52 Documents in 52 Weeks #26: Isaac Sturgell’s “Other” Divorces

Last week, I shared a quit claim filed by Mrs. Mary Sturgell, aka Mrs. Mary Cookman, of Peoria, Illinois,  it signaled that Mary was very much alive, when I thought her long dead.

With this new information, I took another look at Isaac Sturgell, her (first) husband. Isaac was born c1823, probably in Grayson County, Virginia. His family moved to Lawrence County, Ohio about 1830.

Take a look at his marriage records:

  1. Isaac Sturgeon married Mary Bandy, 27 June 1844, Lawrence County, Ohio
  2. Isaac Sturgell married Susannah Douthit Alberty, 30 September 1867, Newton County, Missouri
  3. Isaac Sturgill married Nancy R. Fields, 27 April 1876, Boone County, Arkansas
  4. Isaac Sturgell married Nancy P. (Hensley) Cooper, 1 August 1877, Pope County, Arkansas

I was in the Barry County, Missouri courthouse when I found Mary Sturgell Cookman’s quit claim deed, so I immediately asked about divorce records. They were housed up high in the vault in drawers and filed by years. I found no divorce record for Isaac and Mary, but I did find a rancorous file outlining the divorce of Isaac and Susannah Alberty Sturgell! Therefore, we have the second wife who left Isaac Sturgell and they definitely divorced.

That made me take another look at Nancy Fields and Nancy Hensley since those two marriages took place a little over a year apart.

There is a Nancy Fields, age 39, living in Harrison, Boone County, Arkansas in 1870. This is likely the woman who married Isaac in 1876.  There is also a Nancy Fields in Boone County enumerated in 1880. She was 52 years old, born in Tennessee and head of household with William Fields, 29; Nancy J. Fields, 16; Joel C. Fields, 11. Did Nancy soon leave Isaac Sturgell??? Nancy would be wife #3 who left Isaac Sturgell.

Moving on to Nancy P. Cooper. Nancy married three times. Her first husband was John Treadwell and they married c1842, probably in Tennessee. She married William Cooper, c1857, probably in Arkansas. She then married Isaac in 1877. By tracing her children, I discovered that her maiden name was Hensley. What happened to Nancy P. Hensley Treadwell Cooper Sturgell?

The 1880 census includes a “Nancy Tredwell,” aged 53, born in Tennessee and living with her daughter, Mary, and Mary’s husband, Solomon Arthur in Pope County, Arkansas. Nancy Tredwell is listed as a widow. Others have worked on this family and provided the data showing that this Nancy is the woman who married Isaac Sturgell. Nancy is now wife #4 who left Isaac Sturgell!!!

I guess it took four strikes to knock Isaac out, as this was the last marriage I’ve found for him even though he lived until 1909. I would dearly love to find court packets for Mary, Nancy and Nancy, but they don’t seem to exist in Barry County, Missouri or Benton, Boone or Pope Counties, Arkansas. They would have made great reading.

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