William Palmer Back v Louisa Norman Back

No Going Back, Divorce in Williams County, Ohio, 1846

Compiled by Pamela Pattison Lash



William Palmer Back of Bridgewater Twp told the Williams County Civil and Criminal Court (Roll 6 Box 20 - June 1846) that he and Louisa Norman were married in Medina, Lenawee Co, MI, on 20 Sept 1841, by Orville Woodworth, JP. William was 22 years old and Louisa was 19 when they married. Jno Summers and William Norman witnessed this marriage. He had to take action; there was no going back; he wanted a divorce.

William, b 21 Feb 1819 in Hampton, Windham Co, CT, was the son of Erastus and Anna Flint Back, early settlers in Wms Co, OH c1834-35.  Louisa, b 11 May 1822. London, England, was the daughter of John Wale and Rebecca Norman, who immigrated to the US in 1837. The Backs resided in Bridgewater until 1 Mar 1843 when Louisa left him and committed adultery with John Drake in Roland Twp, Hillsdale Co, MI on 13 Nov 1844; on 31 Aug 1845 Louisa was delivered of a bastard child. William wanted and received a divorce. His legal notice appeared in Thomas H. Blaker's "Northwestern", a Bryan newspaper, on 18 May 1846. 

            William next married Rebecca Pointer Snow, former wife of Almon S. Snow, in 1848.  The family was enumerated in the 1850 Bridgewater Twp federal census as William 30 CT, Rebecca 20 OH, George 6/12 OH along with her siblings, Benjamin and Mary Pointer and his brother George Back. They were also listed in the 1860 Bridgewater Twp federal census p94-94b as William 40 CT, Rebecca 30 OH, George 10 OH, Robert 8 OH, Hann/Hellen (f) 6 OH, William 3 OH, and Lelila 1 OH.  At some point before 1870 they had moved to Doniphan Co, KS as suggested in the Portrait and Biographical Record of Lenawee Co, MI, 1888, p768-770.

            According to the 1870 Iowa Twp, Doniphan Co, KS federal census p102, the Back family was listed as William 51 CT, Mary 35 VA, George 20 OH, Robert 18 OH, William 13 OH, Lilly 10 OH, Jeanette 8 OH, and Rachel 3 KS. In the 1880 Iowa Twp federal census p503, they again were listed as William P. Back 61 CT, Mary J 45 VA, Rachel C 13 KS, and John Ball 28 OH boarders and fence builder. William died on 31 Dec 1900; his widow Rebecca died c17 Mar 1914.  

            John Norman, father of Louisa, died on 24 Apr 1847 and was buried in the Gardner Cemetery.  His widow Rebecca married a James Deming.  They were listed in the 1850 Florence Twp federal census, p56, as James Deming 62 NY, Rebecca 50 ENG, and John Norman 4 OH, the son of Louisa Norman Back. 

Louisa next married Daniel Hare on 2 Aug 1846 in Camden, Hillsdale Co, MI (Lib B p87).  Daniel, b1820 PA, parentage unknown, settled in Wms Co c1838-1840. The couple had the following children: Almira, Sarah Jane, William Norman, Lewis, and Mary Ann.  According to the 1860 Nettle Lake, Florence Twp federal census, p15A, James Deming 74 NY and Rebecca 61 ENG still took care of John Norman 14 OH, and his half-sister Sarah Hare 10 OH.  Louisa and Daniel lived with her sister and brother-in-law John and Ann Bigg according to the 1860 Springlake, Florence Twp federal census, p30, as John Biggs 58 ENG, Ann 44 ENG, Daniel Hair 40 PA, Louisa 38 ENG, Almira 12 OH, William 9 MI, Lewis 6 OH, Mary A 1 OH. Daniel died in Bardstown, Kentucky during his Civil War service on 8 Jan 1862; he was a member of Co G 11th Reg Michigan Infantry.

Louisa next married one of the court-appointed guardians for the Hare children, widower John McCamis on 26 Feb 1863 in Hillsdale Co, MI; they were the parents of Louisa McCamis. The family was listed in the 1870 Springlake, Florence Twp federal census as John McCamis 61 OH, Louisa 48 ENG, Rebecca 35 OH, William Hare 18, Sarah Hare 20, Mary Hare 11, and Louisa McCamis 5 OH. Louisa applied and received a widow's pension based on Daniel Hare's CW service.

When Louisa's mother, Rebecca Norman Demining died c12 Oct 1867 she willed her grandson John Norman, "son of my daughter Louisa Hare", all her real estate in Sec 31 of Florence Twp, which was 12 acres, when he became of age; Louisa's brother William Norman became the boy's guardian.

Louisa died on 15 Feb 1899 and was buried in the Edon Cemetery.  Her third husband, John McCamis, died on 26 June 1899.


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