A while ago I contacted the clerk of Lincoln county, Washington to see if they had a divorce (or dissolution of marriage) record in their archives of my second great grandparents, Wallace and Lizzie (Williams) freeman. They had been a brick wall in my research for a long time, my dad knew they got divorced and said according to his mother Lizzie ran off with a priest. This source is extremely helpful in tackling the brick wall and provides verification of what family tradition has passed down to me.

The case took place in the Washington State Superior Court in Lincoln County. My 2nd great-grandmother was the one who filed for divorce in 1908. According to the record, they were married 5 Feb 1889, a year earlier then the marriage record I had. Lizzie alleged that eleven years ago, which would have made that 1897, Wallace “without any right or reason for so doing, deserted and abandoned the above named plaintiff, and ever since said time has failed to live with the plaintiff or provided her with the necessaries of life, though amply able to do so”. Lizzie had stayed in Lincoln County, Washington ever since. In the divorce proceedings, Lizzie state she was abandoned in British Columbia, Canada. The circumstances of their residence in Canada is unknown and yet to be documented.

Wallace and the kids left for Fresno County, California. He actually failed to appear in court! But they found that
Wallace was entitled to the kids and the divorce was determined legal on 13 April 1909.

In the midst of the Divorce hearing, there is a record of an affidavit, affirming  a man named James S. Williams delivered the summons to Wallace himself. It strikes me though that Lizzie’s maiden name was Williams, so perhaps there is a connection?

Copyright (c) 2010 by Jake Fletcher

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