Titus Seward had a will which was probated 20 May 1851. This will is available at FamilySearch online.
Will of Titus Seward pg 450 Luzerne Estate Files Will Book Vol. B-C 1839-1863. Titus died in April so it was about a month later that the will was taken to Wilkes-Barre.
In the name of God Amen, I Titus Seward of Fairmount Township, Luzerne County, and State of Pennsylvania being sick and weak in body, but of sound mind, memory and understanding (praised be God for it) and considering the certainty of death, and the uncertainty of the time thereof and ___ the end I may be the better prepared to leave this world, whenever it shall please God to call me hence do therefore make and declare this my last Will and Testament in the manner following, that is to say: First and principally I commend my soul into the hands of Almighty God my Creator hoping for free pardon and remission of all my Sins and to enjoy everlasting happiness in the heavenly Kingdom through Jesus Christ my Savior, my body I commit to the Earth at the discretion of my Executors hereinafter named..
I will that all my just debts as shall be by me owing at my death together with my funeral expenses and all charges touching the proving of or otherwise concerning this my Will. I shall in the first place Will to Titus Seaward Son of Elmer Seaward the East part of the tract taken up by John Rodes, commencing at a pair of bars East of the House, thence a Northerly direction to the Wall, the East side of the Peach Orchard, thence along the said Wall a Northerly course to intersect the North line of said tract all the East part from said line that together with the rise of the improvements of this place for which the said Titus Seaward is to support Grandfather and Grandmother while on the place. Also Thomas Seaward Son of Elmer Seaward Twenty Six acres off of the North line commencing at the corner of Truman Morris joining lands of B. Calendar to the Creek, down the Creek to leave the Creek to the East running a Southerly course for enough o make twenty-six acres, thence West until it comes to line of Truman Monroe. Also Thomas Stephens Two Hundred and Seventy five Dollars in order to make him equal with property with Grandsons R. Franklin and John Coughlin. The remainder of the property is to be divided equally among the Heirs of the land not to be sold under four years after my decease, and I make and ordain Charles Denison and Thomas Stephens Executors of this my last Will and Testament, Titus Seward (Seal)
Signed and sealed and acknowledged by the testator in the presence of the subscribers of his last Will and Testament. Barnabus Callendar, Gilbert Callendar
To Hugh Well Register and Recorder of Luzerne County. You will hereby take notice that I decline to act as one of the Executors of last Will and Testament of Titus Seaward late of Fairmount dec’d. Charles Denison in renunciation see Will. Wilkes-Barre May 20, 1851.
Page 451 – Luzerne County SS: Be it remembered that on this 20 day of May Anno Domini 1851 personally appeared before the subscriber Register for the probate of Wills etc. for said County Barnabas Callendar and Gilbert Callendar who being severally duly sworn depose and say that they saw Titus Seward the Testator to the foregoing Will sign his name thereto, and heard him pronounce it as and for his last Will and Testament, and that they signed their names as Witnefses to the same, and at the time of his the said Testators signing the same, he was of sound mind, memory and understanding to the best of their knowledge and belief. Hugh Well, Register
Luzerne County SS: In conformity to the foregoing Will and probate thereof. Letter Testamentary was this day granted to Thomas Stephens (Charles Denison having decline) one of the Executors in said Will named, he first having been truly sworn well and truly to Administer the Goods and Chattels of said decedent make a true and perfect Inventory thereof, and exhibit the same into the Registers Office at Wilkes Barre in one month from date, and a final settlement and reckoning of his whole Administration in one year or when thereto legally required. Given under the hand of the Register and Seal of Office at Wilkes Barre this 20th May 1851, Registered May 20, 1851 – Hugh Well, Register.
We turn now to the Orphan’s Court records for Titus Seward taken from the index of those court records and also available at FamilySearch online.
- Order of Sale 1853 – Vol. 5 page 1_7 – there is a piece of tape covering the entries and I cannot read it for the page number.
- Affdvt to Stay Sale Vol. 5 page 398 1854 – Estate of Titus Seaward dec’d. – Thomas Stevens 2nd as Executor of the Estate of Titus Seaward dec’d being duly sworn according to Law doth depose and say that the Sale of the Real Estate of Titus Seaward dec’d by the Sheriff of Luzerne County would occasion great sacrifice in the same. That said property has been advertised on two different times. That the first time the property was bid unto nearly its value but not stricken down because the handbill were not put up in time and the second time owing to notices given by third parties in regard to the title there were no bids. Your opponent is now willing to sell said property as soon as the legal notice can be given and your opponent believes that the property would bring more at sale upon the premises than at Sheriff’s sale in Wilkes Barre and he would ask that the Shff’s sale be stayed that he be permitted to sell at Orphans court. Sworn and Subscribed before me this April 4th 1854 (Signed) Thomas Stevens.
A. Curtis Prot by S. Downing. Sheriffs sale stayed and peremptory ordered by the Court, Order Exit.
3. Petn of Sale confirmed 1854 Vol. 5 page 461 – Estate of Titus Seaward dec’d. Return of Sale of Real Estate confirmed visi 11 September 1854.
4. Report of Sale 1855 Vol. 5, page 496 – Estate of Titus Seaward dec’d Report of Sale – Thomas Stevens 2nd Executor of Titus Seaward makes return That after giving due timely and public notice of the time and place of Sale of the Real Estate of the said Titus Seaward dec’d and sold what is called the Saw Mill Lot supposed to contain Seventy five acres to Armi Harrison for the sum of Sixty cents per acre, the amount to be ascertained by a Survey of the premises, he being the highest and best bidder, and that the highest and best price bidden for the same. And that he sold a portion of the old Homestead being the lot first described in said notice and the part sold supposed to be Sixty acres to William Hillinger for the sum of Sixty cents per acre, the amount to be ascertained by an accurate Survey of the same. The said William Hillinger being the highest and best bidder, and that the highest and best price bidden for the same, and the balance of the homestead sold in two pieces to Joseph Moss one part thereof supposed to contain Fifty acres, at One dollar and two cents per acre, and the balance about Sixty acres, for the Sum of Two Dollars and twenty one cents per acre the amount of both pieces to be ascertained by actual Survey of the Same. Joseph Moss being the highest and best bidder for the Same. And that the he sold at the first sale the piece of land last described in said advertisement unto Washington Saylor for the Sum of Thirteen dollars and fifty cents, he being the highest and best bidder and that the highest and best price bidden for the same. Filed and confirmed visi November 11, 1854, Confirmed absolutely January 13th, 1855.
5. Account Confirmed 1855 Vol. 6 page 192 – The following Administrators Accounts to filed examined and confirmed visi April 17, 1856 – Estate of Titus Seward dec’d. Account of Thomas Stevens ext Visi.
6. Auditor Appointed 1856 vol. 6 page 200 – 19 April 1856 Estate of Titus Seward dec’d. April 19th 1856 Court appoint E. P. Darling Auditor to distribute the assets of said Estate among the Creditors – Certificate Exit – April 29th 1856.
7. Auditors Report Conf’d 1857 Vol. 6 pge 264 – 10 Nov. 1856 Estate of Titus Seaward, dec’d – Now 10th Nov. 1856 Auditors report filed and confirmed visi – Confirmed absolutely by the Court 17 January 1857.
8. Further time allowed 1857 Vol. 6 pg 345 – 21 April 1857 – Estate of Titus Seward, dec’d Now April 21 1857 [confinuation] stricken off and report returned to Auditor for correction. Now 17 August 1857 Court grant Auditor further time to report in the matter of the reference back of a prior report to him.
9. Exceptions Sustained 1858 Vol. 6 page 405 – 9 Nov 1857 Estate of Titus Seward dec’d. Now Nov. 9, 1857 Amended Auditor’s Report filed & confirmed visi – Exeptions filed 10 Nov. 1857 by V.S. Maxwell Esq. Atty &c. Now March 26, 1858 Opinion of the Court on Exceptions to Report of Auditors filed – Exceptions sustained as far as appear’d in opinion.
The following two reports are in the Old Account Index and I have not been able to find this online at Family Search.
- Auditors Report 1857 Old Acct Vol. 1 page 640
- Auditors Report 1857 Old Acct Vol. 2 pg. 119
The local newspapers (Newspapers.com) had rather interesting tidbits of Titus Seward’s land dealings and large his estate process:
- This happened in 1848 before his death: Auditor’s Notice – The undersigned, the auditor appointed by the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County to distribute the money arising from the sale by the Sheriff of real estate of Titus Seward, will attend to the duties of said appointment at his office in the borough of Wilkesbarre, on Wednesday the 17th day of May 1848 at 3 o’clock P.M. which time and place all persons are required to make their claims before said auditor, or he debarred from coming in upon said fund F.J. Leavenworth, Wilkesbarre, April 19, 1848 4t. Auditor. (Note there were actually two of these notices about a month apart.) April 26, 1848, May 10, 1848 in the Luzerne Union. This means that the Court of Common Pleas will need to be studied to find out what happened. These are not online at this time.
- Administrators’ Notice – Letters of Administration upon the estate of Titus Seward, deceased, late of Fairmount township, Luzerne county, PA., have been granted to Tho’s Stephens, 2d. Notice is hereby given to all persons indebted to said estate to make immediate payment, and all persons having demands against the same are requested to present them duly attested for settlement to Thomas Stephens, 2d of Fairmount, Administrator, or to Charles Denison, Wilkesbarre. December 11, 1851 – 4 6 wpd. The Wilkes-Barre Advocate Jan 14, 1852, page 1.
- The True Democrat on July 13, 1853 page 2 had an article Orphan’s Court Sale – of the Real Estate of Titus Seward, late of the township of Fairmount, in Luzerne Co. – Held Saturday the 30th day of July 1853 at 10 o’clock AM. and then it describes the property. This is repeated again Wed Oct 5, 1853 page 3 with another piece of land.
- The Luzerne Union on Wed.Mar 29, 1854 page 2 about land in Fairmount – seized and taken in execution at the suit of George Bowman against Thomas Stephens, Executor of Titus Seward, dec’d. Abram Drum, Sheriff – March 8, 1854.
- The Auditor’s notice – Estate of Titus Seward Thursday 20 May 1856 about claims etc. E. P. Darling Auditor May 7, 1856. Another notice May 28, 1856 Page 3 page 3 – Luzerne Union newspaper.
- Final account of H.S. Stephens Executor of the Estate of Titus Seward, late of Fairmount, deceased filed March 10, 1856. In the Luzerne Union on Weds. Mar 26, 1856 page 3.
Well, I think that there were some issues going on regarding land, taxes and more with Titus Seward. Thomas Stevens/Stephens was probably the son-in-law who married
Martha Caroline a daughter. Thomas also seemed to be having trouble with the estate as well. We would only know for sure if we could get to the Court of Common Pleas records and find the Estate file, if it survived. The Estate file has all the original papers of the probate and is separate from the court clerks records in the big court books. So I don’t feel that the research on Titus last days is yet complete. So please keep that in mine.
In the next post, I will discuss the children of Titus Seward and Clarrisa Forbes, which have some interesting findings.