Benjamin Hemingway was my great-great-great uncle. His parents were Josiah Hemingway and Anna Stiver. He was their 10th child and youngest son. He lived in Markham Township.
When Benjamin's father died in September 1851, Benjamin was listed as an heir in Josiah's will.
All my Freehold Estate compromising my Land Property be divided between my other two sons Moses and Benjamin, in such a manner that Benjamin, shall have and possess of the said land from twenty five to thirty acres more than my son Moses, to be left at the Discretion and be determined by the undermentioned Executors. 
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. The Estate papers for Benjamin give an idea of what happened after his death.  These records were very important to me in my research as previous researchers had only mentioned two of Benjamin's children and they had been raised by Anna Holditch.
Benjamin's wife Harriet petitioned for guardianship. Five of the children were from Benjamin's former wife, Pauline Webb. Harriet and Benjamin had one baby. The children are all 12 and under: Rachel, Mahala, William, George and Corwin, (all from Benjamin's first marriage) and Anne Benjanna.
She applied for guardianship to be shared with Henry Sanders. Harriet was worried that the 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. In the financial accounts it also shows a Mrs. Bostwick at Duffin's Creek being paid for William's board. It looks like Henry Sanders looked after these financial accounts, dating from 1852 to 1865.
Also signing the documents in this guardianship as Sureties for the guardianship are Elijah W. Bostwick of Pickering Township and James Taylor of Markham Township. James Taylor swore to undertake his responsibilities and that he was worth 100 pounds and Elijah W. Bostwick affirmed that he would undertake his responsibilities and that he was also worth 100 pounds. Neither men had debts. 
Questions to which there may not be an answer:
Is James Taylor who acts as a surety, the husband of Caroline Hemingway (sister to Benjamin)?
How did the Hemingways know Elijah W. Bostwick?
Why did William get sent to live with a Mrs. Bostwick?
Why did George and Pauline go to live with Anna Holditch?
Why was Henry Sanders chosen as the guardian?
Were Pauline (Perlina) and Harriett sisters?
To be continued
 Josiah Hemingway Estate file H-9 RG 22 Series 6-2, (28 September 1851), York County Surrogate Court, microfilm MS 638 Reel 84, Archives of Ontario, Toronto
 Benjamin Hemingway Estate File, H-9 RG 22, Series 6-2, (21 September 1851), York County Surrogate Court, microfilm MS 638 York County, Reel 84, Archives of Ontario, Toronto - The date on the outside of the packet must be incorrect as Benjamin did not die until December.
© 2015 Janet Iles