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.

Third Great-Grandmother Lucy Ann Goodwin: Never a Dull Moment!

Before I can even get to my great-grandmother Bertha’s story, I think it’s important to understand her own family history.  A good place to start is her paternal grandmother, Lucy Ann Goodwin.

Lucy was born circa 1833, in Berwick, York County, Maine to Ivory Goodwin and Jerusha Taunt.  She was the fourth child of eight children and the third daughter.  Her older siblings were Ivory H., Anna, Mary F. and her  younger siblings were John Adams, Ada Jane (“Jennie”), Charles W., and John M.

In November 1854 (some less reliable records say 1856), she gave birth to a son, Frank L.  Frank always listed his father as George W. Colomy, who pledged to marry Lucy in December 1857.  George and Lucy were finally wed in Somersworth, Strafford County, New Hampshire in 1858, by Rev. F.S. Greenwood.  Whether George was actually Frank’s father or whether Lucy simply told Frank that George was his father, I do not know; but Colomy was the surname Frank went by.

1860 found George, Lucy and Frank living in Dover, Strafford County, New Hampshire.  George worked as a shoemaker.

In March of 1861, the Colomy family moved to Haverhill, Essex County, Massachusetts.  Lucy was quick to become familiar with the men of Haverhill, particularly seventeen-year-old Benjamin Foss.  That September, George caught Lucy “in the act” with Benjamin and promptly left her.

Perhaps waiting until Benjamin turned 21, Lucy became Mrs. Foss on February 27, 1865 in Lawrence, Essex County, Massachusetts, wed by a Methodist clergyman, Rev. George L. Dearborn.  According to the August 1865 state census, Lucy and Benjamin, now a local barber, lived with his parents and brothers in Haverhill.  I have to wonder how Lucy was received by her in-laws, since they must have known she was married before.

In any case, Frank was not present with his mother on this census.  Where was he?  I believe the 1870 Census gives the clue:  Benjamin and Lucy had their own household in Lynn, Massachusetts, in which Frank was listed (under the last name “Foss”), along with Lucy’s mother, Jerusha Goodwin.  I am certain that Frank spent a portion of the 1860s with his maternal grandparents.  Perhaps after his grandfather Ivory died in 1866, both Frank and Jerusha went to live with Lucy and Benjamin.

But let’s back up two years.  In July of 1868, the Boston Advertiser carried a legal notice, posted by George W. Colomy’s attorney, J.C. Sanborn.  The notice contained the sordid details of their marriage, the fact that George (now living in Boston) was seeking to file for divorce, and requested that Lucy respond to the notice.  It doesn’t seem that Lucy ever responded; after all, she was already re-married!  The divorce was granted in December of that year.

Lucy’s marriage to Benjamin lasted longer than to George; however, this one ended in Benjamin’s death.  On December 19, 1874, Benjamin died of “fits”  in Bradford, Essex County, Massachusetts.  How these fits came about, I do not know, nor do I know where he was buried.  He seems to have had no children with Lucy.  Once he died, Lucy and Frank carried on in their home in Lynn on the corner of Chestnut and Lewis Streets.

Lucy carried out the proper mourning period of a year, then on New Year’s Day, 1876, she married shoemaker William F. Mann by clergyman S.F. Upham in Lynn.  It was William’s second marriage, and Lucy reported this as her second marriage as well.  The two appeared to get along well; he continuing as a shoemaker and she as a dressmaker.  They even made it to their twenty-fifth anniversary!  Then on June 23, 1901, William died of “hypertrophy of [the] heart.”  According to the death register, he is buried somewhere in Lynn.

After William’s death, Lucy appeared to live with son Frank.  I assume that her health and mind deteriorated greatly toward the end of her life, for she was put into Danvers State Hospital in Danvers, Essex County, Massachusetts on June 30, 1919.  This hospital was well known for its care of the insane; however it did also care for older patients with dementia, which may have been Lucy’s case.  Just shy of one year later, Lucy passed away on June 11, 1920 of arteriosclerosis at the reported age of 87.  The longest living member of her family, she was buried at Pine Hill Cemetery in Dover, Strafford County, New Hampshire, where her parents and other family members are interred.

Lucy Goodwin Death Certificate.  Courtesy FamilySearch.org

Lucy Goodwin Death Certificate. Courtesy FamilySearch.org

There are a lot of things to think and say about Lucy.  I’m not sure what in her home life made her make the decisions that she did.  It seems to me that she settled down in her later years; however, the seeds were sown, particularly in her son Frank.