Divorce Records – Pre 1900




The following records were abstracted from the divorce records for Henderson County NC.  The original records are located at the NC State Archives, Raleigh, NC.  Most of the records give the parties involved and the date of the divorce.  Sometimes the date of marriage was given and about half of them include the reason for the divorce and any extenuating circumstances.  A couple of these records were found in other files and have been included in the list.

Be aware that these records are from a civil case.  Most of the information came from a affidavit given by the plaintiff in the case.  Just because the accusations was made does not mean that it was a true account of what happened.

Please remember that the writing was sometimes difficult and I could have misread the documents.  Use this as a guide to the records located in Raleigh.


BARNWELL, ENOS Vs BARNWELL, BARBURY – 1869 Married 1857 He was accused of committing adultery with Sally Miller

BISHOP, HULDA Vs BISHOP, ANDREW  1867.  Married Aug 1866.  Andrew was from Jefferson TN.  After they were marred she learned that he was the husband of another wife some months before and that the other wife was still alive.  On confrontation he fled the state, deserting her.  (this record was found in the estate file of John McLain and was probably misfiled)


CARSON, PAUL Vs CARSON, HARRIET   1898    Married 12 Jan 1884

CASE, PINK Vs CASE, DORA?   1899    Married 13 May 1894

CATHEY, RACHEL R. Vs CATHEY, T.H. 1895  Married 23 June 1869.          Left her husband in Montana and came to live with parents in Mills River. Before separation the couple lived in Haywood Co, Greenville SC, Buncombe Ct. NC, lastly in Montana. T. H. lived with Clara Vann and fathered a bastard child. T. H. is Thomas H. Cathey.

COLLINS, J. W. Vs COLLINS, CLORA   1891     Married 26 July 1890

DALTON, J. B. Vs DALTON, SAPHRONIA   1878    Married 1869

DIMSDALE, HESTER Vs DIMSDALE, RANSOM   1893   Married 26 March 1878

DRAKE, MARY Vs N. M. DRAKE  1860    Married 1858 ( or 38 can’t tell)

DUNCAN, C. F. Vs DUNCAN, EMMA   1892    Married 1889

EDWARDS, C. W. Vs EDWARDS, MARY   1870    Married 1855

ENLOW, ELLEN Vs ENLOW, JAMES D.   1857    Married 4 Mar 1852

EVANS, ELLEN Vs EVANS, THOMAS   1871    Married ??

FREEMAN, ELIZABETH Vs FREEMAN, ISAAC R.   1867  They were married for 30 years, had 6 children. In Buncombe Co. he took up with Sally Dotson

GARREN, NOAH B. Vs GARREN, LAURA   1890    Noah fought for custody of their 4 year old daughter Eliza Garren. Child was taken by unknown person in his absence. They were married for 21 years

GORDON, W. M. Vs GORDON, ALLIE MAY   1891    Married 25 July 1888

GREEN, JOHN T. Vs GREEN, ENVINA?   1889    Married Aug 1864

GRANT, J. H. Vs GRANT, GEORGIA   Married    16 Mar 1892

HARRISON, NANCY Vs HARRISON, NATH   1842    Married in Buncombe Co Sept or Oct 1840

HAWKINS, S. E. Vs HAWKINS, MAGGIE   1894    Married 20 Dec 1890

HENRY, LEAH Vs HENRY, ALBERT   1847    Married 7 Dec 1843

HIGHTOWER, ANN Vs HIGHTOWER, JOSEPH   1855    Married 20 Dec 1833

HYDER, J. L. Vs HYDER, ELIZABETH   1895    Married 1885

HYMAN, DOLLIE G. Vs HYMAN, K. P.   1897    Married 30 Nov 1887

JOHNSON, BENJAMIN Vs JOHNSON, MARY   1894    Married 1891

JOHNSON, E. E. Vs JOHNSON, THOMAS L.   1893    Married 17 Dec 1889

JOHNSON, H. V. Vs JOHNSON, IDA   1897   Married 7 Aug 1892.   He came to Henderson Co from Columbia SC with his new bride and children from first marriage. She wanted him to get send the children away.
JUSTUS, ANNA Vs JUSTUS, SAMUEL P.   1892  Married 1888. He lived with Sarah Sinalls (sp?)

KING, LAURA V. Vs KING, E. P   1881    Married ??

LAUGHTER, MARTHA Vs LAUGHTER, WILLIAM J.   1882    Married 25 Nov 1876

LEVI, JOHN F. Vs LEVI, LOU   1889    Married June 1884. She left him to live with C. Dill.

LEWIS, T. R. Vs LEWIS, SALLIE   1870    Married ?. She was accused of committing adultery.

MC HAM, J. C. Vs MC HAM, EMMA   1886    Married 20 Nov 1874 in Spartanburg Co SC.   She was accused of committing adultery

MINTZ, WILLIAM Vs MINTZ, ANNA   1889    Married 2 June 1882. She was accused of committing adultery

MOODY, J. W. Vs MOODY A. S.   1887    Married 11 Oct 1881  She was accused of committing adultery

MOORE, CATHERINE Vs MOORE, QUILLEN   1845    Married 1820 or 21. Lived in Buncombe and Henderson Counties. He went to live with Sarah Trammel. He and Sarah have two or three children. Allies Sarah Tilley.

MOORE, JULIA T. Vs MOORE, NOBLE J. 1880 Married 24 Jan 1870 He was accused of committing adultery with Sarah Grant

OWENBY, RACHEL Vs OWENBY, EPHRAIM   1858    Married Oct 1846.  She was the daughter of Jacob Lyda.  She married Ephriam and moved with him to Rutherford Co NC where they lived until March of the next year.  He “became addicted to the habit of intemperance which he kept up almost constantly…with him keeping often the worst of disespoted? drinking men”  He squandered all of their money and lost the home.  She returned to her father’s home.  She lived with her parents for 2 years and then was able to purchase a tract of land and build “a humble cottage” upon it.  In Dec. 1856 Ephraim came to her home, saying he ashamed of his conduct and and asked her to take him and three starving little children from a former wife in.  She agreed.  He returned to he old ways and in September he left with his family and soon after sold the whole crop to a stranger.  He then committed adultery with Lillie Caroline Carlile with whom he lived for a short time then moved to GA, taking the concubine with him.  (I have a copy of her petition and will share.  It is difficult to read but yields a lot of info.)

POSEY, A. E. Vs POSEY, NORA H.   1898    Married 23 Nov 1887. They lost a boy and girl baby. After this she became pregnant 2 more times and forced miscarriages.  He wought divorce on the grounds that she would not give him children.

REYNOLDS, T. A. Vs REYNOLDS, GEORGIANNA   1893    Married Feb 1875 She was accused of committing adultery

ROBERTSON, MARY JANE Vs ROBERTSON, W. H.   1878    Married 1868. He was accused of abusing her daughter from former marriage

RUCKEN, SARAH Vs RUCKEN, H. K.   1860    Married 1857 in Rutherford Co. He went back to Rutherford Co. He was accused of beating her.

SEAMAN, JOSEPH Vs SEAMAN, ELIZABETH 1890 Married 3 June 1870. She was accused of committing adultery with Thomas Rouse or Rowe and John Matthews

SHEPPARD, LAURA Vs SHEPPARD, L. F. 1891  Married 2 Feb 1887 in Buncombe Ct. NC. After first child was born she got sick.  The child died in 1888.  He was accused of beating her.

SHIPMAN, JACKSON Vs SHIPMAN, JANE 1842 Married ?? She was accused of committing adultery with Little Merrill

SOLESBEE, H. J. Vs SOLESBEE, L. C.   1881   Married ?. She left him and the county

STEPP, HENRY Vs STEPP, MARY A. 1870   Married 20 Dec 1868. He was accused of beating her.

SUMMERS, J. N. Vs SUMMERS, CATHERINE 1867  Married Dec 1861 in Henderson Co. In 1863 he joined the army in TN, was taken prisoner and sent to Camp Douglas, Ill until 18 May 1865, home 6 June 1865. When he returned she was with child, 6 months later child came. She was accused of adultery with Americus Hulton or Benjamin Jones.

THOMPSON, ELIJAH T. Vs THOMPSON, ELIZABETH 1876 Married ?? She was accused of committing adultery with James Johnson

TOWNSEND, ELIZABETH Vs TOWNSEND, LEWIS 1863 Married Fall of 1840. In 1859 he went off with Eliza Dickerson and left Elizabeth with a large family

TUCKER, WILLIAM Vs TUCKER, PHEBE 1855 Married April 1846. He was accused of beating her.

WARD, MARY ANN Vs WARD, BENJAMIN 1846 Married ? . He was accused of beating her.