The Will of Samuel Swann, St. Mary’s County, Maryland – 20 Nov 1807

Amanuensis[i] Monday
Darling-Swayze-Walter-Swan

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.

Wills and probate records are generally a gold mine of information. The will of Samuel Swann is no exception. It provides key information, particularly that he had five children living and four children, who had issue, that had died before he created his will in 1807. One of the five children required being cared for.

From the Maryland Register of Wills, Saint Mary’s County, comes the following:


TRANSCRIPTION BY DON TAYLOR

Samuel Swann’s last will and testament}

In the name of God, Amen. I Samuel Swann of St. Mary’s County in the state of Maryland being sick & weak in body, buts of sound and disposing mind, memory & understanding, considering the certainty of death, and the uncertainty of the time thereof, and being desirous to settle my worldly affairs, and thereby be the better prepared to leave this world when it shall please God to call me hence, do therefore make and publish this my last will & testament in manner & form following, that is to say.— First & Principally, I commit my soul into the hands of Almighty God, and my body to the earth to be decently buried at the discretion of my Executor herein after named, and after my debts & funeral charges are paid, I devise and bequeath as follows —

Item. I give & bequeath unto my grandchildren (Children of my deceased son Samuel Hatch Swan (towit) Henry Swan, Philip Swan, Anna


Swann, Catharine Dent Swan, & Margaret Compton Swann, all that parcel of land, being part of a Tract of Land called Eagleton (except one half acre where the Graveyard is) laying & being in Charles County to them and their Heirs forever also to my grandchildren above mentioned I give and bequeath one Negro man by the name of Ben, and one-eighth part of my personal estate not specifically bequeathed.

Item. I give & bequeath unto my son Thomas Mercer Swann & his Heirs forever, all my land in St. Mary’s county being part of five Tracts of land (to wit) Quaintan, Swann’s Forrest, Swan’s Venture, Hopewell & Thorn’s Venture, provided my said son Thomas Mercer Swann pays unto the children of my deceased son Edward Burch Swan[i], the sum of six hundred dollars when they come to legal age, to be equally divided among them or the surviving part of them, also to my said grandchildren above mentioned, representatives of my deceased son Edward Burch Swann, to wit, to John Samuel Swann, I give and bequeath a Negro Boy by the name of Charles, to Elkanah Swann, I give & bequeath a Negro Boy by the name of Elich, to Eli Dent Swann I give & Bequeath a Negro Boy by the name of Jeremiah, in case wither of said John Samuel Swann, Elkanah Swan or Eli Dent Swann should die before they come to age, my will & desire is that the survivors or survivor of them shall inherit the property left the whole of them, but in case the whole of them should die before they come to age my will & desire is that the property left them by this my will, shall go to my children or to their Representatives, also to my Grand Children Representatives of my deceases son Edward B Swann I give & bequeath one eighth part of my property that is unrevised.

Item. I give & bequeath unto my son John Swan one Negro woman by the name of Rose one Negro boy by the name of Vincent and a negro girl by the name of Jennet with the future increase of the said Negro Women Rose, a horse colt & one bed & furniture, to him & his heirs forever, but under this restriction, that the said John Swann shall not sell or dispose of any part of the property left by me, without the license or consent of his brother Thomas Mercer Swann, under whose care I leave the said John Swann, and his


property, and in case of the death of the said Thomas Mercer Swann the person whom he may appoint to take care of him. And I further will & desire that after the death of the said John Swann that the property left him by this my will shall go to my son Thomas Mercer Swann or his heirs forever.

Item. I give & bequeath unto my Daughter Anna Garner or her legal representatives one eighth part of my unrevised estate.

Item. I give & bequeath unto my daughter Margaret Walter or her representatives one eight part of my property unrevised.

Item. I give & bequeath to my daughter Elizabeth Barber one eighth part of my undevised property –

Item. I give & bequeath to my granddaughter Lydia Dyson Swann, one negro girl named Mary and her increase, to there and her heirs forever but in case she should die without issue, my will & desire is that the aforesaid bequest shall devolve to her brother, John Dyson Swann and her sister Anna Maddose or their issue.

Item. I give & bequeath to my grandchildren Anna Maddox & John Dyson Swann one eighth part of my unrevised property, to them or their heirs.

Item. I give & bequeath to my granddaughter Catharine Dent Swann (alias) Reynold, as it is said she is married to a man of that name) Daughter of my deceased son Philip Swann, one negro girl by the name of Charity to her and her heirs lawfully begotten.

Item. I give & bequeath to my son Thomas Mercer Swann one eighth part of my unrevised property. Lastly, I hereby nominate, constitute, & appoint my son Thomas Mercer Swann Elecutor of this my last will & testament, hereby revoking, disallowing & annulling all & every will or wills by me heretofore made or done, and acknowledging this and only this my last will & testament.

In witness whereof – I have hereinto set my hand & affix my seal this twentieth day of November eighteen hundred & seven.

Signed, sealed, acknowledged & declared to by the last will and testament of Samuel Swann the Testator, in the presence of us Gustavis Cartwright, Robert Barber Benjamin Wood.

Sam’ll Swann {Seal}


Before signing this my will, I have thought fit to make the following addition hereto (That is to say) I will desire that my three old slaves (to wit) Hep, Philis & Jane shall remain on the land whereon I now live and be supported by the property of my son Thomas or his heirs, provided they are willing to live with him, but if they prefer going to any of my other children, and they will take them, my will & desire is that they shall be gratified. — Sam’ll Swann

On the back of the foregoing was the following, to wit, Saint Mary’s County, to wit, the 8th day of December 1807 — Then came Thomas Mercer Swann and made oath on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God, that the afore going instrument of writing is the true and whole last will and testament of Samuel Swann lat of Saint Mary’s County deceased, that had come to his hand or profession & that he doth not know of any other.

                      Certified by James Forrest – Reg-wills for Saint Mary’s County.


Saint Mary’s County the 8th day of December 1807.  Then came Gustavus Cartwright and Robert Barber, two of the three subscribing witness to the aforegoing last will and testament of Samuel Swann late of Saint Mary’s County deceased, & made oath on the Holy Evangels of Almighty God, that they did see the testator therein named sigma and seal this will and that they heard him, publish pronounce and declare the same to be his last will and testament, that at the time of his so doing he was to the best of their apprehensions of sound and disposing mind, memory & understanding and that they respectively subscribed their names as witnesses to this will in the presence and at the request of the testator in the presence of each other; also that they did see Benjamin Wood the other witness to this will subscribe his name as a witness in the presence and at the request of the said testator

                      Certified by James Forrest Reg. wills


Conclusion

  • Samuel Swan created a will on 20 Nov 1807.
  • Samuel Swann’s wife, Catherine, is not mentioned, so I presume she died before 20 Nov 1807.
  • The children of Samuel Swann included 5 living and 4 deceased who had issue.
  1. Thomas Mercer – Executor. Provided care to John.
  2. Philip (Deceased) Philip died before 20 Nov 1807.
    Children:  Catharine Dent Swann Reynold?
  3. Edward (died before 20 Nov 1807.)
    Children: Elkanah, Eli Dent, John Samuel
  4. Henry (died before 20 Nov 1807.)
    Children: Lydia Dyson, Anna Maddox & John Dyson Swann
  5. Elizabeth Barber (a Robert Barber was a witness)
  6. Margaret Walker
  7. Anna Garner
  8. John (was under the care of brother Thomas Merce Swan)
  9. Samuel Hatch (Samuel died before 20 Nov 1807).
    Children:  Henry, Philip, Anna, Catharine Dent, & Margaret Compton.

All the grandchildren mentioned were born before 20 Nov 1807.


Source:

“Maryland Register of Wills Records, 1629-1999,” images, FamilySearch: Accessed 20 May 2014), St. Mary’s> Wills 1777-1820 vol 1-3 > image 543 of 743; Hall of Records, Annapolis. https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-GYMH-9WF4?i=542


ENDNOTES

[i] John Newmark started the “Amanuensis Monday” category in 2009 on his Blog,  Transylvanian Dutch  and many bloggers have followed suit using the tag. Google provides the following meaning for amanuensis: “A literary or artistic assistant, in particular one who takes dictation or copies manuscripts.”

William C Bradley in the Pennsylvania, Wills & Probate Records

Part 2 of 2 – Cover Page & Will Papers

Amanuensis Monday[i]
Project Bradley-Hingston
Transcription by Don Taylor

Intro/source

Probate Record for William C. Bradley – Probate Date 16 Aug 1901, Philadelphia, PA, Case number 1405 – 10 images. Original data: Pennsylvania County, District and Probate Courts.[ii]

Document Image

Cover Page

No. 1405 1901
Estate of William C Bradley

Application for Probate and Letters Testamentary
Filed: Aug 16 A.D. 1901
Jacob Singer, Register

Fees
Letters Testamentary  $15.50

Certificate, 2                         1.00
=====
Paid                 16.50


Will Papers – Pages 2-4

Page 1 of 3

I, William C. Bradley, of the City of Philadelphia, in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Clerk being of sound mind, memory and understanding, do make my last will and testament in manner and form following:

I give, devise and bequeath unto my beloved wife, Emily Smillie Bradley, her heirs and assigns forever, all my property, real, personal and mixed, of what nature or kind soever, and wheresoever the same shall be at the time of my death.

And I do nominate, constitute and appoint my said wife sole executrix of this my last will and testament.

In witness whereof, I William C. Bradley the testator, have to this my will, written on one sheet of paper, set my hand and seal this nineteenth day of July, A.D., one thousand eight hundred and eighty seven.

Signed, sealed, published           }
and declared by the above         }       William C Bradley {SEAL}
named William E. Bradley         }
as and for his last will                }
and testament, in the presence  }
of us, who have hereunto sub-  }
scribed our names at his            }
request as witnesses thereto,     }
in the presence of the said        }
testator and of each other.        }

Charles M. C. Durlovow
Ed. J. Schofield
Jno. L. Davis


Page 2 of 3

Will of William C. Bradley

Philadelphia July 19, 1887


Page 3 of 3

City and County of Philadelphia, ss.

Personally came before me, Register of Wills, in and for the said city and county

William E. Bradley and Dr. D. Cameron Bradley who upon their solemn oath did say that at the request of the Executrix they did “well and truly, and without prejudice or partiality, value and appraise the Goods and Chattels, Rights and Credits,” which were of William C. Bradley deceased, “and in all respects perform their duties as appraisers to the best of their skill and judgement.”

Sworn and subscribed this 3th        }           William E. Bradley
Day of September 1901, before me.}           C Cameron Bradley, m.d.

Chat Irwin Deputy Register


Inventory and Appraisement of the Goods and Chattels, Rights and Credits, which were of William C. Bradley late of Philadelphia taken and made in conformity with the above deposition


Cash on deposit in Philadelphia Savings Fund of Philadelphia          $ 300=
Cash on deposit in Western Saving Fund of Philadelphia                     $ 360=
22 Shares stock American Bank Note Co. @ $56, per share                 1232=
                                                                                                                                     ——-                                                                                                                                                $1892=


Discussion

$1,892 in 1901 is the equivalent of $56,264.96 today.[iii]

Conclusion

We learned that William’s wife, Emily, and is two sons, William E., and Dr. Cameron Bradley were living.


Endnotes

[i] John Newmark started the “Amanuensis Monday” category in 2009 on his Blog,  Transylvanian Dutch  and many bloggers have followed suit using the tag. Google provides the following meaning for amanuensis: “A literary or artistic assistant, in particular one who takes dictation or copies manuscripts.”

[ii] Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Wills and Probate Records, 1683-1993 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.

[iii] CPI Inflation Calculator http://www.in2013dollars.com/us/inflation/1901?amount=1892

 

William C Bradley in the Pennsylvania, Wills and Probate Records

Part 1 of 2 – Cover Page & Will Papers

Amanuensis Monday[i]
Project Bradley-Hingston
Transcription by Don Taylor

Intro/source

Probate Record for William C. Bradley – Probate Date 16 Aug 1901, Philadelphia, PA, Case number 1405 – 10 images. Original data: Pennsylvania County, District and Probate Courts.[ii]

Document Image

Cover Page

No. 1405 1901

Estate of William C Bradley

Application for Probate and Letters Testamentary

Filed: Aug 16 A.D. 1901
Jacob Singer, Register

Fees
Letters Testamentary  $15.50
Certificate, 2                        1.00
=====
Paid                    16.50

Will Papers

In the Matter of the Probate of the last Will and Testament of William Cameron Bradley Deceased.

The Petition of Emily S. Bradley respectfully showeth that she is the Executrix named in the last Will and Testament of William Cameron Bradley dated 19th day of July A. D. 1887. That said William Cameron Bradley was a resident of Philadelphia County, State of Pennsylvania, and departed this life at number 608 North 17th Street, Philadelphia in the County of Philadelphia and the State of Pennsylvania on Tuesday the 6th day of August A. D. 1901 at 5 o’clock A.M.

The said testator was possessed of personal property to the value of $1992.00 and of real estate (less incumbrance) to the value of $8000.00 as near as can be ascertained, situated as follows: House and lot, S.E. corner Evergreen and Prospect Avenues, Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, Penn, and house and lot at 1323 Mt. Vernon Street, Philadelphia, Penn.

Therefore, the said Emily S Bradley respectfully applies for Probate of the said last Will and Testament and for Letters Testamentary thereon.

Dated August 16th A. D. 1901.

[s/] Emily S. Bradley

Discussion

This document confirms several other documents, including the date and place of death for William C. Bradley. It also indicates that William owned two properties at the time of his death.  The house at 1323 Mt. Vernon Street is no longer in existence. The current building at that address was built in 1965[iii].

However, the house at the S.E. Corner of Evergreen and Prospect Avenues in Chestnut Hill Philadelphia is still there. Its current address is 400 Evergreen and according to Trulia, it was built in 1860[iv]. Today it looks like:

The 1900 Census indicated he lived at 608 North Seventeenth. At that time, he lived in an extended family consisting of him, his wife, five children, a sister, a sister-in-law, and a servant.


ENDNOTES

[i] John Newmark started the “Amanuensis Monday” category in 2009 on his Blog,  Transylvanian Dutch and many bloggers have followed suit using the tag. Google provides the following meaning for amanuensis: “A literary or artistic assistant, in particular ,one who takes dictation or copies manuscripts.”

[ii] Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Wills and Probate Records, 1683-1993 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.

[iii] https://www.trulia.com/p/pa/philadelphia/1323-mount-vernon-st-philadelphia-pa-19123–2017206294

[iv] https://www.trulia.com/p/pa/philadelphia/400-e-evergreen-ave-philadelphia-pa-19118–2089898661

 

Marriage of Meredith Mannin & Rachel Fugate

Amanuensis[i] Monday
Brown-Mannin(g) Line
By Don Taylor

Intro/source

As is so often the case, when you find a record it begs additional questions. Were Meredith and Rachel married on Valentine’s day or three days later?

Transcription [ii]

Bond for the Marriage of Meredith Mannon [Mannin] and Rachel Fugate
Know all men by these presents that we Meredith Mannon & Rueben Fugate are held and firmly bound unto the Commonwealth of Kentucky in the just and full sum of £50 current money of Kentucky which payment well and truly to be made to the said Commonwealth we bind ourselves our heirs & jointly and several firmly by these presents sealed and dated this 14th day of February 1875 the condition of the above obligation in such that whereas there is a marriage shortly intended to be had and solemnized between the above bound Meredith Mannon and Rachel Fugate. Now should there be no lawful Occur to obstruct said intended marriage then this obligation will be void else to remain in full force and notice in law

Marriage Confirmation[iii]

Marriage Confirmation – Meredith Mannon [Mannin] and Rachel Fugate.
Memorandum of Marriages Confirmed by me in Bath County in year 1825.

Willis Moffett & Caroline Stone on the 4th of Jan
Also Rice Burns & Elizabeth Hardin Febr 3rd
Meredith Mannon & Rachel Fugate on the 14th Feb….
….

January the 3rd 1826 – Jonathan Smi…

Discussion

14th or 17th?

The legibility of the “Marriage Confirmed” date leaves something of a question.  It is unclear in my mind if the date is the 14th or the 17th. Both dates make sense. There are no other 7s on this page to compare his 7s against his 4s. Meredith and Rachel’s father, Reuben Fugate, signed a bond assuring Meredith and Rachel were able to marry. That they married on the same day makes sense, unless there was a waiting period. If Kentucky had a marriage waiting period in 1825 then their marriage three days later, on the 17th makes more sense.

Conclusion

I have decided to go with the 14th because Kentucky does not currently require a waiting period. I’ve tried to find Kentucky Laws in 1825, but have been unsuccessful. If anyone has a source for me to check, that would be a great help. If Kentucky had a waiting period in 1825, then Meredith and Rachel had to have been married on 17 February 1825.


Endnotes

[i] John Newmark started the “Amanuensis Monday” category in 2009 on his Blog,  Transylvanian Dutch, and many bloggers have followed suit using the tag. Google provides the following meaning for amanuensis: “A literary or artistic assistant, in particular, one who takes dictation or copies manuscripts.”

[ii] “Kentucky, County Marriages, 1797-1954,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V5ZH-L12 : accessed 16 September 2018), Meredith Mannon and Rachel Fugate, 14 Feb 1825; citing Bath, Kentucky, United States, Madison County Courthouse, Richmond; FHL microfilm 273,003.

[iii] “Kentucky, County Marriages, 1797-1954,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V5ZZ-J2T : accessed 16 September 2018), Meredith Mannon and Rachel Fugate, 14 Feb 1825; citing Bath, Kentucky, United States, Madison County Courthouse, Richmond; FHL microfilm 273,007.

An Old Settler Departs

Amanuensis Monday
Darling Line
By Don Taylor

I’ve been researching the siblings of Rufus Holton Darling and had three left to research. Sally Ann Darling, Hannah Darling, and Franklin C. Darling. I haven’t been finding much on any of them. I suspected that a Franklin Darling in Minnesota might be Franklin, the brother of Rufus Holton Darling, but hadn’t found any definitive evidence that they were the same person. In searching for Franklin on Newspapers.Com, I encountered an amazing article about the death of Franklin and Rufus’ brother, Abner C. Darling.

Document Image & Transcription

AN OLD SETTLER DEPARTS[i].

Death of Abner C. Darling.

Obituary: Abner C. Darling (1812-1880)
Obituary: Abner C. Darling (1812-1880)

On Monday, Sept. 20, 1880, at his residence, in the town of Grand Chute, near this city, Abner C. Darling, for more than 40 years a resident of Wisconsin, over 30 of which were spent in this city, departed this life at the age of nearly 68 years.

This death created a profound sensation among the old settlers, all of whom were personally acquainted with the deceased.

Mr. Darling was born near Rome, N.Y., October 29, 1912, went with his father’s family, a very large one, to Michigan, when he was a boy. in 1825 was married in Western New York to Miss Nancy A. Green, at the residence of her uncle, Robert Green, who has resided with Mr. Darling for many years, and still survives him at an advanced age; emigrated in 1840 with his wife and their only daughter, now Mrs. L. S. Colman, of Milwaukee, to the very new village of Racine; removed in 1850 to Appleton, then almost a dense forest, and speedily erected a store on College Avenue, which still stands with its red front as one of the few land marks left of Appleton’s early days, and embarked in business. His wife, a most estimable lady, died in the spring of 1867, and some years subsequently he married Miss Sarah Green, daughter of Robert Green, who with three children survives him. Only two of his brothers are living, Henry Darling of Fox Lake, Wisconsin, and Franklin Darling, of Minnesota.

The great fire of 1873, which swept the old Crescent Hotel and many other business buildings, originated in the building he then occupied, about where Schroeder’s furniture now stands and destroyed $4,000 worth of uninsured goods. This loss, with the subsequent depreciation of real estate that followed the Great Panic of 1873, left him nearly penniless, and from that time to his death, it has been a constant struggle with financial disappointment and disaster until the strongman succumbed. Always active ever seeking to rise above the pressure of events, he has commanded sympathy and respect, and this announcement’ of his demise elicited on every hand the most earnest regrets.

Discover you family history through historical newspapers at Newspapers.com
Mr. Darling, during nearly all the years of his manhood, was an active yet unobtrusive communicant of the Methodist Episcopal church, and all who know him intimately will bear testimony that he was sincere and sought to do right. On Wednesday, a large number of citizens and friends, including most of his old neighbors, gathered at his dwelling to pay their last tribute of respect to his genuine worth, and on that beautiful autumnal day, they placed his remains in their resting place, Riverside cemetery, his life work all done, his eternity begun.

—————————

New Facts

This article suggests many new facts. Facts new to me are identified as bold. Questionable facts are identified as red and in italics.

1812 – Abner C. Darling was born near Rome, NY 29 Oct 1812.

1825 – Married Nancy A. Green in 1825 in Western New York. – Question fact.  Abner would have been 13 years old in 1825 and Nancy 9 years old.

1840 – Moved to Wisconsin c. 1840 with wife and only daughter. Although not false, the fact appears to be incomplete. Abner and Nancy’s son, Ned, was born before 1840 in New York and died about 1840 in Racine Wisconsin, so it appears that Abner moved to Wisconsin c. 1840 with his wife and two children.

1850 – Moved to Grand Chute c. 1850 and built a store on College Ave.

1873 – Fire destroyed his stock and the Great Panic of 1873 left him penniless.

1880 – Abner C. Darling died 20 Sep 1880 in Grand Chute, Mich.

1880 – Buried Riverside Cemetery.

Religion: Methodist Episcopal

First Wife:  Nancy Green (niece of Robert Green)

1867 – Nancy Died

Daughter is Mrs. L. S. Colman lives in Milwaukee in 1880.

Uncle Robert Green lived with the family for “Many years” prior to 1880.

Abner married Miss Sarah Green (Daughter of Robert Green) some years after 1867. Sarah and her father Robert are living in 1880

Brother Henry Darling of Fox Lake, Wisconsin is living in 1880

Brother Franklin Darling of Minnesota is living in 1880.

Because Abner’s sisters are not mentioned at all, It appears that they probably had passed before September 1880. Abner’s sisters were Deidamia [Limbacker], Sally Ann, and Hannah.

Conclusion

This obituary provided eight new facts including proof that Franklin located to Minnesota.

Endnotes/Sources

[i] The Appleton Crescent (Appleton, Wis.) · 25 Sep 1880, Page 3; https://www.newspapers.com/clip/19969547/ via Newspapers.Com.