Home » Family History » Dissecting Ivory Goodwin’s Probate Record

Dissecting Ivory Goodwin’s Probate Record

I could have included Ivory Goodwin’s probate details in my post about him and Jerusha, but I thought it would be a good idea to go through the exercise of analyzing the probate file itself. The file is fourteen pages long, and a number of those pages are undated envelopes to hold the other documents in the file. The pages appear to be out of chronological order, so I will try to review them in order.

As we know, Ivory passed away on February 19, 1866 in Berwick, York County, Maine. His survivors included his wife Jerusha, and their children Ivory H., Lucy Colomy Foss, Ada Jane Goldsmith, Charles W., and John M. (and perhaps Mary F., if alive). All the children were adults except for John, who was about 13.

The first document, dated February 23, 1866, appears to be Jerusha’s petition to have Ivory H., who was living in Dover, Strafford County, New Hampshire, be administrator of his father’s estate. The reason was “there being no son or daughter of age nearby in this state”. This tells me that all the children (except John, of course) have moved away. Perhaps Ivory H. lived closest to Jerusha; after all, Strafford and York counties are only separated by Salmon Falls River. Jerusha signed this document with an “X” (“her mark”). This appointment was approved on May 1 by Judge E.E. Bourne in Saco, Maine.

Also dated May 1 is a bond, signed by Ichabod G. Jordon and George Moore of Berwick, pledging themselves as sureties for Ivory H. to perform his duties as administrator. It seems that the first duty was to inventory the estate within three months. The document is signed by both men and by Ivory. The sureties were bound $1600 to the court. We also learn that the judge’s full name is “Edward E. Bourne”.

Ivory H. makes a statement dated October 2, 1866 that his father died intestate (without a will), and that Ivory’s personal property was not sufficient to pay the court fees, so a sale of real estate would be necessary. The judge signed off on this document.

On October 2, 1866 – Ivory H., who now lives in Wolfeborough, Carroll County, NH, signs a new bond with sureties Ichabod G. Jordon, and Alonzo B. Wentworth. bound to Judge Bourne for $1600. Connected with Ivory being licensed to sell the real estate.

October 3, 1866 Administrator’s Sale – to sell Ivory’s real estate at public auction at the store of Walker & Farmington in Berwick on November 10. Includes description of his land: two acres and buildings bound Easterly by Sullivan Lane, Southerly by Ivory M. Nute’s land, Westerly & Northerly by Samuel W. Fox. Also part of the sale: the family pew at Cranberry Meadow Meeting House. (through a little internet research, I found that Cranberry Meadow Meeting House was the early incarnation of Berwick’s current Methodist Church, so now I know the family was Methodist.) Ivory H. signed two statements, which were sworn before Ichabod G. Jordon, Justice of the Peace (remember, he was one of the sureties). One statement was regarding posting notifications for the sale, and the other was regarding the payment of $200 for the debts and charges of the sale. This page with its statements was returned to Judge Bourne, who signed on January 1, 1867. This page gives some very specific information about where Ivory and Jerusha lived in Berwick. Although Sullivan Lane no longer exists, there is a Sullivan Street. More on the land later.

There is a small, undated handwritten document that states “Alexander Junkins appointed guardian ad litem”, initialed “EEB”. After some research, I found out a guardian ad litem is appointed by the court to look after the interests of any minor children (this case being John). Alex signed a brief statement stating “I have had notice of [this petition] and see no objection to the sale as negotiated. Alex Junkins”

November 6, 1866 – petition by Jerusha for an allowance from Ivory’s estate. She was granted ninety-seven dollars and seventy-eight cents.

January 1, 1867 – First account of Ivory’s estate. Basically, a balance sheet. Amount of personal estate plus sums received = $630.78 (outlined on Schedule A). Amount of sums paid on Schedule B, plus publication of notices = $694.41.

Schedule A: rent received from Real Estate from John S. Marsh & Abel Baxter; sale of church pew ($1), and sale of real estate to Henry Clements. Schedule B: various bills; some seem to be amounts owed to the sureties and others, some to family members: Jennie Goldsmith, Jerusha, Lucy A. Colomy AND Lucy A. Foss (did Lucy lend money to Ivory during her then two marriages?), taxes, and some money lent to Ivory by Ivory H. The name of the gentleman who bought the real estate was a big clue for me in locating whereabouts Ivory and Jerusha lived. On the website [Historic Map Works], I found an 1870 map of Berwick, and I followed Sullivan Lane. Then I found Henry Clements–this was where the Goodwins had lived! I compared that map to a modern map, and was able to ascertain approximately where the land is!  (It seems that this location is now on Knox Lane.)

Approximate location of Ivory Goodwin's land. Courtesy Google Earth.

Approximate location of Ivory Goodwin’s land. Courtesy Google Earth.

To conclude, the probate packet may not have answered all my questions about Ivory Goodwin, but it sure lent more information to color my picture of him.

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3 thoughts on “Dissecting Ivory Goodwin’s Probate Record

  1. I need to to thank you for this good read!! I absolutely
    enjoyed every little bit of it. I’ve got you bookmarked
    to look at new stuff you post…

    Like

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