Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Discovering a Divorce in Ohio

Court of Common Pleas,
Washington County, Ohio, 1900
While browsing Ohio divorce records on the FamilySearch website, I noticed that the documents often showed the wife didn't know what happened to her husband. The collection, "Ohio, Washington County, divorce records, 1894-1960," isn't searchable, but you can view each page of the filing, including the petition, detail of clerk fees, and the court's decision.

One example of a missing husband involved William B. Hite. According to his wife Julia, as stated in the court documents, William "went to the state of Virginia, ostensibly for the purpose of obtaining work, but that since September 1899 plaintiff has not heard from defendant, and received nothing from him towards her support, and that of her child, and she has been compelled to support herself - that she has not been able to locate defendant, although she has written to the point from where he was last located in 1898, but he has left said place, and she cannot discover his hereabouts..."

In 1880, the family was living in Marietta, Ohio, where William worked as a blacksmith. In the 1900 census, he was recorded twice: once with his family in Ohio (although he had not lived there for some time) and also as a boarder in Huntington, Cabell, West Virginia. Due to the divorce in 1900, it's likely that they never saw each other again, and neither remarried. William died in 1929 in Cabell County, West Virginia, and Julia died in 1935 in Marietta, Ohio.

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1 comment:

  1. It's hard to put ourselves back in time and realize how easily people could disappear back then! I hope these divorces are indexed soon so others can locate their ancestors. I'm sure these divorce records would answer a lot of questions!


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