Source: TSL&A Microfilm A 5078
Loose Record #4966
Transcribed by Jan J. Barnes
To the Hon. Chs. G. Smith, Chancellor presiding at Gallatin
The Bill of Complaint of John L. Swaney a citizen of Sumner filed against Sarah J. Swaney a citizen of Montgomery County, Tenn.
Your Petitioner would respectfully present to your Honor that he and the defendant Sarah J. intermarried in the County of Montgomery on the 27th day of August 1860 that previous to solemenizing said marriage they entered into a marriage contract which is here shown to the Court marked "A" and which was duly registered in the Counties of Sumner & Montgomery. Complainant and defendant were both possessed of a considerable estate at the date of their marriage and are still possessed of valuable property by which contract it will be seen that the parties were to retain free and complete possession and control of their respective estates. Complainant relinquishes all rights by virtue of said marriage in defendants estate and she in his. That immediately after said marriage they repaired to Sumner County the home of Complainant where they resided till the latter part of the year 1862 or the first of 1863 when the defendant Sarah J. left your complainant without cause and went to her former house in Montgomery County where she has resided ever since as Compt has been informed. Compt. is unable to explain why the deft. so willfully & maliciously and unexpectedly abandoned him for he had always demeaned himself toward her in a respectful dutiful and husbandlike manner and at the time of her abandoning him he urged upon her to remain the only reason that she assigned for her conduct was that she preferred to live with her children and reside in Montgomery than with Complainant where she had continued to reside for more than seven years, nor has she been back since, nor has Compt. seen her since she abandoned him. When the defendant left she took with her every thing that she had brought with her to Compt.'s home.
The premises considered Compt. ask that process issue to the County of
Montgomery as to deft. Sarah J. and upon the hearing of the cause he asks
that the bonds of matrimony subsisting between them be dissolved for the
reason that the said Sarah J. has willfully and without cause abandoned him
and has thus absented herself for more than two years. He asks for
such general and special relief such as the nature of his case demands and
to give ____ may seem necessary.
Guild & Blackmore
State of Tenn.
Personally appeared before me Jno. L. Swaney and made oath that the facts stated in the foregoing petition are true to the best of his knowledge and belief; that his complaint is not made out of levity or by collusion with the defendant but in sincerity and truth for the causes mentioned in the Bill.
Subscribed & sworn to J. L. Swaney
before me Feby 15, 1871.
G. S. Gray NP
We acknowledge ourselves security for cost in this case, Febry, 15th
Guild & blackmore
Jno. L. Swaney
Sarah J. Swaney
Be it remembered that this cause came on to be heard before his Honor Chancellor Smith on the 3rd day of May 1871 upon the Bill exhibits pro confesso & proof in the cause whereas it appeared to the satisfaction of the Court that Compt. Jno. L. and deft. Sarah J. intermarried in the year 1860 having previously made a marriage contract which was separately acknowledged and registered. That said parties lived together till the later part of the year 1862 or the first of 1863 that the deportment of Compt during this time towards the said Sarah J. his wife was respectful dutiful and in a husband-like manner and that the said Sarah J. did on or about the first of the year 1863 willfully and maliciously abandon and absent herself from the roof of the said Jno. L. without apparent or sufficient cause for so doing and does so continue to live for a period of more than two years.
It is therefore considered by the Court and so ordered adjudged and decreed that the bonds of matrimony subsisting between the said John L. and Sarah J. Swaney be and the same are hereby dissolved and lest for naught and they be restored to all their rights as single persons - It is further ordered by the Court that defendant Sarah J. Swaney be restored to her former name, to wit, Sarah J. Winston.
Compt. Jno L. Swaney will pay the cost of this proceeding for which fi fa may issue.
(Copy of the marriage contract is included in this loose record - dated 27th April 1860)