Monday, March 19, 2012

Amanuensis Monday - Special Guardianship in Alpheus B. Smith Estate

Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the excellent TransylvanianDutch blog) started his own Monday blog theme many months ago called Amanuensis Monday. What does "amanuensis" mean? John offers this definition:

"A person employed to write what another dictates or to copy what has been written by another."

The subject today is the administration papers filed on the estate of Alpheus B. Smith (1802-1840) of Medfield, Norfolk County, Massachusetts.  This record is in:

Norfolk County (Massachusetts) Probate Court, "Probate docket books, and record books (1793-1916)," Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, on 142 microfilm reels.  Volume 73, Pages 931-932 (accessed on FHL US/CAN Microfilm 842817), Guardianship, Estate of Alpheus B. Smith, dated first Tuesday of June 1840.

The image of this record is: 

The record of interest is at the bottom of the first page and at the top of the second page.  The transcription of this record is:

Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Norfolk SS. At a Court of Probate holden at Dedham in said County on the first Tuesday of June A.D. 1840.

Application having been made by Elizabeth H. Smith the widow of Alpheus B. Smith late of Medfield in said County yeoman deceased, to have her dower in the real estate of said deceased set off to her, and it appearing that Lucretia T. Smith & James A. Smith of Medfield minors are intrusted in the estate of said deceased.  It is thereupon ordered that Stephen Turner of Medfield be and he hereby is appointed Guardian to said minors for the occasion, and he is hereby authorized and required to represent said minors in all things relating to the assignment of the dower of the said widow in the estate of the said deceased.
S. Leland Judge of Probate

The list of probate records in the probate packet (see Amanuensis Monday - Insolvency Sale of Land of Alpheus B. Smith, posted 17 January 2011) lists this document as "Special Guardianship."

The children of Alpheus B. Smith are minors in 1840 - Lucretia was born in 1828 and James in 1830 - so they need a guardian to watch out for their legal interests as the estate is probated.  This document seems to say the representation of Stephen Turner is only for the settling of the widow's Dower.  

I wonder who Stephen Turner is?  This is the first mention of his name in these proceedings.  He may or may not be acquainted with the family.

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

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