Obadiah Scott Senior made a will in 1817. The date of probate for his estate is 2 September 1828. Obadiah Scott Senior gets confused with his son Obadiah Scott Jr. because they did die about the same time. Obadiah Scott Sr. died in 1828 in Huntington Twp., Luzerne Co., Pennsylvania, while his son Obadiah Scott Jr. died in Waterford Twp., Washington Co., Ohio 1827.
At Ancestry they have indexed the will as follows:
- Name: Obediah Scott,
- Probate date: 20 March 1817 (the indexer just took the date at the top instead of reading the whole entry)
- Probate Place Luzerne, Pennsylvania,
- Inferred Death Year Abt 1817, death place Pennsylvania –
- Will Index 1787-1918. Taken from Ancestry.com.
I dispute this summary index of Ancestry.com of Obadiah Scott Sr.’s will and probate. Obadiah Scott Sr. wrote the will in 1817 and it was not probated till 1828. Let’s take a look at the records and you can decide.
Here is the index for Wills from Luzerne Co., Pennsylvania. You will find Obadiah almost at the bottom of the page.
If you read the following information in this post, you will see that the will was written in 1817 and then probated in 1828.
I am talking about Obadiah Scott Sr/Elder born 1737 in Waterbury, died 1828 in Huntington Twp., Luzerne Co., Pennsylvania.
Probate does not start till the person dies and the petition for Probate is submitted to the Probate Court. Wills can be written at anytime before probate. Unfortunately, we don’t have a tombstone to verify this date, but I suspect that Obadiah Scott Sr. died sometime about the end of July 1828.
We also don’t have much of an estate file. The online probates for Luzerne Co. at FamilySearch are thin. What I need is an actual estate file folder with all the documents in it, if it survived.
What I do have is the Will of Obadiah Scott, Huntington Twp., Luzerne Co., Pennsylvania, March 20, 1817 from the FamilySearch online files for Luzerne Co., Pennsylvania.
In the name of God Amen, I Obediah Scott of Huntington in the county of Luzerne State of Pennsylvania being in a perfect state of health in body mind and memory I do hereby make this my last will and Testament as follows: viz I bequeath to my much beloved wife Charity all that she brought with her together with one half (with one half crossed out) we have of household furniture accumulated since our marriage. Also one horse saddle and bridle and two cows four sheep if their be any in my possession at my decease allso all the money that I leave in the house after funeral charges are paid allso the provisions of every discription excepting the grain or crops on the ground yet to be harvested which I request my beloved Grand son Nathaniel Goss to hearvest and return one half of the grain to my wife Charity in the barn to be at her disposeal now furthermore I bequeath to my beloved grandson John Scott my oxen (grain crossed out) if any there be at my decease together with all my farming utensils with all trapp guns and tools of every decription that I make use of likewise all my wearing apparel and to my beloved granson Nathaniel Goss one half of the cretures not heretofore mentioned the other half to my well beloved daughter Lucy Watson I further more bequeath to my beloved grandson Nathan Goss all my empty casks grinstones and iron crane and craw hook, with one brass kettle, meaning all casks when empty. I allso make my beloved grandson Nathaniel Goss my sole exator of this my last will and testament if there be anything not contained in this will that I possesed before our last mareage lit it be equally divided between my two daughters Hannah Goss and Lucy Watson. I now renounce all former wills and declar this to be my last will and testament. Witness my hand and seal the day and date above, My meaning is that my wife shall have her choice in the creatures owned or willed to her and all of her wearing apperel of every description. Witness: Elisha Downer, Abiel Fellows. Signed Obadiah Scott.
Luzerne County ss)) The above named Obadiah Scott subscriber to the above will personally appeared before me Abiel Fellows one of the Justices of the Peace in and for Luzerne County and acknowledged the same to be his last will and testament. N.B. Between 11 & 12 line the words houshold Furniture was interlined before the signature, April 12, A.D. 1817 Abiel Fellows.
This will was witnessed by Abiel Fellows in 1817.
Proving the will follows dated 2 August 1828:
Luzerne County ss)) Be it remembered that one the second day of August A.D. eighteen hundred twenty eight before me Charles D. Showalter Register for the Probate of wills and granting letters of Administration in and for the county of Luzerne personally came Arnold Colt who being duly sworn doth depose and say that he is well acquainted with the handwriting of Elisha Downer & Abiel Fellows having frequently seen them write their names and to the best of his knowledge and belief the names Elisha Downer & Abiel Fellows to the annexed instrument subscribed as witnesses is of the proper hand of the said Elisha Downer and Abiel Fellows.
Luzerne County ss)); Be it remember that on the second day of August A.D. eight hundred and twenty eight before one Charles D. Showalter Register for the probate of wills and the writing letters of administration in and for the County of Luzerne personally came Jesse Fell who being duly affirmed doth say that he is well acquainted with the handwriting of Elisha Downer & Abiel Fellows having frequently seen them write and that to the best of his knowledge and belief the name Elisha Downer & Abiel Fellows to the annexed instrument subscribed a witness is of the proper handwriting of the said Elisha Downer & Abiel Fellows
In conformity to the foregoing will letters testamentary were granted to Nathaniel Gofs Executor therein named he having been duly sworn truly to administer the goods and chattles rights and credits of the said Testator and make a true and perfect inventory thereof and exhibit the same into the Register’s office at Wilkes-Barre in one month and to render a true account calculated and reckoning of his whole administration in one year according to law. Given under the seal of the Register’s office at Wilkes-Barre this second day of September A.D. 1828.
Source: Luzerne Co., Book A, page 314, Will presented to Abiel Fellows JP in 1817, Probated Sept. 2, 1828.
We see that Nathaniel Goss Jr. is made the Executor. It is interesting that Nathaniel Goss has one month to produce an inventory and then a year to do a final settlement. None of these documents are mentioned in the index.
What we see above is that Obadiah Scott makes his grandson Nathaniel Goss Executor. This is the son of Nathaniel Goss and Hannah Scott born in 1785. He also gives to Nathaniel several bequests. Obadiah gave another grandson named John Scott a bequest. I believe him to be the son of Jesse Scott and Amy Evans who went to Ohio. Obadiah also gives his two daughters a bequest: Hannah Goss and Lucy Watson. This means that Hannah Scott Goss was alive at this time, the wife of Nathaniel Goss. It also means that Lucy is alive and she married a Watson.
We see that he, Obadiah Scott Sr., makes sure that his wife Charity is taken care of. He does not mention Hannah which implies that she died before his will or something happened to their marriage. It is quite possible that Hannah had died years before, we just don’t have the facts. We know that Charity appears in the 1800 US Census on her own but then she disappears from the census in 1810, 1820 and 1830.
In the Wyoming Herald (Wilkes-Barre, PA) on 1 May 1829, and again on 24 April 1829, Friday, page 2 and another announcement dated earlier on 17 April, 1829, we find this reference to Obadiah’s estate. This is a requirement of the probate, that these announcements are published at least three times.
Estate of Obadiah Scott, dec’d
All Persons indebted to the Estate of Obadiah Scott, late of Huntington Township, deceased, are requested to make immediate payment: and all those who have just demands against said Estate, are desired to present them legally attested for settlement. Nathaniel Goss, Executor. Huntington, April 6, 1829 4w-32.
This newspaper announcement tells me that Nathaniel Goss Jr. was doing his job as Executor of Obadiah’s will. Maybe there is an estate file at the courthouse.
If you go back and take a look at the 1820 US Census you find a listing for Obadiah Scott Sr. Enumeration Date August 7, 1820
Free White Persons – Males – 10 thru 15 – 1
Free White Persons – Males – 45 and over – 1 – Obadiah would be 83 years old.
Free White Persons – Females – 45 and over – 1 – we do not know who this female might be.
Number of Persons – Engaged in Agriculture – 1
Free White Persons – Under 16 – 1
Free White Persons – Over 25 – 2
Total Free White Persons – 3
Total All Persons – White, Slaves, Colored, Other – 3
Here is an interesting comment made in a letter by a descendant of Obadiah Scott Sr.
Letter of Miss Kunkle to a Sara in 1939: “She and this Mary Kimble GOSS were both cared for in grandfather GOSS’ home. The latter lived to be within a few days of a hundred years of age. Grandmother said she would gladly taken care of her though a few extra days if she could only have rounded out the century. Obadiah Scott lived to be almost a hundred too, so you see, Sara, what I am up against. (Note Miss Kunkle recently (1939) died in Philadelphia).” Sincerely, Anna E. Kunkle.
Who is Anna Kunkle, well here parents where Marietta Goss and Major Wesley Kunkle. Her grandparents where Nathaniel Goss Jr. and Thankful Forbes. Her greats were Nathaniel Goss Sr. and Hannah Scott. Lastly her great greats were Obadiah Scott and Hannah Howe.
See Paul H. Goss “Goss Family” Manuscript which is accessible at the FamilySearch website for viewing the full letter.
In Summary: I believe that Obadiah Scott Sr. died about July/August of 1828 and is buried in an unmarked grave in the Scott Cemetery in the area known as the Twin Knolls. Something happened to the tombstones. They were either broken and removed or vandalized, because Nathaniel Goss Jr. would not neglect his grandparents. This is based on my knowledge of him (see my past posts about him on this blog). We don’t have proof of a stone but maybe there is an estate file at the Luzerne County Courthouse that might reveal more information. I give you these sources to prove my view of the death of Obadiah Scott Sr. and let you decide.
- Census of 1820 has Obadiah Scott age 45 and over for a male. In future posts we will learn that his son Obadiah Scott Jr. left about 1810 for Ohio.
- The Will in the court clerks book has the date of March 20, 1817 by the will with an appearance of Obadiah in front of Abiel Fellows on April 12, 1817 a Justice of the Peace.
- The Probate is given as starting on 2 September 1828 per the index of the court clerk books, not Ancestry’s index.
- Nathaniel Goss Jr. is made Executor and publishes three announcements in the local newspaper as per probate rules specifically stating the location as Huntington Twp. – Wyoming Herald.
- The letter dated 1939 of Miss Anna Kunkle about the age of Obadiah Scott being almost 100. In 1828 he would be 91 years old. Granted, Miss Kunkle is a great great granddaughter and a great deal of time has passed since Obadiah’s death. She was close to her grandmother Thankful Forbes Goss in her life. Anna was born in 1859 and was about 10 years old at the time.
In the next posts we will learn about Obadiah Scott Sr.’s marriages and his children.