Abstract & Will of Abner Darling (1780-1839)

Abstract & Will of Abner Darling (1780-1839)

Amanuensis Monday

Great-great grandfather Rufus Holton Darling’s father’s name was Abner and his mother’s name was Sally. Although I am not totally convinced, I am fairly certain that this “Record of Will” refers to Rufus’s father Abner. It also helps explain why Rufus would have left New York for Michigan in 1840. At Abner’s death, Rufus would have been 24 years old. 


Abstract of Will (Abstracted by Don Taylor)

Information that I found.
8 January 1839 – Abner Darling of Clarkson, Monroe County, New York was alive to sign his last will and testament.
He made his wife, Sally Ann Darling the Executrix of his will.
He gave everything to his wife, Sally Ann Darling.
He wants his debts paid.
He has pending litigation against Nathan Mott & Ansel Frost.
His wife should take care of his minor children including educating them. 

Jan-April 1839 – Abner Darling died.

1 May 1839 – Abner’s will was probated.


Transcript of Will

Transcribed by Don Taylor

Source: Ancestry.Com – New York Wills and Probate Records, 1659-1999 – Monroe – Wills, Vol 002, 1835-1841, Pages 329-331 (362-364 of 513)

Record of Will

Know all whom it may concern that that I Abner Darling of Clarkson in the County of Monroe Do make ordain and constitute this my last will & testament –

First I make & Constitute my beloved wife Sally Ann Darling sole executrix of this my will. Second. I give & bequeath to my said wife all my goods and chattels land & tenements & all my estate both nal [real] & personal of which I may die seized or possesed or whether in fasision or in action to have & to hold the same to her own use – forever, Third, It is my will that all my just debts be paid & in as much as the ability of my said executrix to pay the same will depend on the determination of a suit now defending in the Court of Chancery against Nathan Mott & Ansel Frost it is my will & desire that said suit be prosecuted with all diligence to a determination & that my said executrix shall perform whatever shall be nessary & proper to perform whatever deorse may be made therein trusting in consequents of the Justice of the cause that she will thereby nalise the means of paying my debts, And it is my request & desire that my said executrix will in her discretion & according to her means maintain and educate such of my children as are minors they aiding and assisting therein & that at or before her decease she will if need be make such bequest or other arrangement that what may remain of my property after her decrease may be equally divided among all my children. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & seal this eighth day of January 1839.

Abner Darling (S)

Signed sealed published and delivered by the said Abner Darling to be his last will & testament in the presence of us & who in his presence have subscribed our names as witnesses all residing in Clarkson. 

Sellach Boughton
William Blake
Joseph Lovejoy
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 newspapers.com newspapers.com 

The Estate of James Ashley Hobbs (1843-1920)

Amanuensis Monday

Wills and probate records can provide valuable insight and speculation into family dynamics that I find fun to consider. Such is the case of James Ashley (J.A.) Hobbs (1843-1920).
J.A. Hobbs was a civic leader. He was the Clerk of Superior Court in Williamston, Martin County, North Carolina. He died on 29 November 1920; his wife preceded him in 1913. At the time of his death, he had five living children.

Only three days after his death, on December 2nd, his oldest daughter, Annie E. Armstrong, applied to be the administrator of his estate and indicated that her father died without a will[i]. Also, in that application she mentioned that the five living children, Charles L Hobbs, R.R. Hobbs, J Floyd Hobbs, Mary L. Howell, and herself would be the heirs to the estate. Although Charles would have been the oldest child, Annie applied, and was granted administration of the F. A. Hobbs estate.

Martin County (North Carolina) Courthouse
Photo credit: J. Stephen Conn via Flickr [CC by NC 2.0]
About six weeks later, on 14 Jan 1921, a will, dated 10 Sept 1918, was filed with the courthouse[ii]. This will established “friend and lawyer” A. P. Dunning as the executor of the will. In the will, Mary L. Howell was to receive the entire estate, except for $100 to go to A. P. Dunning. Subsequently, Mary L. Howell received everything and the other four children, Charles, RR, Floyd, and Annie received nothing.
Many questions regarding family dynamics come to mind. Was Annie trying to pull a fast one or did she really not know that J.A. had a will?  Three days after a person’s death seems to me pretty quick for someone to file in probate court. Why did J.A. write out all of the other children and leave Mary Lillian, his youngest daughter, (who was 33 years old) as his only heir? Were the other four estranged from their father?  I wonder if J. A. felt that his other children were doing well enough and didn’t need the support that Mary Lillian needed as the wife of a struggling minister. Many questions we may never know the answer to, but it is fun to speculate and wonder.


Source: Ancestry.Com – North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998; North Carolina County, District and Probate Courts., North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998, Ancestry.com, Wills, 1774-1963; Author: North Carolina. Superior Court (Martin County); Probate Place: Martin, North Carolina – Pages 578 & 579.

North Carolina}Martin County}      I, J. A. Hobbs, of the county and state aforesaid, being of sound mind and memory but considering the uncertainty of my earthly existence, to make and declare this my last Will and Testament.

First: My executor herein named shall give my body a decent burial, pay all funeral expenses, together with all my just debts, out of the first moneys which may come into his hands belonging to my estate.

Second: I give, devise and bequeath to my daughter Mary L. Howell, all the property of which I may devised and possessed, both real and personal, of whatever nature, ??? or description and wherever situate, including all money that [Page 579]
 I may have on hand at the time of my death, all notes and bonds of every kind and all other evidences of debt that may be due me at the time of my death. Also my personal affects, including my gold watch and chain, all my household and kitchen furniture, and also any and all insurance policies of mine regardless as to whom some may be payable in the face or faces thereof, including also, two lots of land situate in Beaufort County in Washington Heights, and any and all other property not above enumerated, of which I may die sized and possessed; it being my express purpose and intention to give, devise and bequeath to my daughter, Mary L. Howell, everything of the shape of property of which I may die dived and possessed to have and to hold to her absolutely and unconditionally forever in fee simple.

Third, I hereby constitute and appoint my friend and lawyer, A. P. Dunning, my executor, to execute this my last Will and Testament according to the true intend and meaning of the same and every fact thereof, hereby revoking and declaring utterly void all other Wills and Testaments by me heretofore made, and in full compensation for his services in executing this my last Will and Testament, I give and devise unto the said A. P. Dunning the sum of $100 one Hundred Dollars.

In witness whereof, I the said J. A. Hobbs, do hereunto let my and and seal this 10th day of Sept. 1918.

                                               J. A. Hobbs {Seal} 


Signed, sealed, published and declared by the said J. A. Hobbs to be his last Will and Testament in the presence of us, who at his request and in his presence and in the presence of each other, we subscribe our names as witnesses thereto.   A. Hasill   L. C. Burnett 


[i] North Carolina County, District and Probate Courts., North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998, Ancestry.com, Administrators, Guardians Appointments and Records, Accounts, Inventories, Years Support, Executors and Widows Dowers, 1869-1963; Author: North Carolina. Superior Court (Martin County); Probate Place: Martin, North Carolina – Page 218.
[ii] North Carolina County, District and Probate Courts., North Carolina, Wills and Probate Records, 1665-1998, Ancestry.com, Wills, 1774-1963; Author: North Carolina. Superior Court (Martin County); Probate Place: Martin, North Carolina – Pages 578, 579, & 580.
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