Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Estate Records - More than just wills (part 4)

 Josiah Hemingway's estate papers do not include any reference for the date of his death but includes the date of registration (28 December 1851) and the date the inventory was taken. The will was interesting as he included the stipulations that the heirs could not sue and the decision of three of his friends who were also his executors was binding and that his wife Anna would be maintained out of the property, in lieu of dower, as long as she didn't remarry .

The two eldest sons only received one pound each. [Land records likely will show that they had already received land.] Son Benjamin was to receive 20 to 30 Acres more than Moses. Now this might not have been a problem but Benjamin died several months later on 22 December 1851 without a will and before the property had been divided.

Benjamin's wife Harriet petitioned for guardianship. Six of the children were from Benjamin's former wife. Harriet and Benjamin had one baby. The names and ages of the children are listed. She applied for guardianship to be shared with family friend, Henry Sanders. Harriet was worried that her eldest son William, heir at law would not receive his father's share of property and that it would not be done fairly. The estate papers include detailed financial records as payments were made to old Mrs. Hemingway for her dower and other items such as school books.

These records were very important to me in my research as previous researchers had only mentioned two of Benjamin's children and these had been raised by Anna Holditch.

The third estate papers were those of Pauline (aka Perlina Ann) Hemingway. She died in 1904. Her will lists who would receive money from her estate. Included in the file was the list of the heirs, their relation to the deceased, their address and how much they would each receive. This was needed because of the Succession Act. One brother and one sister were to each receive one dollar. Several in her list were not related and some were cousins. Her half sister was to receive the residue after the division of the estate. After everything was divided, she received $948. This information gives further clues for more research.

© 2010 Janet Iles


  1. Wow, what a complicated procedure it must have been to divide the estate! Thanks for posting!

  2. I'm late (been sick) ... Janet, hearty congratulations on being among Family Tree Magazine's top genealogy blogs!

  3. John - thanks for visiting and commenting. Without the estate records, I wouldn't have known as much as I do about the family.

    Brenda - Thanks - I hope you are feeling better.


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