Monday, September 30, 2013

Amanuensis Monday - Guardianship for Henry Franklin Crosswhite

Guardianship for Henry Franklin Crosswhite

Territory of Oklahoma } ss.
Canadian County }

In the Probate Count of said County. In the matter of Guardianship for Henry Franklin Crosswhite a minor. To the same Court: your petitioner respectfully state that he is a minor over the age of fourteen years, and is a resident of said County, and the child of Thomas J. Crosswhite late of the Canadian County and Territory of Oklahoma, deceased. That said Thomas J. Crosswhite died on the 15th of September 1879 without having appointed by will or deed a guardian for your petitioner. That petitioner is possessed of the following described real estate, to-wit:
no property of any kind or character. Your petitioner is desirous for the appointment of a guardian of his person and estate during his minority and nominate John Crosswhite of the said County, for that purpose.
Henry Crosswhite
Filed Aug. 30th 1893.


Now on this 30th Day of Aug. 1893. The Court being satisfied from the petition and evidence herein. That said petition ought to be sustained it is by the Court ordered that John Crosswhite be appointed Administrator for the person and estate of said minor Henry Franklin Crosswhite. Upon his giving a good and sufficient bond in the sum of One Hundred Dollars.
Jno H Pitzer

"Oklahoma Probate Records, 1887-2008," digital images, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, FamilySearch ( : accessed 30 September 2013), image copy, Guardianship for Henry Franklin Crosswhite, dated 30 August 1893, Canadian County Guardian records 1892-1900, vol. 1, p. 87.

Guardian's Bond

Territory of Oklahoma } ss.
County of Canadian     }         In the Probate Court Aug. 30th 1893.

Know All Men By These Presents: That we, John Crosswhite as principal, and C. S. Cooper as sureties, of Canadian County, and Territory of Oklahoma are bound unto the Territory of Oklahoma for use of Henry Franklin Crosswhite in the penal sum of One Hundred Dollars, for the payment of which we do hereby bind ourselves, our heirs, executors, administrators and assigns, by these presents. Witness our hands and seals this 1st day of September 1893. The condition of the above obligation is such, that if the above bound men John Crosswhite who has been appointed guardian for Henry Franklin Crosswhite shall make a true inventory of all the real and personal estate of the ward.
Henry Franklin Crosswhite that shall come to his possession or knowledge and return the same into the court at such a time as the law directs; and shall dispose of and manage all such estate and effects according to law, and for the best interests of the ward Henry Franklin Crosswhite and faithfully discharge his trust as such guardian; And render an account, on oath, of the property in his hands including the proceeds of all the real estate which may be sold by him and of the management and disposition of such property within one year after his appointment, and at such other times as the Court shall direct; And shall, at the expiration of his trust settle his accounts with the Court, or with the ward.
Henry Franklin Crosswhite or his heirs legal representatives and pay over and deliver all the estate and effects remaining in his hands, or due from his on such settlement, to the person or persons who shall be lawfully entitled thereto and shall, in all other respects, perform the duties of guardian, as aforesaid, according to law and the orders of court; then this obligation to be void; otherwise to remain in full force and virtue in law.
In presence of C. E. Hunter.John Crosswhite Principal
C. S. Cooper

"Oklahoma Probate Records, 1887-2008," digital images, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, FamilySearch ( : accessed 30 September 2013), image copy, Guardianship for Henry Franklin Crosswhite, dated 30 August 1893, Canadian County Guardian records 1892-1900, vol. 1, pp. 88-89.

Letters of Guardianship.
The Territory of Oklahoma,} ss.
Canadian County                }         In the Probate Court.

To all to whom these Presents, shall come, Greeting: whereas, in the consideration of the Probate Court of the Canadian County, and Territory of Oklahoma, it was on this 30th day of Aug. 1893, found and determined to be a proper and suitable person, resident of the Canadian County, and Territory of Oklahoma, be appointed Guardian of the person and estate of Henry Franklin Crosswhite, A minor heir of Thomas J. Crosswhite. Now know ye, that the said John Crosswhite was, and he is hereby duly appointed and commissioned by the County Court of said County as such Guardian for the said minor Henry Franklin Crosswhite until he shall arrive at years of majority.

In witness whereof, I Jno H. Pitzer Probate Judge, have hereto set my hand and the Seal of said Court at the Court room at El Reno in said County, this 30th Day of August 1893.

An Amanuensis is a person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another. Amanuensis Monday is a daily blogging theme which encourages the family historian to transcribe family letters, journals, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friends of Friends Friday - Bill of Sale, Henry Lyons to Nathan Lyons, 1800

“Charles County Court (Land Records)” index and digital images, Maryland State Archives ( : accessed 27 September 2013), image copy, Henry Lyon to Nathan Lyon Bill of Sale, dated 14 October 1800, Charles County Deeds, Book IB 3: 285.

At the request of Nathan Lyon the following Bill of Sale was recorded this fourteenth day of October Anno Domini eighteen hundred.

Know all men by these Presents that I Henry Lyon of Charles County for and in consideration of the sum of one thousand pounds to me in hand paid by Nathan Lyon of said County at and before the sealing and delivery of these Presents the receipt and payment whereof I do hereby acknowledge Have bargained , sold and confirmed and by these Presents do bargain, sell, and confirm unto the said Nathan Lyon, the following slaves, towit Luke, Ben, Peter, Nell, Fillis, Henny, Hanson, Joe, Poll and Anny. To Have and To Hold all and singular the said Negro Slaves and every of them by these Presents bargained sold and confirmed unto the said Nathan Lyon his heirs and assigns forever to the only proper use and behoof of the said Nathan Lyon his heirs executors, administrators and assigns forever. In Witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this fourteenth day of October in the year of our lord one thousand eight hundred.
Signed sealed & delivered in presence of}
John E. Ford}
               Henry Lyon Senr. {seal}

On the back of the aforegoing bill of sale was this written towit, Charles County Sct. On the fourteenth day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred Henry Lyon personally appeared before me the subscriber one of the Justices of the peace for the County aforesaid and acknowledged the within Instrument of writing to be his act and deed and the slaves therein mentioned to be the property of the within named Nathan Lyon his heirs, executors administrators and assigns forever according to the true intent and meaning thereof and according to the act of assembly in such case made and provided.
John E. Ford.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Wedding Wednesday - Two 19th Century Scottish Weddings.

On 15 April 1803, the Reverend James Hall, of Walthamstow, left Edinburgh on a tour of Scotland. He kept a journal of the trip and it is well worth reading for the glimpse it gives into the lives of ordinary people, and less ordinary people, in Scotland in the early part of the 19th Century.

Hall reports on two very different weddings, the first in County of Perth and the second in County of Aberdeen.
As I was riding slowly along near Kilspendi [County of Perth], I met a number of what may be termed begging gipsies. They were all merry, a wedding having been lately among them, which it seems was performed by an aged man among them, who indeed had a respectable appearance. This gipsy parson, if I may use that expression, desiring them to join hands, and having broken a wine glass in a thousand pieced, by dashing it against a stone, declared, that as it was impossible for the art of man to put the parts of that glass together, exactly as it was before, so it was impossible for the art of man to separate that man and woman, which ended the ceremony.

Rev. James Hall A.M., Travels in Scotland, by an Unusual Route: with a Trip to the Orkneys and Hebrides. Containing Hints for Improvements in Agriculture and Commerce. With Characters and Anecdotes. Embellished with Views of Striking Objects, and a Map, Including the Caledonian Canal. 2 volumes (London: Privately Printed, 1807), 1: 271-272.
As I rode slowly along, I beheld, at a distance, on the banks of the Esk [County of Aberdeen], a great number of people in their Sunday clothes dancing on a green, near a large tent covered with canvasses, blankets, &c. It was a country wedding, where near four hundred people were assembled. There being a small inn in the neighbourhood, I put up my horse, and went to observe this rural scene. On a fine green or lawn the tent was stretched to the extent of forty or fifty feet; and a number of temporary tables of fir deal, with forms on each side. Two or three great cauldrons were boiling, filled with, I dare say, a hundred fowls, and a great number of mutton hams. There were pots also in which the legs of mutton were stewed. The broth of the fowls and ham, boiled with onions, barley, &c. Was a dish fit for kings. At the cauldrons stood women with pitchforks, stirring about the immense mass with both their hands, which seemed to require all their strength. A great number of gypsies, called in Scotland Tinklers, and beggars, sat in groups at some distance, and sent deputations after dinner had began for some time, to receive their portion in their own wooden dishes. This was sent without hesitation. It seemed to be considered as no more than their due on such a jovial occasion, The genteeler part of the guests were entertained in the tent, where there was wine. At the tables in the field, at one of which I seated myself, there was no wine, but great abundance of ale and whisky punch. This carousing at weddings is sometimes continued for three or four successive days, not by the same company, but by new comers.
I find, that on such occasions, the new-married pair sometimes save fifty, sixty, or even an hundred pounds, each person paying five shillings at least, besides what drink they call for. I saw all kinds of rural mirth going on, some at reels, others at country dances, minuets, fandangoes, highland capers, &c.

Rev. James Hall A.M., Travels in Scotland, by an Unusual Route: with a Trip to the Orkneys and Hebrides. Containing Hints for Improvements in Agriculture and Commerce. With Characters and Anecdotes. Embellished with Views of Striking Objects, and a Map, Including the Caledonian Canal. 2 volumes (London: Privately Printed, 1807), 1: 299-301.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Amanuensis Monday - Jane Edwards Will 1847

"North Carolina, Probate Records, 1735-1970," digital images, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, FamilySearch ( : accessed 23 September 2013), image copy, will of Jane Edwards, dated 4 October 1847, Ashe County Wills, Vol. A, p. 23.

Jane Edward's Will

In the name of God Amen, I Jane Edwards being feeble in body and health, but of a sound mind and disposing mind, do make this my last will and testament in the following manner to wit. That is, I hereby give and bequeath unto my beloved son Osborne Edwards my negro man by the name of Richmond, I then give and bequeath unto my daughter Phebe Cox my negro woman & child by the name of Gincey that is to say I give them & their increase unto my daughter Cox during her natural lifetime and then to be equally divided in value between her children. I then give and bequeath equally between my son Osborne Edwards and daughter Phebe Cox all my stock of every description, I then give and bequeath unto my several children, that is Enoch Reeves, George Reeves, Polly McMillan, Nancy Cox & Rebecca Gentry all of my household & kitchen furnature of all that I may possess at the time of death, to be equally divided, then, and the several heires of my son Jesse Reeves Dec'd. And I hereby constitute and appoint my son Osborne Edwards the executor of this my last will & testament given under my hand & seal this 4th day of October AD 1847.
Signed in the presence of us, Test.
C. H. Doughten, juror
Clouyd Cox, juror
Jane X Edwards (seal)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

"What files can be found at the court house?"

Like most of you, I subscribe to a variety of genealogical maillists, forums, blogs, Faceboook pages, and Twitter feeds. The posts, articles, status reports and tweets from these are often a good jumping off point for considering our own research. For example, a recent post that asked "What files can be found at the court house?" Isn't that a fantastic question?!

Probably the first files people think of searching for at a courthouse are wills. A good choice for genealogists - from a will we might find when the person died (it will almost certainly narrow down the time period), the will might name relatives, close and more distant, we might find out about the persons possessions or we might find out that there is no will at all.

Beyond the will, we would hope to find the entire probate packet: estate inventories, administrative accounts, final distributions. Sometimes these are more informative than the will itself and, an often overlooked point, can exist even if your ancestor did not leave a will.

Before we go any further, it should be noted that all courthouses are different. Some house their records on site, others off site but still accessible via the courthouse, others still have the older records in state archives or libraries. It is best to find out about the specific courthouse and its policies before planning a research trip, but knowing what they might have and at some time most likely did have, will help to ensure valuable sources are not overlooked.

We all know that deeds are used to transfer real property so we might expect to find out when our ancestors bought and sold specific parcels of land, but land transactions can be complicated with several owners and those can solve some complicated family relationships!

Guardianship accounts often lead to more questions than answers; why now? Who are these people who are appointed guardians and why did each child select a different guardian? The answers you might find easily are when the child came of age and their mother's maiden name, particularly if the inheritance is from a grandparent.

All this and we have barely scratched the surface. Tax lists, naturalization records, criminal records (you never know), marriage and divorce records, pre-nuptial agreements (not a modern invention), apprenticeships, paupers and the indigent, freedom certificates, and more.

It's impossible to cover all of these records in detail in one blog post, so if you can't wait until I delve into details and actual examples you might be interested in Christine Rose's fantastic book: Courthouse Research for Family Historians: Your Guide to Genealogical Treasures