Enos Seward died some time between 20 August 1818 and August 25, 1820. My focus was on Philip Goss IV, Enos’ father-in-law so the only court document I studied involved finding wills and one of them was Enos’ will. I found a copy of his will at the DAR Library in Washington D.C. in 2008. It was a typed copy, which was not complete and had parts left out. The one below is from the actual court clerk books in Luzerne Co., PA.
In the Name of God Amen I Enos Seward of the Township of Huntington in the County of Luzerne and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Yeoman, being weak in body but of perfect mind and memory thanks be given unto God calling unto mind the mortality of the body and knowing that it is appointed for all men once to die, Do make and ordain this my last will and testament that is principally and first I give and recommend my soul unto the hand of Almighty God that gave it and my body I recommend to the earth to be buried in decent Christian burial at the decretion of my successors nothing doubting but at the general resurrection I shall receive the same again by the mighty power of God and as touching such worldly estate as has pleased God to bless us with In this life I give demise and dispose of the same in the following manner and form, first I give and bequeath to my beloved wife Sarah one third part of all my real Estate together with one cow and five sheep and all the household furniture and to have the north room and bedroom and privilege of the cellar an cupboard buttery chamber likewise privilege in the barn to have and to hold as long as she remains my widow. I give and – unto my beloved sons Enos, Eli, Gad and Levi, Titus and Ebenezer one equal proportion and also all the heirs of my son Amos, deceased, and equal proportion with the rest of my sons, I also give to my beloved daughter Sarah and Mary one fourth less to each one than one of my sons shall Receive and further more if any one or two of my sons should choose to take the land which I now reside “on” it being lot No. 38 first division shall have the same two years without interest after it being lawfully appraised and I also constitute make and ordain my two well beloved Sons Gad and Levi Seaward the sole Executors of this my last will and Testamen. And I do hereby utterly disallow, revoke and disannul all and every other former testament. I – witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this twentieth day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand Eight hundred and Eighteen. Signed, Sealed in the presence of: Daniel Fuller, Elisha Myers. Signed Enos Seaward (Seal)
Luzerne County etc: On the twenty third day of August As. Do, 1820 personally appeared before me James Perkins Deputy of Asa C. Whitney Register for the probate of Wills and Granting Letters of Administration in and for said county Daniel Fuller & Elisha Myers who being dully sworn both depose and say that their names to the foregoing will subscribed as witnesses – of their now proper hand writing respectively. That they saw the testator therein named sign the same and heard him publish and declare it as an for his last will and testament that at the time of doing thereof the said testator was of sound mind and disposing understanding to the best of their knowledge and belief and that respectively signed the same as witnesses in the presence and at the request of the said testator and in the presence of each other. James Perkins, for Asa C. Whitney Register
In conformity to the foregoing will letter testamentary was granted to Gad and Levi Seaward Executors therein named they having first been sworn well and truly to perform the same exhibit a true inventory and render a just and true account of their whole administration according to law. Given under the seal of the Registers office at Wilkes-Barre the twenty third day of August Anos Domini 1820 for Asa C. Whitney, Register, James Perkins Depy.
Source: Luzerne Co., C.L. Will Book A. p. 246-246, Probated Aug. 25, 1820, or FHL#383431 A, pg. 246 Luzerne Co. PA Will Records.
Here is the Probate Index for Luzerne Co., PA. You will see (click the photo and it will get bigger) that Enos Seward is listed with Levi Seward as his Executor, then the column lists the sureties, in this case Will, then the date of the Bond, Penalty, Inventory, Vendue List, Account. We only have the bond listed and inventory for Enos Seward. We have found the will. So I decided to look for the inventory for Enos Seward. I could have looked for the Bond information but didn’t do that at this time.
Source: Luzerne Co., PA Registrar of Wills, Old registers index 1787-1875 FHL#5544901.
In searching for the Inventory for Enos Seward, I turned to the Orphans Court records. I sought out the Old Orphans’ court index A-W 1787-1875 (FHL#5544896) and sound the “S” but I did not find anything in the index referencing the Inventory for Enos. Amos Seward was listed, but I will discuss him later.
So I went to the earliest film reel that was in the time period for Enos Seward’s inventory dated 16 September 1820. I looked through the film Orphans’ Court Dockets V. 1, 1787-1821 (5544896) and found that pages were missing 519 and 520 of the book.
So I failed finding the inventory for Enos Seward. This means that one might have to go to the Courthouse in Luzerne in Wilkes-Barre and seek out the case file for Enos Seward to see if papers are filed for all the estate proceedings. I have not done that at this time. I would also like to state that I am not as familiar with the procedures for estates in Luzerne County and therefore a visit to the courthouse would be good idea, but I have no plans for doing so at this time. At the courthouse I could get help and probably look at the court clerk books that would reveal more information.
The other issue was partition deeds of Enos Seward to his heirs for his land in Luzerne Co. I have not found these in the Luzerne Deed Book Indexes for Grantor and Grantee and I am puzzled by it. It might be in the Claimants records at the Pennsylvania Archives? The dates for the deeds, seem to jump around and there is no et. al. that usually signifies a partition deed (where the heirs sell the land of their ancestor to each other or some other interested party). Maybe when I start studying the children, especially Gad and Levi, I may find what I am looking for. We will see.
So this will of Enos Seward’s is important because it tells us who the children are for Enos and Sarah. It also implies that Sarah is still living at the time of Enos’ death.