather.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Brown (Andrew)


Andrew Brown v Julia Ann Brown (Journal 9 p180 - June 1877; Roll 30 case number 23 - Apr 1876)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married on 15 Mar 1867, Hillsdale Co, MI.  According to the 1870 NW Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census, p3, the couple was listed as Andrew 53 PA, Julian 38 OH, Samuel 13 OH, Eliza 9 OH, and Mary E 7 OH.  It would appear that the three children were issue of a previous marriage of the husband.  Andrew charged that Julia was the wife of a living spouse, Alexander Hamilton.  The court granted this divorce, but before the divorce was issued, Andrew took out a marriage license on 4 Feb 1876, Wms Co (Marriage V4 p447) to wed Mrs. Henrietta Shinn.  The license was not returned.  This Henrietta Shinn was formerly married to Aaron Shinn in Wms Co (Marriages V3 p98) on 4 May 1860; her maiden name was Henrietta C. Speaker.  Andrew T. Brown, if this was the subject of this divorce, married Hattie S. Spangler in Wms Co on 14 Mar 1880 (Marriage V4 p680).

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Boynton


Charlotte E. Winters Boynton v Thomas Herman Boynton (Journal 8 p297 - 12 Nov 1874; Roll 26 case number 38 – Mar 1874)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married on 15 May 1864, Wms Co, OH (Marriage V3p382).  Charlotte was born in 1844/47 OH, father from MD and mother from CT. A Charlotte Gallagher married Christian Winters in Wms Co on 24 Dec 1861 (Marriage V3 p212), but whether this is our subject is not currently known. Thomas, born 1834/35 in Maine or OH, was the son of Alpheus Wing and Sarah Stockbridge Boynton. The Boyntons came to Ohio c1836, first to Maumee, and in 1841 to Wms Co.  Father Alpheus married four times (Sarah Stockbridge, Sarah B. Hodges, Elizabeth Sinclair, Jennie B. Quimby), was a merchant, a county commissioner, and farmer. The Boynton family was enumerated in the 1850 Pulaski Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p91, as Alpheus Wing Boynton 48 ME merchant, Elizabeth 38 ME, Joseph 26 ME clerk, Charles 19 ME, Alpheus W 17 ME, Thomas 15 ME, and Eliza Cunningham 14 OH (adopted daughter).   Alpheus named Portland Street in Bryan as a remembrance of the birthplace, Portland, ME, of one of his wives.

Thomas was first married to Margaret Roxy Straite on 25 Dec 1858, Wms Co (Marriage V3 p39).  In the 1860 Bryan, Pulaski Twp federal census p53A, the Boyntons were enumerated as Thomas H 24 ME carpenter, and wife Margaret R 19 OH. Margaret died on 23 Jan 1863 @21Y 10M 8D and was buried in the Old Pulaski Cem, Pulaski Twp, Wms Co, OH, where most of the Boynton family repose.  Thomas and Charlotte had a daughter, Jennie Boyd Boynton, b1865.  According to the 1870 Bryan, Pulaski Twp, Wms co, OH federal census, p54, the couple was listed as Thomas 36 OH carpenter, Charlotte 26 OH, and Jennie 5 OH. In the Bryan Democrat, 12 Jan 1871, an ad appeared announcing business in West Bryan for T. Boynton, carpenter.

Charlotte claimed that on 10 May 1869 in Stryker, OH, Thomas struck, beat, and pushed her.  She claimed on many occasions he committed adultery with bawdy and lewd women in his home and a local whorehouse.  He had infected her with a loathsome venereal disease.  In Sept 1873 he committed adultery with Hulda Collins and later with Elisabeth Shaffer in their home. Thomas' father owned a great deal of property and Charlotte requested a portion of this for herself and the daughter.  She received a divorce and alimony; Thomas was granted visitation rights.  Alpheus Boynton, Thomas’ father, died on 22 Feb 1875 in Bryan (Bryan Press, 25 Feb 1875). His estate was probated on 20 Mar 1875 (#1719).

In the 1880 Sherman, Washington Co, KS federal census pp557, Thomas lived alone as 45 OH single, a farmer.  His brother, Alpheus W. Boynton, Jr., and his family also lived in Sherman, KS at shown by that enumeration (p554).  Thomas reportedly married a third wife, Sarah A. Dobbins, b June 1853 NC, in 1881 and he died on 1 Jan 1898 in Randall, Jewell Co, KS; his obit appeared in the Bryan Democrat, 13 Jan 1898 p5.  His widow Sarah A. Boynton was enumerated in the 1900 Randall City, Jewell Co, KS federal census p192 as Sarah 47 NC dressmaker; again in the 1910 Prairie Twp, Jewell Co, KS federal census p181 she was listed as Sarah A. Boynton 59 NC dressmaker, mother of one deceased child.  The Boyntons supposedly had a child named Mattie Boynton.

By the 1880 E. Des Moines, Polk Co, IA federal census p403 Charlotte Boynton and daughter Jennie were listed as CE Boynton (f) 33 OH-MD-CT divorced and Jennie E. 15 OH-ME-OH.  From the Des Moines, IA city directory one finds Jennie Boynton listed on 1000 E. Lyon St for 1889-1893.  Charlotte either died or remarried after the 1880 census.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Bowlby

William J. Bowlby v Ellen Warner Bowlby (Journal 5 p224 - Nov 1852; Roll 8 Box 25 case number 7 - Nov 1852)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 11 October 2011)

The couple was married in Wms Co, OH on 11 Nov 1849 (Marriage V2 p108).  William charged that Ellen committed adultery on 9 Sept 1850.  The couple had children with the eldest aged 8 years and the youngest aged two years.  There was a Wms Co, OH land transaction for a William I or J Bowlby as the grantee from grantor John Goodwin on 12 Mar 1849 consisting of 80 acres (Deeds V9 p401 and 160 acres sold to William Bowlby from US Government at the Lima Land Office on 1 Aug 1849. A further deed was found as grantor William Bowlby sold land to Sarah Ann Bowlby on 28 Aug 1850 of 160 acres, which was the same land he bought in 1849 (Deeds V10 p118) – SW ¼ of Sec 21 T6N R3E. in Pulaski Twp.  David and Adam R. Bowlby purchased similar parcels in the same time frame. 

The ages of the two children, not named, were 8 and 2 years.  For the eldest of the children to have been issue of the couple seems unlikely given that the couple was married about three years.  Therefore, it would appear that this eldest child was a stepchild of William, or a child of either party but not both.  According to the Issue Docket, Clerk of Courts, 1848-1852, in the April 1852 Term, the divorce petition of William J Bowlby v Ellen Bowlby was filed on 17 Jan 1852 with a continuance. According to the Appearance Docket, Clerk of Courts, 1846-1852, the divorce of William J Bowlby v Ellen Bowlby was granted to the plaintiff in Sept 1852.

Slander Then Marriage - Blair and Bowers


Eliza Blair v Samuel Bowers (Journal 2 p49 - 22 Apr 1833; Roll 1)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

This is not a divorce but certainly interesting; she sued for slander and damages of $1,000.  This suit was dropped as they had married.   Samuel was listed in the 1827 Damascus Twp, Wms Co, OH tax list.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Bott


Elizabeth Bettie Schriber Bott v George Michael Bott (Journal 8 p113-114 - 11 Mar 1873; Roll 25 case number 11 - Mar 1873)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married in Stryker, Springfield Twp on 16 Aug 1866 (Marriage V3 p491).  George, b 4 Apr 1842 in Allegheny Co, PA, was the son of Andrew and Hannah Sanno Bott.  The family was enumerated in the 1860 Bryan, Pulaski Twp federal census p52B, as Andrew 57 PA Dutch Reform Church preacher, Hannah 54 PA, William 25 PA, Ellen 22 PA, George 18 PA, Sarah 16 PA, and Eliza J 14 OH. At the outbreak of the Civil War George Bott served in the 38th Ohio volunteer infantry, and enlisted later in the 10th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry where he served until the end of the war as a chief bugler.  He was in the Atlanta Campaign and with Sherman's army in the famous March to the Sea. In the 1870 Bryan federal census, p35, the Bott family appeared as Betsy Bott 25 SC, William 3 OH.

Bettie told the court that George had willfully abandoned her and their son Willis, age 5, for three years or more. A divorce was granted.  George M. Bott married Margaret Jane Armstrong Pulver in the West Bethesda Presbyterian Church on 22 Oct 1874 (Marriage V4 p362.  George M had five children by his second wife. For 3 1/2 years Mr. Bott was postmaster at Montpelier and they lived for a couple of years at Little Washington; in April, 1881 they removed to Ashland, OH where for many years George was active in the job printing business and he was a piano salesman.; he died 14 May 1921 in Ashland.

Bettie, b 3 Apr 1833 in Winston Salem, NC (death certificate info) was enumerated in the 1880 Toledo, Lucas Co, OH federal census p78 as Elizabeth Bott 36 NC, William 13 OH, and Harry 3 OH. The 1900 Toledo, Ward 11, Lucas Co, OH federal census p11A enumerated the “married woman” as Elizabeth Bott running a rooming house (b Apr 1841) 59 NC-Germ-NC married since 1866, William F (b June 1867) (son) 32 OH, Harry F (b Dec 1877) (son) 22 OH and Harry’s wife Annie plus three roomers.  By the 1910 Toledo, Lucas Co, OH federal census p2B the family unit was listed as Lizzie Burton 67 NC, Harry Burton 33 (son) OH-GERM-NC, and William F Bott (son) 43 OH-OH-NC; the 1920 Toledo, Ward 8, Lucas Co, OH federal census p1A had the family enumerated as Elizabeth Burton 75 NC-GERM-Eng widow with son William T. Burton 55 OH-OH-NC. 

Elizabeth also appeared in the 1930 Toledo, Lucas Co, OH federal census p11B as a 97 year old widow, married at age 29, along with son William F. Burton 62 NC-NC-NC single, inspector in auto factory.  Elizabeth Burton died on 30 Sept 1932 in Toledo, Lucas Co, OH and was buried in Flowerfield, St. Joseph Co, MI, where her son Harry resided.

14 September 2010

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Boos

Mary Hable Boos v John Boos
Catalogue of Physical Abuse Ignored, No Divorce in Williams County, Ohio, 1879 – see Stewart 
By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

No divorce was granted for the wife who came to court and listed over 100 times when her husband physically abused her.  He was accused of being a habitual drunk for over six years, but that did not sway the court.  The wife ended her days married to the retired German saloonkeeper in Edgerton, St. Joseph Twp, Wms Co, OH.

John Boos, b. 6 July 1827, Blarmick, Hesse, Danustat on the River Rhine, came to the US in 1849 and initially made New York City his home.  In 1852 he moved to Cleveland, OH, where he married Mary Hable on 23 Apr 1854.  The couple moved to NW Ohio before 1858 (Milford Twp, Defiance Co, OH) and John eventually set up a saloon in Edgerton, OH. Wms Co, OH Criminal Court case #517 showed John Boos was charged with serving liquor to minors on 1 Aug 1858.  He belonged to the St. Mary's Catholic Church while his wife Mary followed the Lutheran religion.

Mary Hable, b. 12 Apr 1821, Gemesfebt, Germany, had entered the US prior to 1851.  She lived briefly in Wooster, Wayne Co, OH before moving to Cleveland where she met John Boos.  The 1860 Milford Twp, Defiance Co, OH federal census p399-400, showed the Boos family as John 33 Hesse-Darmstadt, Mary 36 Wurtemburg, Mary 8 OH, John 5 OH, and Amy 2 OH.  This couple became the parents of seven children, but only the following four are currently known: Mary (1854 - aft 1906, Toledo, OH; m. __ Hahn); John G. (1855 - 1920, Butler, DeKalb Co, IN, m. Rosannah Weber, 28 Jan 1882, Wms Co, OH, V5 #108); Emma (1857-May 1915, Youngstown, Mahoning Co, OH, m1 Frank H. Tyler, 18 June 1887, Wms Co V5 #1004; m2 JM Spier/Spears); Charles (Oct 1866 - aft 1906, Edgerton, m. Geneva A. Law, 7 July 1897, Wms Co, V7 #382).

The Boos family was enumerated in the 1870 St. Joseph Twp federal census p38, as saloonkeeper John 44 Hesse Darmstadt, Mary 46 Wurtemberg, John 15 PA, Emma 13 OH, Charles 4 OH.  Note the PA birthplace for John Jr.

Mary as stated earlier wanted a divorce in 1879 when she appeared at the Williams County Civil and Criminal Court (Roll 34 case number 661 - 26 May and 8 Jul 1879).  She listed the names of her four children and their ages as Mary 25, John G 24, Emma 21, and Charles 14, who was a helpless invalid, incapable of movement.  Mary accused John of habitual drunkenness and physical abuse dating back to 1 Sept 1866 - 25 May 1879.  She further listed over 100 times prior to 1 Dec 1866 when she was struck, kicked, choked, and wounded by her husband.  Mary told the court that on 25 May 1879 John had driven her out of their home.  Mary was the owner of Lot 59 in Edgerton and she owned other real estate as well.

For unknown reasons the court rejected her case and no divorce was granted.  In 1880 the couple was enumerated in the St. Joseph Twp federal census, p4, as John Boos retired saloonkeeper 56 Germany, Mary 58 Germany, Charles 15 OH.  Perhaps Mary's court appearance had something to do with John's status as retired.  In 1900 they were again listed in the St. Joseph Twp federal census, p197B, with John still a retired saloonkeeper and the youngest son, Charles, a farm clerk, married to Geneva Law, a milliner, lived nearby.  Geneva, herself a divorcee, ended her marriage to John H. Stewart, whom she married in Wms Co on 16 Nov 1880 (Divorce Journal 12; Roll 38).

Oldest son John G. owned a meat shop in Edgerton and his father was also involved in the meat cutting business.  Daughter Emma Speir had married a meat cutter as well.  Mary Boos died in Edgerton on 1 Oct 1904 @83Y 5M 20D and was buried in the Maple Grove Cemetery, Edgerton ("Butler Weekly", 7 Oct 1904).  John Boos died on 30 Aug 1906 in Butler, IN ("Butler Weekly", 7 Sept 1906) @ 79Y 1M 25D was buried beside his wife.  

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Bontrager


Isaac Bontrager v Eliza McDonald Bontrager (Journal 12 p430 - 22 Dec 1884; Journal 13 p111 - 28 Mar 1885; Case Roll 1348 – 25 Aug 1884)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married on 8 Nov 1878 (no location mentioned) as stated in journal but in the case #1348 the couple was married on 20 Aug 1877 at Auburn, DeKalb Co, IN. Isaac stated that on 1 Jan 1881 (and other times since then) at Edon, Williams Co, OH Eliza was guilty of adultery with Charles Carpenter; she refused to cook or do any kind of household work and finally deserted Isaac for the required three-year period. The couple had two children, Lucyann aged three and Maryann aged six. Isaac requested a divorce, custody of the children, and equitable relief. The case was continued twice. 

Edon Cemetery records show an Eliza McDonald, b 29 Aug 1846, Akron, Summit Co, OH, daughter of Socrates “Cret” and Mary Ann Crow McDonald, married Isaac Bontriger.  Eliza died on 13 Dec 1918 in Florence Twp, Wms Co, OH.  Isaac died on 11 Oct 1913.  Two daughters, Rosa Bontrigger Lump and Mary Ann Bontrigger Shoup were also buried in Edon.  Nothing more is currently known.

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Bonnell


Margaret Boyers Bonnell v James R. Bonnell (Journal 7 p331 - May 1869; Roll 21 case number 5 - 8 May 1869; case number 25) - see Native Daughter Abused: Daggett/Doolittle (when posted)

By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

The couple was married in Wms Co, OH on 23 Feb 1859.  Margaret was born c1834 in OH, the daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth Boyers, who were enumerated with their children in the 1850 Jefferson Twp, Wms Co, OH federal census p24.  The Bonnells, according to Margaret, had three children, Frances E (9), Olivia A (7), and Alice M (5).  James had been willfully absent for more than three years and Margaret desired a divorce and reasonable alimony.  She was awarded a divorce.  A legal notice appeared in the "Bryan Democrat".  Later Margaret was sued by her lawyers for failure to pay for their services.  Also a local grocer stated that between 14 Nov 1867 - 13 Oct 1868 Margaret received coffee, butter, apples, soap, chicken eggs, oil, flour, cheese, brooms, syrup, wash board, crackers, rice, ginger snaps, cabbage, corn, vinegar, pork, peppers, tobacco, honey, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, biscuits, peaches, etc, necessary to support and maintain Margaret and her family, but the businessman had not been paid.

This seems unusual because Margaret had many relatives in the area to give her assistance, unless they were unsympathetic to her plight or she had worn out her welcome. There is a possible explanation based on Margaret’s daughter, Frances E, who was born in Mar 1858 and died on 11 July 1867 @9Y 4M 2D; she was buried in Fountain Grove Cem in Bryan beside her uncle Jacob Boyers, Jr.  Her birthdate if correct was almost a year before her parents married.  In those days this would have been, although not unusual, certainly a minor scandal. Nothing more is known of Margaret or the errant ex-husband James, but according to the 1880 Bryan federal census, p651A, Olive Bonnell 18 OH-MI-OH and her sister Alice 16 OH-MI-OH resided with their aunt Jennie Jump 40 OH (Mrs. PO Jump).  

Divorce Action in Williams County, Ohio - Bohner


Julia Ann Bell Bohner v George W. Bohner
He Poisoned the Minds of Their Children, Divorce in Williams County, Ohio, 1879
By Pamela Pattison Lash (updated 2010)

Modern psychologists believe that when a couple does not get along, the parents need to be careful what they say about each other in the presence of the children, The youngsters need to feel secure and not believe they had something to do with the divorce.  Back in the 1870's that wisdom was not always followed and one can only imagine the emotional scars the innocent had inflicted upon them by the callous and vindictive utterances of a selfish parent.  This genealogical detailing concerns such a father who even bribed his children to spy on their mother.

George W. Bohner, b. 22 Feb 1834, Richland Co, OH, was one of ten children of Pennsylvania natives Jacob H. and Susannah Geaselman Bohner.  The family moved to Brady Twp, Wms Co, OH c. June 1835 and established deep roots in the West Unity area.  Father Jacob Bohner built the Bohner Tavern also called the Half-Way House and was locally noted as the strongest man in the county due to his broad shoulders and being over six feet height.  He was never sick until a bout of dropsy caused his death on 25 April 1881.  Wife Susannah had been blind for many years and died on 5 Feb 1883.  They were both buried in the Floral Grove Cemetery in West Unity.

George married Julia Ann Bell, b Jan. 1845, Kendall, Kendall Co, IL, daughter of Royal and Amanda Judd Bell. Amanda was listed in the 1860 Amboy, Lee Co, IL federal census, p45; the couple was married on 26 Aug 1867, Aubrey, Lee Co, IL.  The couple was listed in the 1870 West Unity, Brady Twp federal census, p7, as George W. 35 OH, Julia A. 25 IL, Lillie A. 2 OH, and Mandara 7/12 OH.

Julia Bohner appeared in the Williams County Civil and Criminal Court (Journal 9 p290 - July 1877, 1 Sept 1877, 30 Nov 1877; Roll 29 case number 7 - Nov 1877) requesting a divorce from George.  In many cases if the wife truly desired a divorce she would have to file multiple times to get the court's attention.  This was one of those instances.

Julia named her five children and supplied birthdates for each as follows: Lillie Belle, 5 Sept 1868; Nellie Amanda, 5 Dec 1869; Florence Mabel, 20 Jan 1873; Perry Oliver, 14 May 1875; and Susan Maud, 23 Oct 1876.  She charged George with extreme cruelty and told the court of his behavior with regard to the children.  Julia stated that two weeks after the marriage the honeymoon was over.  George became coarse, slanderous, and insanely jealous.  He accused her of infidelity with many virtuous citizens of Williams County and with several relatives of George by blood and marriage, even with her own father.  The physical violence she endured had grown more frequent with each year of marriage.  On 1 Sept 1875 he attempted to choke her; eight days later he tried to poison the minds of her children by telling foul stories to the little girls.  He even bribed the girls with money to watch her movements and report back to him.  George told the girls that he was not their father, but that his father, Jacob Bohner, was their true dad and George encouraged the girls to tell this story to others.

Julia stated in court that she was suffering from heart palpitations and had been grossly neglected for the past three years.  The final straw for her court appearance was the fact that George had taken the children and she wanted custody of them.  Julia further desired a reasonable financial settlement as George was seized in fee simple of real estate valued at $6,000 plus he owned livestock and numerous household goods.  Delos S. Thomas held claims on the real estate as George had recently mortgaged the lot.  The testimony of her daughters Lillie and Nellie plus that of Jacob Bohner, Sr., George Moore, and Dr. Finch verified Julia's story. 

She made an application for alimony and the court initially told George to pay her $75, but later after the next filing the court instructed George to pay Julia $200; furthermore, the court told him there would be a lien placed on his property and if he did not pay Julia this alimony, and the property on Sec 6 T7N R4E in Brady Twp would be sold.  The Bohner children were given into the custody of their mother and Julia was finally granted a divorce. 

At some point after this divorce and before the 1900 Bradshaw, York Co, Nebraska federal census, George left the state and moved to Bradshaw where he died on 21 May 1907.  According to that 1900 census he was widowed for 19 years and followed the profession of druggist.  Son Perry Oliver Bohner served as a constable in West Unity, before 1934.

What became of Julia and the girls?  In the 1900 Casper, Natrona Co, Wyoming federal census, p300B, Julia as mother-in-law lived with head of house Archibald Wallace, his wife Mable F, their children, and her single daughter Maud.  By the 1910 federal census for W. Casper, Natrona Co, WY, Julia was 62, a widow with five children, two surviving, and living with son-in-law Archibald Wallace, his new wife, their children, and her widowed daughter Maud Phelz.  Her daughter Florence Maud had died between 1900 - 1908.  The census records do not reveal Julia Bohner in 1920 for that area; she either died or moved to another location. Lillie and Nellie died sometime between the divorce of 1877 and the 1910 census.  Much research still needs to be done to detail their lives.