The Divorce of Sarah Jane Huffines

Date: 1872

Place: Jackson County, Tennessee

The synopsis of this case was gleaned from microfilm holdings at the Tennessee State Library and Archives, 403 Seventh Avenue North, Nashville, Tennessee 37243-0312. Copies of the original document may be obtained by writing to the address above.

In 1872, SARAH JANE HUFFINES testified that she and her husband, DANIEL H. HUFFINES, were married about the year 1845. She asked the court to grant her a divorce on the grounds that her husband had suddenly pretended jealousy of her and had, for some years, "falsely and maliciously" accused her of adultery "with nearly every man in the neighborhood." SARAH JANE adamantly denied these charges, stating that she had been a good, loving, and faithful wife. In her deposition, SARAH JANE also stated that she was informed that DANIEL H. had been fornicating with several women in the county, some of whose names are mentioned in the proceedings. SARAH JANE also stated that DANIEL H. had, for a period of about one year, been living in a separate residence, and during that time, he had not helped her with their children, eleven in number, either by physical or financial support.

Of their eleven children, nine are mentioned by name in the proceedings as minors still residing in residence with their mother. They were listed in the following order by name and age:

  1. DANIEL F. HUFFINES, age 20 years
  2. JESSE J. HUFFINES, age 18 years (from other sources, Jesse’s middle name was Ellis)
  4. ALEXANDER HUFFINES, age 14 years
  5. SYDNEY S. HUFFINES, age 12 years
  6. THOMAS E. HUFFINES, age 10 years
  7. NANCY E. HUFFINES, age 5 years
  8. ALMEDIA HUFFINES, age 3 years
  9. MILES J. HUFFINES, age 8 years

The names of the remaining two children: SARAH ELIZABETH HUFFINES, born 1848, and WILLIAM H. HUFFINES, born 1850, were extracted from census records and other sources, including descendents of the couple. SARAH JANE HUFFINES was ultimately granted her divorce, as well as the care and control of the minor children.