Thanks for reading and commenting about my blog postings. My goal is to accurately document the genealogy of my family and allied families living in Chesterfield County, SC and Anson County, NC. If you have a Chesterfield County surname you are interested in please send me an e-mail.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Till Death Do Us Part

Flavelia Clarilla Levinia Rivers, born 1840 in Chesterfield County, SC, was the first born child of Luke Rivers and Mary Selina John. Between 1850 and 1858 Luke Rivers moved his family from Chesterfield County, South Carolina to Jones County, Mississippi.

I don’t profess to know why Luke moved his family but I’m sure that the fact that his sister, Milly Rivers and her husband Moses Holifield and his brother Mark Rivers and wife Irena Catherine Hancock Rivers presence in the county played a significant role in his decision.

In 1858, Luke’s daughter Flavelia Clarilla married a young man by the name of John Madison “Mat” Musgrove. She was 18 and he was 27 years old. Their first child, a son they called Luke, was born 13 February 1860. John Madison “Mat” Musgrove was well acquainted with Mark Rivers and Irena Catherine Hancock Rivers. This family interaction between Mark Rivers and his brother Luke Rivers is the most obvious means that John Madison became acquainted with Mark Rivers niece, Flavelia Clarilla Levinia Rivers.

Not only did John Madison Musgrove have eyes for Flavelia and took her as his wife; he also had eyes on Irena Catherine Hancock Rivers the wife of Mark Rivers.

On the 1st of January 1859, Mark Rivers filed for divorce from Catherine Rivers charging her with adultery. So who was the perpetrator, none other than John Madison “Mat” Musgrove, the husband of Flavelia Clarilla Levinia Rivers, the niece of Mark Rivers. Divorce was granted 19 April 1859. 1
Mark Rivers Divorce
Mark Rivers
vs.     Divorce
Catherine Rivers

Be it remembered that the plaintiff in the above stated case did on the first day of January A.D. 1859 file his bill of complaint in the clerks office of said court which is in the words and figures following to wit

The State of Mississippi
Jones County

Circuit Court Chancery  Bill of the Docket  April Term AD 1858 (sic)

To the Honorable Wm M. Hancock Chancelor of  Said County
Humbly Complaining therewith unto your honor your orator Mark Rivers.  That your orator and Catherine Rivers late Catherine Hancock intermarried in the State of South Carolina about the     day of February 1840 that your orator faithfully discharged all the duties of a kind and affectionate husband to the said Catherine and spared no pains to render her happy that your orator and the said Catherine continued to live and cohabit together until about the 15th day of November AD 1858 when to the astonishment of your orator he discovered that the said Catherine had violated her marriage vows by committing adultery with divers persons.  That your orator is advised and believes and so charges the truth to be that the said Catherine did commit adultery with John M. Musgrove on or about the 15th day of November AD 1858.  That upon the discovery of said incontinence your orator ceased to cohabit with the said Catherine as his wife that your orator has since heard that the said Catherine has long been unfaithful to his bed. Your orator and the said Catherine are and have been citizens of the County of Jones and State aforesaid for many years.
Life goes on and John Madison and Flavelia continue living together and continued to have children. Between 1860 and 1885 they would conceive 10 children; 5 daughters and 5 sons.
This was not the only act of infidelity for John Madison “Mat” Musgrove and you can read about one case here. 3
On 12 November 1887 John Madison “Mat” Musgrove was shot and killed. 4
Flavelia Clarilla Levinia Rivers Musgrove lived another 9 years and died on June 1st, 1896. She is buried in Sharon Cemetery, Sharon, Jones County, Mississippi.

[1] "Mississippi, Probate Records, 1781-1930," images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 04 Jul 2014), Jones > Final records 1857-1890 > image 22 of 310.
[2] "Mississippi, Probate Records, 1781-1930," images, FamilySearch (,344603201 : accessed 04 Jul 2014), Jones > Final records 1857-1890 > image 296 of 310.
[4] "Mississippi, Probate Records, 1781-1930," images, FamilySearch (,344603201 : accessed 04 Jul 2014), Jones > Final records 1857-1890 > image 296 of 310.

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