Nancy Smith Hill divorces Berry Hill
Very interesting story here found at the Slaven Rootsweb mailing list. It was posted originally it seems in 1997 the submitter names are Robert Slavey <email@example.com> & Lanny & Sharon Slavey
Scott Co. TN Deed Book "A", page 256, Slaven to Isaac Blevins , dated 24 July, 1854, a Rebecca Slaven is the widow of the recently deceased William Slaven also spelled Slavy in same deed), and the other heirs are:
Sally Slaven, Nancy Slaven, John Slaven, and William Slaven (jr) Rebecca's name at the place of her mark
is Rebecca Caulfur.
Page 258 of the same Deed Book has said Rebecca as the administrator of William Slaven's estate, witnessed by Berry Hill, dated 7 March, 1853. page 313 of the same Deed Book, dated 28 November, 1855 repeated William Slaven (Sr) must have died 1853, possibly 1852.
(TL Note Really need to ck the dates, why would two pages later in the deed book be dated 17 months earlier? Blevins name will show again in Wallens Turner stories)
What follows is the divorce of Nancy from Berry and she claimed that Rebecca was living with Berry.
To the Hon. E. Alexander Judge S C
The Petition of Nancy Hill, formally Nancy Smith, a citizen of Scott county State of Tennessee, respectfully
represents unto your Honor that some time about the year 1838 or thereabouts she was united in wedlock to one Berry Hill then a citizen of Campbell county Tennessee now as your Petitioner
is informed and believes a citizen of Kentucky - your Petitioner States that she lived with her said husband from the time of the union up to the year 1851, except the Space of about three years when he was absent from her during all which time she faithfully demeaned herself as a dutiful loving and obedient wife.
*** about December in the year 1851 her said husband took one Rebecka (sic) Slava or Slaven and left the State of Tennessee leaving without just cause. your Petitioner and her said husband has since the last mentioned time been living in open and notorious adultry with said Rebecca Slavy or Slaven ****
the primises(?) consider(?) your Petitioner prays your Honor that the said Berry Hill a nonresident of this State, be made a party defendant to this Petition and required to answer the same and that on the final hearing of this cause your Honor dissolve the Bonds of Matrimony hereunto existing between the Said Berry Hill and Petitioner and that Petioner be restored to all the rights privileges and immunities of a free sole and for general releif(sic) and that process issue and she will pray &c
Young Sol (???)
State of Tennesse Scott county, this day personally appeared before me John L Smith. Clerk of the Circuit court of Scott county. Nancy Hill the Petitioner and makes oath that the facts Stated in the foregoing Petitioned of her own knowledge are true and those Stated on information she believes as true That she makes this aplication(sic) not out of collusion or levity with her said husband but in good faith for the purposes therein set forth,
Sworn to and subsanted(sic) before me this the _ day of December 1853
Nancy Hill (her mark)
J L Smith Clerk
State of Tennesse Scott county on this the second day of December A D one thousand eight hundred and fifty three
personally appeared before me John L Smith Clerk of the Circuit Court of said County Nancy Hill who being duly Sworn according to law States that owing to her Poverty she is unable to bear the expenses of the Suit this commenced in the circuit court of said county by a petition for a Divorce, and that she is entitled to a recovery for a matter within the Jurisdiction of the Court
Sworn to and subscribed
Nancy Hill her mark
before me on the day and year last above written J L Smith Clerk
State of Tennesse - To Sheriff of Scott county Greeting you are commanded to summons Berry Hill to appear before the Judge of our circuit court, at a court to be held for the county of Scott at the court house Huntsville on the 4th Monday of March next to answer the Bill of complaint of Nancy Hill for (_?_- copy faded) fail not & have then and there this writ
Witness J L Smith Clerk of said court at office in Huntsville this 4th Monday of ___1853
J L Smith Clerk
Endorsed, Summons Nancy Hill vs Berry Hill Divorce - Is'd January 5th 1854
came to hand the 13th of March 1854 John Lewallen Sheriff Executed on BerryHill July the 8th day 1854
John Lewallen Sheff at the July Term 1854 of the Circuit Court for Scott county the following
entry was made, to wit,
The Divorce was finalized in 1854, Nancy even asked for her name to be changed back to Smith-
Which actually helped me find her in the census as a Smith with children named Hill, Yeah Nancy!!
Scott Co. TN Circuit Court Order Book
Causes Determined July 1854
V } Divorce
State of Tennessee -
the Circuit Court for Scott county the following entry was made, to wit,
Tuesday July 25th 1854
Be it remembered that this cause coming on to be finally heard and determined before the
Honerable Ebenezer Alexander Judge &c upon this the 25th day July AD 1854 upon the bill and proof
and it appearing to the satisfaction of the court that the complaintant is a citizen of the county
of Scott and that the defendant Berry Hill had been served with a subpoena and copy of said bill,
and that the said Berry Hill had been guilty of adultry as charged in said Petition The court is therefore pleased to order adjudge and decree that the bonds of Matrimony heretofore existing(?) Said Nancy Hill and defendant Berry Hill be dissolved and for nothing held and that the name of Petitioner be changed from
Nancy Hill her present name to that of Nancy Smith her maiden name,
It is further ordered that the said Berry Hill pay the costs of this cause and that execution
issue and that the defendant is inhibited and enjoined from in anyway interferring with or
taking possession of either of Petitioners Children
(Note: above item is followed by these accounting items)
Clerk Smith 4 copies 75 = 3.00 6 countin 25=1.50 12 & (issue?) S W 10 =1.20
Clerk Carlock (issue?) 10 = 70 1 copies 25
Bill Cost 50 Motion 25 1 order 25 1 coutin (sic)
25 certifying 2 Trusted ? 0. Judgement 75 Dock & NO 25 38
Sheff Joel Clutun ?? & 2 copies returned ?? 1.0 ???
Sheff Buttram 2 copies not Ex'd 50=1.50
Sheff Smith 3 (issue?) S W 25=75 1 copy returned Exd sv =1.2
(TL NOTE NOW Let 's review --We see Rebecca is a widow by at least 1853 and Berry was witness for land transactions so he did know her. )
Scott Co. TN Circuit Court Order Book page 201 Monday 3rd January 1859
State vs} Berry Hill Sally Slaven
Charged with Lewdness
Cause Stricken from the docket
(TL NOTE Sally Slaven was a daughter of William Slaven and Rebecca Calfur.
She is later Sally Hill referred to as the wife of Berry Hill, in some land transactions some of the property is property where Berry Hill lives. Some have theorized that she and Berry may have married to avoid the lewdness charge or perhaps just had to show they were already married/ Ifind it interesting that the charges occured in Scott Co. TN not in KY where they lived.
Did Rebecca have a notorious adulterous affair with Berry then lose him (or pass him on) to her daughter?
Or was Nancy presuming he was living with Rebecca not the young Sally? )
Here are three more points to ponder in the 1860 Wayne Co. KY Census record:
608/599 Rebecca Slaven...age 54...
Nancy Slaven.....age 30
William Slaven...age 24
Zarilda Jane Slaven....age 6
609/600 Berry Hill...age 40
Sarah Hill.. age 35(her age )
William ...age 12
John ...age 2
Who is Zarilda born in 1854 she was not listed as an heir in July 1854 so either Rebecca was still
pregnant or Zarilda was not William's child.
Who is this William Hill age 12 too old to be Sarah's (Sally) unless they were together before 1851
Remember Nancy said he took off for 3 years. Then came back and left again.
Would Rebecca have really lived next door to a former lover that was now married to her daughter?
1870 Parmleysville Dist 7,p.183b
Berry Hill 50,Tn Sallie,50
William22--John 14--Rebecca 11---Lewis[Louis] 6---Mary 4
1880 Wayne Co.Ky
Berry Hill 67,Tenn --Sarah 40,Tenn
John 25 Ky --Rebecca 22--Lewis 16--Nancy 14----Bonow[?] 11 --Wiley 7
1900 Wayne co., KY
Berry Hill 83,Tenn --Sarah 60, KY married for 35 years and mother of 9, w/ 6 children living
Berry owned 50 acres Difficult Br. Grant Date: 12/15/1855 on 11 July 1849 in Wayne Co., KY.
He owned 50 acres Difficulty Cr. Grant Date: 05/18/1859 on 30 August 1858 in Wayne Co., KY.