What’s the Most Unusual Document You Have Found?

Divorce records, particularly in the 1800’s and in the post-Civil War 1870’s are not the easiest things to find. If and when divorce papers are found, because they are official court documents, one would expect them to have a formality about them.

Among the 36 page divorce case dated fall 1874 in Barry County, Missouri between Isaac Sturgell and his second wife, Susannah Douthit Alberty, I discovered a small piece of paper added to the official court papers. It pertained to the settlement of what appeared to have been a bitter divorce case.

Isaac Sturgell & Susan Douthit Alberty Divorce

I haven’t found any evidence that either Isaac or Susannah were literate so a friend or relative who was must have written this for her.

June the 12 the (unreadable)
dear sur i inform you
that i reseived the seid gray
horse that i was to have
in the compremise with me an
isac sturgell i reseived him
the next week Susan sturgell
to the clerk of burrey co mo
the demand is setled be
twin me and him

Definitely the most unusual record, court or otherwise, that I have come across in 35 years of genealogical research.

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