Friday, August 9, 2019

FOLLOW UP FRIDAY ~ Speaking of divorces…what is the earliest one I have on record?

William Walker Frampton - from page 104 of The Frampton Family by J. S. Wrightnour, published about 1916

A week ago on Wedding Wednesday I wrote a post about how many divorces I had found in my tree on my Legacy database.  These are divorces for whom I have actual records and/or dates.  You can read that post here Wedding Wednesday with a Twist - How many divorces have I recorded?

That got me to wondering.  What was the earliest divorce date?  Are most of the 83 divorces I have in my tree, more recent?  Or do they go back before 1900?  If so, how far back?

I again, used the handy and quick Search feature in my Legacy database. Search>Find>Detailed Search and select your search criteria.

In this case I wanted the marriage, marriage status date AND a second condition also.

What I found was a list of 10 individuals (5 couples). 
The earliest recorded, documented divorce I have in my file is for my 1st cousin 5 times removed and the first of his 3 wives.

William Walker Frampton married Mary E. Miller on 21 Apr 1850 in Adams Co., Illinois.  He filed for divorce on 27 Nov 1865, in the State of Kansas, County of Johnson.
Reason for the divorce SHE ELOPED WITH ANOTHER MAN!

Here is the transcription of that record.

The State of Kansas, County of Johnson
William W. Frampton, being duly sworn on his oath, ___ that he has commenced a suit in the Dist. Ct. for Johnson County, State of Kansas against Mary E. Frampton, to obtain a divorce from her, and that she eloped with one Thos. C. Johnson; and that she is not a resident of the State of Kansas at this time: affiant further states that he does not know where she now resides.  Further he saith not. 

Sworn before me this 27th day of M. a no 1865 – AB Mynick, Clerk by B. P. Noteman DC

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I say WOW! when I reviewing records for my ancestors.

Here is the published notice for the divorce.  DO YOU SEE WHAT I SEE?  “The petition will stand for hearing at the next term of said District Court to be held in March, A.D. 1866.”

Why is the date of March 1866 important?  Well…..because according to marriage records, William Frampton married Martha Ann Thomas Johnson (wife of the man his wife ran off with) on 10 Dec 1865 in Johnson, Kansas.  This would have been 13 days after the divorce notice was published, but BEFORE the court had the final hearing the following March.
Kansas, County Marriage Records, 1811-1911, page 6 Film No. 001572005.
Name:    Wm W Frampton
Gender:    Male
Marriage Date:    10 Dec 1865
Marriage Place:    Johnson, Kansas, USA
Spouse:    Martha Ann Johnson
Film Number:    001572005

Marriage record - William W. Frampton to Martha Ann Johnson - 10 Dec 1865  

So, did they marry before his divorce was finalized?  I haven’t found any further records regarding the divorce from Mary, so I don’t know.

POST SCRIPT:  Martha Thomas Johnson Frampton was adjudged insane and sent to an asylum in Topeka, Kansas, according to this newspaper article in The Olathe Mirror on 2 Sep 1886.  She died just 6 months later on 8 Mar 1887.  As we know, people were admitted to asylums for reasons such as mental issues, but also for illnesses.
Published in The Olathe Mirror 2 Sep 1886, page 2

William went on to marry one more time, to Ella Eckman 4 Apr 1888.  She was 25 years younger than him.  She filed for his Civil War Pension upon his death in 1912.  This was William's longest marriage - 24 years.

Kansas, County Marriage Records, 1811-1911

Name:    Ella Eckman
Gender:    Female
Age:    33
Birth Date:    abt 1855
Marriage Date:    4 Apr 1888
Marriage Place:    Douglas, Kansas, USA
Spouse:    William W Trampton
Film Number:    001547790

Marriage record - William W. Frampton to Ella Eckman - 4 Apr 1888

William Walker Frampton certainly had no trouble attracting women.  He was never unmarried for very long.

Do you have ancestors who married multiple times?  I’d love to hear about them.

If you are connected to any of the ancestors mentioned in this post, or have any additional information about them, please contact me.
TOMBSTONE TUESDAY–Civil War Soldier Headstones (William W. Frampton mentioned here)
FRIDAY FINDS - Newspaper article - David Frampton, Rebel Prisoner - Dec 1861

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl
Copyright ©  2010-2019   Diane Gould Hall


  1. Very interesting, Diane. I'm always very skeptical about why women were sent to asylums.

    1. Thanks Debby. I am with you on the asylum thing. I know there were some pretty unusual (in our minds) reasons for people to be admitted.


I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.