Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Lavinia (Burton) Selph



The obituary of Lavinia (Burton) Selph, wife of Rev. Duncan H. Selph appeared in The Nashville Tennessean on 30 May 1899:




Grandison Nevill's First Wife

© Kathy Duncan, 2012

My favorite day for genealogy research is Halloween. All Hallow's Eve. The night when the veil between the living and dead thins. I have had good luck other years, but this year brought a bonanza of information in a short period of time. I was able to slip in and out of a new site and found information that I have been hunting for decades. 

The most exciting discovery was documentation for Grandison D. Nevill's first wife. Years ago I heard a secondhand story from a Howard family researcher that Grandison had been married and divorced from Minerva Peterson and that they had a daughter who died young. Years of searching for a marriage or divorce record produced nothing. Then this evening I found the advertisement that Minerva placed in the The Nashville Tennessean on 11 June 1836, the first notice appeared on 31 May 1836:




It is noteworthy that Minerva (Peterson) Nevill filed for divorce in the same year that Grandison D. Nevill and his second wife Martha are estimated to have married. That would push their marriage to the last half of 1836. It is also interesting to see that at this point Grandison is no longer in Tennessee, or at least, Minerva believes he has left the state. By 1840, he had returned and was living in Dickson County, Tennessee with Martha and three little boys under the age of five. If these three boys were all the children of Grandison and Martha, they would have been between the ages of 1 - 3 in 1840. Martha divorced Grandison in Dickson County in 1846, stating that they had been married for ten years. Her divorce record provided no place or date of marriage nor any information about their children.

To date, four wives can be attributed to Grandison D. Nevill:

1. Minerva Peterson:  divorced 1836
2. Martha E. ______:  married about 1836, divorced 1846
3. Annette Travis: married 1846, divorced ______
4. Caroline E. Harper