She "married my property but not my self"

Elijah Chandler (1790-1860) was the second oldest child of Peter and Mercy (Ingalls) Chandler and a sixth-generation descendant of Robert Russell. The family lived in Nelson, New Hampshire. Elijah was a carpenter by trade. He married at age 47 to Lydia Burton who was the widow of Lubin Rockwood. The marriage was unhappy, and Elijah left Lydia to seek his happiness elsewhere. He eventually settled in Pope County, Arkansas where he died in 1860. As evidenced by his will, he seems to have had an out-of-wedlock daughter along the way.

In his will written at Pope County, Arkansas 23 March 1860 and proved 28 June 1860, he made the following bequests. After first naming Maj. David West of Pope County the sole executor of his will, Elijah continues. “Second, to my wife Lydia B. Chandler (who married my property but not my self and who by her unkind treatment has driven me from my house and home to seek a shelter in the wide world and having at the time I left her given her the greatest portion of my property there is now nothing her due yet because the law requires it) I give her one dollar.” To daughter Abby Ann Chandler, he bequeathed two thousand dollars, and to his sister Hannah Ingalls wife of John Ingalls of Newport, New Hampshire, he left three hundred dollars. The remainder of the estate he gave to his daughter Abby Ann Chandler.

In 1860, Elijah lived in Pope County, Arkansas next door to the family of Maj. David West with Abby Ann then age ten living in the West family and with the name West. Abby Ann married Robert Mortimer Johnson on 16 Aug 1868 using the name Abby Ann Chandler. Abby was raised by David West and his wife Lucinda Latimer and David West is given as her father on her death record.

Sources:

Arkansas Wills and Probate Records, Pope County, Wills Book B, pp 29-30

Year: 1860; Census Place: Dover, Pope, Arkansas; Page: 770; Family History Library Film: 803048

Arkansas, Compiled Marriages, 1851-1900

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