Monday, February 05, 2024

When a Presumed 1st Marriage is Actually a 2nd Marriage--Henry F Hill

 I knew thru my earlier research of Tennie Ferguson HIll that she had been married prior to her marriage to Henry F Hill.  What I didn't know was that Henry had been previously married as well.  Today I finally found his 1880 Census entry.  While Henry Hill is a fairly common name, the Mother's birth place and his occupation give me a high degree of confidence that this is the Henry Hill who later married Tennie.

1880 U.S. Federal Census, Jasper County, Missouri, population schedule, Sarcoxie, enumeration district (ED) 62, p. 404B, dwelling 197, family 202; Henry Hill; digital image, ( : accessed 3 February 2024); citing NARA microfilm publication T9, roll 694.

And his wife Isabella is 12 years his senior(according to the census entry) has also been married before and has several adult children.  I was able to find their marriage record from Muskingum County, OH.  The marriage record giving his name as Henry F Hill offered further evidence for the argument that this is indeed the same Henry who later married Tennie.

"Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2016", , FamilySearch ( : accessed 3 February 2024), Entry for Henry F. Hill and Isabelle Johnson, 26 Apr 1874.

Using her given name from the census & her childrens' surname, I went looking for Isabella's first marriage, I looked for an Isabella that married a Johnson male and was able to find her 1st husband Payton Johnson who was considerably older than Isabella.  Prior to her marriage. her name was Isabella Blake  I found Isabella and her 1st husband in the 1870 Census. So now that I have an idea of how those marriages map out, I'd like to find either a divorce or a an obituary or death record for Isabella Blake Johnson Hill some time between 1880 and 1884.  Jasper Co MO is about 150 miles north of Fort Smith Arkansas.  

I have been researching the children from Isabella's first marriage and where they ended up and believe that Isabella and Henry's marriage ended in divorce or at least separation since I found her buried in KS in the same cemetery as her daughter and under her previous surname.  So I've been compiling a list of what locations to check.  In Missouri that would be Jasper, Newton, Berry, and Lawrence Counties.  If Henry filed after he got to Arkansas then the counties to checkn are Madison, Newton, Franklin, Sebastian, and Logan Counties 

In the Henry F Hill investigation file, some of the documents in the case are dated 1883 and the information on those give the impression that Henry Hill has been in the Huntsville Madison Co. Arkansas area for a year or more.  That would narrow down the time of the end of Henry's first marriage to about a 2-3 year period--say between June 1st 1880 -1882. 

Things to consider:
  • Either party could have filed for divorce.
  • It's possible there was just a separation which would make Henry's marriage to Tennie problematic.
  • It's also possible that the divorce could have been later up to about early1886.
  • If Isabella did get her previous name back after the split rather than the children just burying her with that name or her going back to it once she and Henry were no longer together then it might follow that she likely initiated the divorce.
The search goes on....

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