Monday, October 15, 2012

Amanuensis Monday - Probate Records for Daniel Spangler (1781-1851) of Mercer County, Pennsylvania

Genea-blogger John Newmark (who writes the excellent TransylvanianDutch blog) started his own Monday blog theme several years 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 probate file of Daniel Spangler (1781-1851) of Perry, Mercer County, Pennsylvania.  Daniel married Elizabeth King (1796-1863) in 1815, and they had ten children:  Anna Katrina Spangler (1816-1816); Anna Maria Spangler (1818-1869); Henry K. Spangler (1820-1820); Elizabeth Spangler (1822-1884); Sarah Elizabeth Spangler (1824-1864); Dorothea Matilda Spangler (1827-1891); Helen Spangler (1831-????); Rebecca Spangler (1832-1901); Louisa Spangler (1839-1883); Margartet Jane Spangler (1841-1871).

Daniel Spangler died intestate, and his probate papers are in File O.S. 1664 in Mercer County, Pennsylvania Orphans Court (not obtained to date).  Benjamin Robinson and John M. Carringer were named Administrators of his estate.  Letters and Bond were filed on 13 August 1851, an Inventory was filed on 6 September 1851, a Real Estate Sale was ordered on 15 September 1851, and an Account was recorded on 25 April 1856 (from Mercer County Estate Index, and Proceedings Index, 1804-1971, Vol. 17, page 74, accessed on in the Pennsylvania Probate Records, 1683-1994 collection for Mercer County, Pennsylvania).

The entry in the Orphans' Court records that describes the real estate sale (Mercer County Orphans Court Docket, 1850-1858, D-E, Volume D, page 93 (image 55 of 684) says:

September Term 1851

Petition of John M. Carringer &
Benjamin Robinson Adm^rs.
Daniel Spangler for leave to
Sell Real Estate 

At an Orphans Court held at Mercer in and for the county of Mercer on the 15^th day of Sept^r A.D. 1851.  The petition of Benjamin Robinson and John M. Carringer, Adm^rs of all & singular the goods and chattels rights & credits of Daniel Spangler dec'd who died intestate, was presented to the said Court, representing that the said intestate died leaving issue eight children to wit:  Mary Ann (now the wife of Joseph M. Caringer), Eliza (now the wife of Benjamin Robinson), Sarah Ellen (now the wife of John M. Carringer), Matilda (now the wife of Wm E. McNight),  Helen Brown (now the wife of John Brown), Rebecca, Louisa, Margaret Jane, the last three of whom are yet in their minority.  That the personal estate is insufficient for the payment & the maintenance of his minor children as by the statement & schedule herewith presented appears, and the said intestate died seized in his demesne as of fee of and in a tract of land, situated in Perry township, Mercer County, Penna.  Bounded on the north by land of Allen Hutchison, East by Beels & Seemons heirs, on the South by land of Sam^l Griffith & on the West by land of Davison's and Beggs being Donation lot No. 929 in the 5th district of donation lands and containing two hundred acres and allowance, and praying the Court to make an order allowing them to make sale of the said messuage and tract of land or so much thereof as may be necessary to pay the debts & maintenance and educate the minors of the said intestate.

Sept. 15 1851 prayer granted and a sale decreed of any portion of the premises within described not exceeding two hundred acres to be laid off by the adm^rs by survey in one or more parcels to suit purchasers, sale to be made on the premises on the 2nd Monday of December 1851 with leave to adjourn to the court house in Mercer on the first day of next term - usual order as to terms and notice - Sept. 15 1851 Bond taken & approved (order issued).

To the Honorable the Judges of the Orphans Court of Mercer County the administrators of Daniel Spangler dec^d respectfully report that in pursuance of the order of Court having complied with all its requirements they sold the land therein mentioned to wit, one hundred acres of the South end of the tract denoted in said order on the 15 Day of Dec. A.D. 1851 at the Court House in the borough of Mercer having given due and timely notice of the time and place of sale and sold the same to John Waugh for the sum of five hundred dollars he being the highest and best bidder and that the highest and best price bidden for the same.

Dec^r 15 1851.  The Court confirm the sale and order and decree that it remain firm and stable forever and direct a deed to be made by the adm^rs to the purchaser on his complying with the terms of sale.

The account of the estate of Daniel Spangler was presented to the Probate Court in the April Term of 1856 (Orphans Court Docket, 1850-1858, D-E, Volume E, page 320, image 503 of 684):.  It says:

April Term 1856
Account of the Estate
Daniel Spangler dec^d

At an Orphans Court held at Mercer in and for the County of Mercer on the 25th day of April 1856.  The Account of Benjamin Robinson and John M. Carringer Administrators of the Estate of Daniel Spangler deceased was presented after having passed the Register in which said Accountants charge themselves with
...................................................................... $ 640.57
And claims credit for ...............................  $ 642.04
(over paid) ..................................................... $  1.47

April 25th 1856 presented and confirmed nise [?] unless exceptions are filed on or before the first day of next term.
August 18. 1856 Confirmed.

In the first document, the eight surviving children of Daniel Spangler are listed - all daughters, including the five with married names).  However, Daniel's wife's name, Elizabeth, is not mentioned for some reason.  My records, based on the Spangler surname book, indicate that Elizabeth died in 1863.  Unfortunately, I have not found an 1860 census record for Elizabeth of her two youngest children, Louisa and Margaret who were unmarried in 1860.

The new information in this record is the land of Daniel Spangler -- 200 acres in Perry township, originally Donation lot number 929.  In order to pay debts, 100 acres was sold in December 1851 to John Waugh for $500.  This calls for investigation into land records in Mercer County!

I found Donation lot 929 on the Perry township Warrantee Map ( - it is in the south central portion of the township, and about one mile from Martin Carringer's Donation lot #941.

Three of the daughters of Daniel Spangler married Carringer men - including my second great-grandmother, Rebecca Spangler who married David Jackson Carringer (1828-1902).

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Copyright (c) 2012, Randall J. Seaver

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