Tuesday, December 22, 2015

My Trouble Has Been So Great, Kimber Letter 9

The Kimber Letters are writings exchanged between the Kimber sisters and their mother, Keziah (Bennett) Kimber. The letters found their way to the sister’s descendants. They’ve been saved and shared among us for over 150 years. I treasure them and am grateful to the late Edna Raymond for giving me transcriptions.

In today’s letter Jane Eliza Kimber and husband Moses Seeley wrote to Sarah Bethia (Kimber) and William Mackney. The Seeley’s lived in Minisink, Orange Co., New York and addressed their letter to Sarah and William in Troy, Pennsylvania.

Seven weeks earlier Jane and Moses Seeley’s baby boy died. Jane apologized for not writing sooner but admits she wasn’t able to compose herself. Jane shares her heart wrenching pain over the loss of her little boy, Willie Emit.

        “O sister it was like tearing my heart from me to part with him …”

Jane’s grief will touch your heart.

Robert Reid's painting "Her First Born"

“Her First Born”
Painter Robert Reid, ca 1888
Courtesy Wikipedia Commons

In earlier Kimber letters the health of Kimber sister Julia Ann Elston was a concern to family members. Jane worried Julia Ann would “never be any better”.  Another sister, Abigail, remained with Julie Ann to care for her.

3rd Great Grand Aunt Jane included a short letter to her niece Mary Holly. As far as I know Mary wasn’t related to the Kimber’s. Perhaps she was Moses Seeley’s niece. Anyway, she was a close family friend and live-in help for Sarah and William Mackney.

Moses’ letter to William sounds like he's planning to leave Orange County. He tells his brother-in-law about his auction sale and says he will see him in March.


January the 21, 1855

Dear Brother and Sister

I set down this morning to write a few lines to
you to let you know we are all well and I hope
this will find you alI well and better than you
was when I last heard from you   you must
forgive me for not wrighting to you before this
for my trouble has been so great that I could
not compose my mind to write but by having faith
in God   I have given it up in a measure    you
have no doubt heard that little Willy Emit is no
more for Phebe has written to you the
particulars and Mother to    so it will be no use
for me to wright but, o Sister it was like
tearing my heart from me to part with him    if I
had not looked up to God for his help   I could
not went through it but I have the hope of one
day meeting him where parting will never be
again    that is all the comfort that I have in
thinking of Heaven but O sister I miss him
wherever I go and whatever I do    when I lie
down and when I arise enney place reminds me of
him    his little prattling voice is no more
heard nor his little hands patting around the
floor    I look around and say where is he    he
is gone home    gone home from this world of
trouble and affliction to rest in his fathers
bosem forever and ever    but O sister you have
passed through the same affliction and can feel
for me but I hope and trust that it is all for
the best that God has taken him from us but I
must drop this subject    I want you to wright
back as soon as you get this and wright if you
get Phebes  letter and if you have not  I will
wright you the particulars about the death    I
will now tell you about the rest   Julia Ann was
still getting worse the last   I knew from her
the dropsy was getting worse in her stomick and
I fear she will never be any better    Abigail is
with her yet    John folkes are well   I have
been to fathers and spent a week with them
they are well but I must close my letter    but
do wright to me as soon as you get this    if all
is well we shall be there with you soon    so no
more at present    but my love with you now and
forever    so good by
Jane Eliza Seely

Dear Mary

I received your letter and the note and have
sent it to them but I have not got it yet    I
thought that  I would get it and send it to
you and then there would be no danger of your
getting it    Mary Brink Courtright is married to
Emly Marsh and Mary Manners to John Haden
Josiah Seely wife has got a young son    I dont
know of anything more to wright to you at this
time so no more but remain your aunt til
Jane Eliza Seely to Mary Holy

Dear Brother
I will write a few lines to you    I had my
vendue december 27    my cows on an average 25
dollars per head    I sold 120 dollars worth of
hay and have got more than half of it yet    I
did not sel enny of my horses    horses is very
low out here    125 dollars for Ginney but I wont
take it for she is so fat she cant hardly see
grain is verry high out here    rye 1 shilling
corn 2 shil    buchwheat 10 shillings    Oats 5
shil   potatoes 100 dollars    money is verry
scarse here    I traded old bob away in Goshen
January 11   I got a gray horse for him even
they say he is worth 80 dollars    I told him she
would kick and strike so we traded so he took
her as she stood and I took gray as he stood but
he has got a case    he lict her til he was tired
out   he give three men 3 dollars to lick her
till she give up but my  gray is all right and
sound   but William i will come out some time the
first of March but writ as soon as you get this
so no more at present but remain yours
Moses Seely

SOURCE: Edna Raymond, a past Town of Minisink historian, gave me typed transcripts of the letters exchanged between the Kimber sisters and their parents. This letter is #9 of 31.

To read earlier Kimber Letters click on the label 'Kimber Letters' at the bottom of this post

Friday, December 18, 2015

Today Marks 3rd Gr-Grandpa’s 203rd Birthday Anniversary

To celebrate my ancestor’s birthday anniversary, I’m devoting today’s blog post to my 3rd Great Grandfather William Parkinson Clark. He was born December 18, 1812 two hundred three years ago. The 1865 and 1875 New York State Census say William P. was born in Orange County, New York.

William P. Clark, along with his wife and kids, were Orange County people living in the Minisink/Wawayanda area. The exception being 1850 when the family stayed a few years in Candor, Tioga County, New York

I’m not the first to note William P.’s birthday. The Orange County Press published at Middletown, New York reported Great Grandfather’s 60th birthday festivities.

Orange County Press, Middletown, New York, Friday, January 10, 1873, Page 3, Col. 1 (courtesy of Chris Barry)
   Mr. W. P. Clark, of Denton, celebrated his sixtieth birthday the 18th ult.  Upon the occasion forty-seven children and grand-children were present at the entertainment.  Several were absent 'owing to circumstances over which they had no control.'

When Great Grandfather celebrated his 60th birthday, Grandmother Charity Kimber was still living. Their children numbered eleven:

               James L. Clark
               Phebe Jane (Clark) Courter
               Keziah Bennett (Clark) Walsh
               Katherine Amelia (Clark) Pullis
              Jeremiah B. Clark
              Charles Edgar Clark
              William P. Clark, Jr.
              Howell Reeve Clark
              Charity Emeline Clark
              Benjamin Reeve Clark
              Anna Augusta Clark

Seven of his children had already married. I can’t account for all the grandchildren but I’ll bet my 2nd Great Grandfather Jeremiah B. Clark was at the gathering with his five kids—Fannie, David, Minnie and twins Frank and Amos.

You might like my earlier post 3rd GREATGRANDFATHER WILLIAM P. CLARK  published Jan. 18, 2014.

My Ancestry
3rd Great Grandfather William Parkinson Clark and wife Charity Kimber
2nd Great Grandfather Jeremiah B. Clark and wife Harriet C. Ogden
Great Grandmother Grace Lee Clark and husband Jerome Walter Wilson
Grandmother Viola Lillian Wilson and husband Frank Leroy Doty
My Mother

Sunday, December 6, 2015

I, Martin Snyder, of the County of Augusta and State of Virginia Make my Last Will and Testament

Quite a while ago I said I would publish 4th Great Grandfather Martin Snyder’s will. Today I’m keeping my promise and ready to discuss his last will and testament. I found his will intriguing. Martin Snyder devoted much thought and planning for his family’s future. As I was reading the Augusta County, VA clerk’s copy of the will, I realized Great Grandfather was very detail oriented. You’ll find a transcription and images of his will at the end of this post.

Martin Snyder belongs with my paternal Grandmother Lucy Leora Clemmer’s branch of the family tree. 4th Great Grandfather Martin was born February 24, 1765 in Maryland and died at Augusta Co., Virginia October 16, 1822. He married Catherine Thomas in Augusta County 1791. She was also a Maryland native born to John and Catherine Thomas.

Martin’s will was written August 30, 1822—a few months before he died. At this date, Grandfather was 57 years old and Catherine 50 years of age. His older sons, John, Michael, David, Jacob, Martin, and Joseph, ranged in age from 28 to 22 years old.  My 3rd Great Grandfather Adam Snyder was just 14 with his three sisters under the age of 21 years.

No doubt Great Grandfather did well for himself being the owner a 740 acre plantation near Stribling Springs. The former property owner was William Willson. Martin ordered his executors to sell the property 4 years after his death. As far as I know, this did not happen. I have copies of the Augusta Co., Virginia Grantee and Grantor Index of Deeds and noticed a flurry of land transactions among the Snyder’s in 1833. The grantee index includes an entry showing Martin purchased land from William and Eliz Wilson May 23, 1814 per Deed Book 39, page 119. I hope to get copies of the Snyder deeds to see what transpired.

Foresight led Great Grandfather to estimate a $7,000 selling price for the property. He bequeathed $1,000 each to 7 sons staggering when they would receive their legacy. John and Michael would get their share once the plantation sold. Two years after the sale, David was to get his money. Jacob would get his legacy four years after the plantation was bought; Martin six years afterward with Joseph getting his inheritance in eight years. Adam was the youngest son due to acquire his $1,000 in ten years’ time. I’m guessing Grandfather wanted the boys to be “older and wiser” and not squander their inheritance.

If the Martin Snyder plantation sold for more than $7,000, the extra was to be divided equally among all his children—seven sons and three daughters.

Great Grandmother Catherine was given the mansion house, money and Martin’s personal estate. She would be well cared for. Great Grandfather protected his children living at home. He stipulated that his wife Catherine, children David, Joseph, Adam, Betsey, Sally and Catherine could remain on the home place as long as they liked.

Livestock was a valued commodity to a farming family, and Grandfather’s will reflects this. The Snyder girls were promised a horse and 3 cows each when they married. The widow, David and Joseph were each gifted with a colt. Adam would get $100 plus a horse when 21 years of age.

Great Grandfather expressed the wish that David remain in the Snyder family home and care for his mother. And yes, this is just what David did.

After Great Grandmother Catherine died, Martin wanted the mansion house to be sold. Then the daughters, Betsey, Sally and Catherine, would get $1,000 each. Great Grandmother passed in 1845. A search in the Snyder deeds might tell more of the story.

I’m curious why Martin would order payment to his son John for a “book account” the son held against his father. Why didn’t he pay it while he was alive? Was Martin “land rich” and “cash poor”?

Two sons, Jacob and Martin, owed their father money. Jacob needed to pay $10 because his home was worth more than what his brothers received. It sounds like Great Grandfather set the older boys up with their own places.
Sons Jacob and Martin were held financially accountable because they “went to the trade” before they were of age. What does this mean? Can anybody help?

If any monies remained after Great Grandmother Catherine died and the legacies paid, it was to be shared among his ten children.

I have more probate papers for Great Grandfather but will save them for another day.

Transcription: Martin Snyder’s Will, Augusta Co., VA Will Book 14, pages 189-191

   In the name of God Amen I Martin Snyder of the County of Augusta and State of Virginia being of sound and disposing memory but well knowing the uncertainty of life do make and ordain this my last will and Testament in manner and form following to wit;
ITEM first, I will and order that all my just debts and funeral expenses be paid. ITEM I will and order that my plantation near Stribling Springs, bought of William Willson and containing by estimation Seven hundred and forty acres, shall be sold within four years after my decease, and the price of it disposed of as follows.  My Sons John Snyder and Michael Snyder shall each of them receive One Thousand dollars to paid to them when said plantation shall be sold ~ my son David Snyder shall receive One Thousand Dollars, out of the price of s’d land to be paid to him two years after the sale of said land ~  my son Jacob Snyder shall receive One Thousand Dollars to be paid to him four years after the sale of said land ~ my son Martin Snyder shall receive One Thousand Dollars to be paid to him six years after the sale of the land ~ my son Joseph Snyder shall receive One Thousand Dollars to be paid to him eight years after the sale of said land ~ my son Adam Snyder shall receive One Thousand dollars to be paid to him Ten years after the sale of the said land, and if said land shouldnt sell for seven Thousand dollars the amount of the above legacies to my seven sons, then each of them shall have an equal part of such defiency and if it shall sell for more than Seven Thousand dollars, the excess above the Seven Thousand dollars shall be equally divided among my Ten Children, Seven sons & three daughters  ITEM I give and bequeath to my wife Catherine Snyder all my household furniture including the brass clock, together with one Thousand dollars in money to her and her heirs forever ~ further I order and will that she shall retain and have possession of the mansion house together with the garden, the spring house, the lot in which the house stands with the orchard in said lot during her life time, and the above named One Thousand dollars is given to my wife Catherine Snyder to be hers as long as she shall continue to be called by name ~ ITEM I give and bequeath to my wife Catherine Snyder all my personal estate, not specifically devised, including my stock of various kinds & stills &c for the purpose hereafter mentioned, it shall be kept on the plantation I now live on for her use and that of the family ~ and if there shall be any part of the land brought from William Wilson not paid for at my decease the same shall be paid out of the produce of the place I live on ~ and the personal estate as above mentioned left to my wife  above legacies left to my wife Catherine Snyder is to be in lieu of all dower and division of my estate real and personal to which she would be entitled:  ITEM I will and bequeath that my wife Catherine Snyder, my sons David Snyder, Joseph Snyder, Adam Snyder, my daughters Betsey Snyder, Sally Snyder and Catherine Snyder all have their living and an equal right to the place, I now live on during the live of my wife Catherine Snyder or so long as they think proper to stay during her life and also that my son Michael Snyder have his living and equal right with them until his legacy of One Thousand Dollars is due and paid and that all there that have their living from this place aforesaid assist in making necessary provision for paying all debts I may ___?___ my decease .  ITEM I will and order that of the horses and cows raised on the place each of my daughters Betsey, Sally and Catherine receive a horse a piece and three cows each when they get married or are otherwise settled and that each of them receive a saddle Bridle  ITEM I give to my wife Catherine Snyder one bay mare colt now one old past.  ITEM I give to my son David Snyder one Sorel horse Colt now sucking  ITEM I give to my son Joseph Snyder one roan mare colt now sucking and if either of colts given to David or Joseph should die before they got to be three years old the loss is to made up to them out of my estate  ITEM I give to my son Adam Snyder a horse with One hundred Dollars when he comes of age out of my estate.  ITEM It is my wish and desire that my Son David should continue on the place now live on during the live of my wife to take care of her  if he should build a house on said place he shall be paid out of the price of the place when sold  ITEM I wish and order that after the death of my wife the place I now live on should be sold and that out of the price of it my three Daughters Betsey, Sally and Catherine receive each One Thousand Dollars and that the balance be equally divided among my Ten children  ITEM I order and allow that my son, John be paid his book account he has against me but without interest and also that he be paid for a barn he has built where he now lives.  ITEM I order and determine that my son Jacob Snyder be charged with and pay to my estate Ten dollars because his home was worth that much more than the other sons have got, also Ten Dollars for a store he has got, and One hundred and twenty dollars for two years he went to the trade before he was of age, in all One hundred and forty Dollars to be paid when he gets his first legacy  ITEM I order and determine that my son Martin Snyder be charged and pay to my estate, One hundred and twenty dollars, for two years he went to the trade before he was of age ~ ITEM I will and allow after the death of my wife all of the personal estate remaining shall be sold by my Executors and after all of the above legacies are paid there is a balance remaining in the hands of the Executors it shall be equally divided among my Ten children John, Jacob, Michael, Martin, David, Joseph, Adam, Betsey, Sally and Catherine ~ ITEM I will and determine that the sum of One Thousand Dollars left to my wife be under the case of Joseph Brown for her use.  ITEM I hereby constitute and appoint my Sons John Snyder, Michael Snyder and my friend Joseph Brown Executors of this my last will and Testament hereby revoking all other wills by me made.  In Testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this 30th day of August in the year of our Lord, One Thousand eight hundred and twenty two.

Signed sealed and delivered
in the presence of
William Trimble
John Helmick
                                                                       Signed by Martin Snyder

Augusta County Court February Term 1823. This last will and Testament of Martin Snyder deceased was presented in Court and being proved by the oaths of William Trimble John Helmick the witnesses is thereto is ordered to be recorded.

Martin Snyder Will, Augusta Co., VA Will Book 14, page 189 
Martin Snyder Will, Augusta Co., VA Will Book 14, page 189

Martin Snyder Will, Augusta Co., VA Will Book 14, page 190
Martin Snyder Will, Augusta Co., VA Will Book 14, page 190
Martin Snyder Will, Augusta Co., VA Will Book 14, page 191
Martin Snyder Will, Augusta Co., VA Will Book 14, page 191

The images above were obtained from microfilm #30320 at the Family History Center in Salt Lake City.

My Ancestry
4th Great Grandfather Martin Snyder and wife Catherine Thomas
3rd Great Grandfather Adam Snyder and wife Hannah Hull
2nd Great Grandmother Sarah Jane Snyder and husband Joseph H. Clemmer
Great Grandfather James Clyde Clemmer and Ella Virginia White
Grandmother Lucy Leora Clemmer and James McFall Joseph
My Father