Sunday, July 22, 2018

John Hart (1797-1864) in Probate Records

Image from a receipt in John Hart's Probate File o Ancestry
 It was a great day when Ancestry added millions of U.S. Probate records to their collections, as one of these records pertained to my two times great grandfather, John Hart. As you will recall, records regarding him are not easy to find, so this discovery was very welcome. He died intestate in 1864, but his probate file was rich with information, including a list of each of his living children and where they were residing at the time of the proceeding. Unfortunately, there was nothing to connect him with his father Stephen or any of his siblings. This was not to be expected, however. Sadly, I still have yet to find a probate record for Stephen, or an obituary.

     The only other time John appeared in a probate record that I have found was that of his wife's uncle, Stephen W. Wright, who died without having produced any children of his own. Therefore, all his living siblings, nieces, and nephews were named in his will. Although Stephen Wright's will was of little help in connecting John and his father, it turned out to be instrumental in my proving my descent from his father, Charles Wright, my Revolutionary War patriot.

     John's probate file records the steps of his widow, Sarah (a.k.a. Sally), to legally obtain the right to administer his estate. The documents state that John died at this home in the town of Forest in Rice County, Minnesota on October 26, 1864. It is also stated that he left an estate valuing no more than $1100.00, with no real estate, and that he was leaving no debts. Among his living children listed, only three are living in Forest with him and his wife, these being his sons Joel and Melvin, and his daughter Hester. Also included in the file is a copy of the notice placed in the Central Republican newspaper, of Faribault, Rice County, Minnesota, the venue of the legal proceedings. This is the only newspaper article I have ever found in which John is named:

from Ancestry

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