Monday, November 25, 2013

Amanuensis Monday - Will of Mary C. Baynard

This is the last will and testament of Mary C. Baynard of Queen Anne's County, Maryland. While the will clearly states a date of 1873, the rest of the estate papers are from 1857. I haven't figured out what the difference in dates means yet. The will and estate papers are available on

From the estate papers, Mary was the daughter of James Baynard, so it appears that she did not marry. She leaves her estate to her nephew, Stephen Jump and her sister Elizabeth Bradley.

   In the name of God amen, I Mary C. Baynard of Queen Anns County in the state of Maryland being in good health of body, and sound disposing mind memory and understanding, considering the certainty of death and the uncertainty of the time thereof, and being desirous to settle my worldly affairs and thereby be the better prepared to leave this world when it shall please God to call me hence, do therefore make and publish this my last will and testament in the manner and form following that is to say--
   Item First: Principally I commit my soul in the hands of Almighty God and my body to the earth to be buried at the discretion of my Executor hereinafter named and after my debts and formal charges are paid, I devise and bequeath as follows:
   Item: Second, I give and bequeath unto my sister Elizabeth Bradley, wife of Stephen J. Bradley, note of hand of Charles E. Bradley with interest due thereon.
   Item Third: I give and bequeath unto my nephew Stephen P. Jump, the balance of my estate both real and personal that may be in my possession at the time of my death provided he pays my debts and burial expenses.
   And lastly: I do hereby constitute and appoint my nephew Stephen P. Jump Executor of this my last will and testament, revoking and annulling all former wills by me heretofore made, ratifying and confirming this and none other to be my last will and testament.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my seal this Twenty fifth day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand eight-hundred and seventy three.
Signed sealed published and delivered by Mary C. Baynard the above named, testatrix for her last will and testament in the presence of us who at her request, in her presence and in the presence of each other have subscribed our names as witnesses thereto.

Witnesses were Thos W. Hopper and Solomon Pinder.

From the account of her estate, she had quite a bit of real estate, including 292 acres of Hawkins Pharsalia. She also had 300 acres of the Crawford Farm, 286 acres of the Old Farm called Relief, and a wood lot in Caroline County containing 50 acres. The total value of her real estate was $8359.75. Both Hawkins Pharsalia and Relief appear in records for my Councill family, but I don't know if there is a connection between Mary and the Councills yet.

This page of her estate papers names her deceased father, James S. Baynard.

To Do:
  • Investigate the dates. Why are the estate papers dated 1857 while the will states 1873?
  • See if I can find estate papers for her father James Baynard.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Tuesday's Tip - Turning Off the Google+ Auto Enhance Feature

Yesterday, I was trying to add an image to a post and the background color of the image kept changing when it uploaded to Blogger. I was trying to upload this:

But, I kept winding up with this:

What the heck!! I had done this graphic in an Excel spreadsheet, so my first thought was that it was something to do with the background color in there. After several attempts at changing the spreadsheet background color and the graphic background color, I ruled that out as the cause.

Searching for the problem led me to some posts about a change in Google+. According to a Google+ Help Page, "When you add new photos, Auto Enhance makes subtle adjustments (like removing red-eye and improving lighting) to help them look great". The page also said that Auto Enhance is on by default.

To turn the feature off, execute the following steps:

1. Go to your Google+ home page.
2. Hover your mouse over the Home menu in the upper left corner.

3. Select the Settings option.

4. Scroll down to the Photos section and set Auto Enhance to Off. I also unchecked Auto Awesome and checked another box in the Photos section to upload my photos at full size.

OK, so here's the really crazy thing. I was not a member of Google+! In order to change these settings and return Blogger image uploading to normal, I had to enable my Google profile for Google+. After doing this, I went back to the Settings menu, selected Profiles and Privacy and locked down everything I could.

There is an option at the very bottom of the Settings page to disable Google+, but I'm not sure what effect that would have on the settings I changed. I decided to leave it for now, but I'm not at all happy with the way Google forced these new settings and services on us. It would be much more user friendly to default new features to "Off" rather than make users spend a lot of time trying to figure out what changed.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Amanuensis Monday - Estate of Rachel Baynard Todd

The Queen Anne's County Land Commissions record involving the estate of Rachel Baynard Todd contains an unusual amount of information about her family. The land involved is part of Relief and Hawkins Pharsalia in Queen Anne's County, Maryland. I've found several transactions for my Councill family involving Hawkins Pharsalia and I think my 2x great-grandfather Francis Councill may be the son of John Councill and Ann Baynard. I thought this particular record was interesting due to the large number of heirs that are mentioned.

Page 350/Image 357 Book JB 1 Queen Anne's County Land Commissions
The following is from the Queen Anne County Land Commissions, Book JB 1, 1810-1834, images 357-362. The images are available from the site.

Queen Anns County, to wit, Be it remembered that in the second day of November in the year of our Lord, 1827, Thomas B. Cook and Thomas B. Turpin of the said County proffered to the Court here their petition in the following words viz
   To the Honorable the Judges of Queen Anns County Court. We Tho. H. Cook and Tho. B. Turpin represent to your Honours that about the year 1733 Thomas Baynard departed this life leaving the following children his ?, John, George, Thomas, Nathan, Deborah, Rachel & Esther, that his son George departed this life in the year 1758 leaving George & Rachel his legitimate children, to whom he devises certain real estate, that his son George died intestate leaving no child or children & insolvent, that his daughter Rachel intermarried with a certain William Todd of the state of New Jersey whom the said Rachel survived, but died in March 1826 intestate and without heirs & in possession of certain real estate part of Relief & part of Hawkins Pharsalia containing one hundred & eighty five acres which is as devised to her by her father George the son of Thomas. We being one of us a child of a descendant of Nathan the brother of George the elder & the other a descendant of Thomas the brother of George the elder, are of the opinion that we with a number of others are the legal heirs to the said land lying in Tully's Neck in Q.Anns County: the following are a number of persons supposed to be the heirs with ?, Sarah Hardcastle, Mary Hardcastle, Elizabeth Casson, Robert C. Baynard, John Baynard, Nathan Harden, White Turpin and others. We therefore pray your honor to take the subject into consideration and issue a commission to certain persons to have the lands surveyed & report to the Court their proceedings in order that one of the heirs may take the land at their valuation or that it may be sold for the benefit of all concerned.   Nov. 2. 1827

Solomon Scott is appointed guardian to the minors mentioned in the petition. Too bad it doesn't say which ones those are!

The petition is repeated again, but with a longer list of heirs: Sarah Hardcastle, Mary Hardcastle, Elizabeth Casson, Robert C. Baynard, John Baynard, Sarah Baynard, Margaret Baynard, Thomas H. Baynard, Ann Baynard, Ferdinand Baynard, Nathan Harden, White Turpin and others.

The Land Commission is formed and oaths are taken in March 1828. The commission reports back on June 17 1828 that "the said lands could not be divided without loss to all the parties interested for the following reason to wit: that there is not sufficient quantity to divide amongst so many heirs claiming and we did further adjudge and determine the real value of the said lands with the improvements to be seven dollars per acre." It goes on to say that Joseph B. Sparks surveyed the land and his findings were certified. The map below shows his survey of the tract of land.

On May 14, 1829, the "Commissioners proceed to expose to public sale the real estate of the said Rachel Todd having first given twenty days notice in the Centreville times and other public places in the County.  Terms were that $100 be paid on the day of sale and one half of the residue in twelve months thereafter and the balance in two years with interest from the day of sale the purchaser giving bond or notes with approved security."

Solomon Scott was the highest bidder at $4 an acre for a total of $712 on August 11, 1829. Seems like he got a bargain since it was appraised at $7 an acre. Interesting too that he was named the guardian of the minors involved.

Then comes the full list of heirs! Most received $20.40 with a few splitting that amount between them. There is an Ann Baynard in the list, but mine would have been married to John Councill by this date. Some of these are pretty hard to read, but here are my best guesses.

1  Sarah Hardcastle wife of Robert
2  Mary Hardcastle
3  Elizabeth Casson
4  Robert C. Baynard
5  John Baynard
6  Sarah Baynard
7  Margaret Baynard
8  Thomas H. Baynard
9  Ann Baynard
10 White Turpin
11 Ferdinand Baynard
12 Ruth Flanday
13 Nathan Hardin
14 Ann Hodson wife of Stephen Hodson
15 James Glourding
16 Joseph Cook
17 Thomas B Cook
18 Thomas B Turpin
19 Miers? Cassons
20 Elizabeth Wheatley wife of Wm Wheatley
21 Henry Whiteley
22 Elizabeth Thompson
23 Benj A Whiteley
24 John Martin
25 Ann Martin
26 Mary Emmonds
27 Margaret White
28 Thurman?
29-36 Mary Holland and several other Hollands
37 William Davis
38 John Davis
39 Carline Fermington? wife of James Termington

From the information in the land record, I came up with this partial tree for the Baynards:

The land record also tell us that Thomas B. Cook and Thomas B. Turpin are descendants of Nathan and Thomas Baynard. That's quite a lot of information in one record!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Census Sunday - Finding a Nun in the Census Records

In the 1860 census for Patrick Creedan's family, there was an 18 year old female named Julia Creedan living in Clinton County, Ohio. I wondered if she was the daughter of Patrick and possibly the older sister of my 2x great-grandfather Timothy. Julia didn't appear with the family or anywhere in Clinton County, Ohio after 1860, so I didn't know what happened to her.

I finally had a breakthrough when I found Patrick's will from 1883. It stated that Julia was a "religious" in the Sisters of Charity. I contacted the Sisters of Charity in Cincinnati and discovered that Julia had taken the name Sister Mary Felix when she took her vows. They also said that she had worked as a nurse in Colorado and New Mexico. With that information, I had some success locating her in the census and also located her death certificate which said she died in 1918.

In 1870, she was at the Sisters of Charity Motherhouse in Dephi Township, Hamilton County, Ohio. Her name was listed as Creeden Felix.

In 1900, she was working as a nurse at St. Mary's Hospital in Pueblo, Colorado.  I think Julia's birth date was July 1, 1842, while this says Feb 1843. The name, location, and occupation are correct for her, but the year of immigration says 1873 and it says that she had been in the US for 27 years. Timothy's daughter Julia settled in Pueblo and I wonder if her Aunt Julia had any influence on that.

In 1910, she was working as a sewing teacher at a parochial school in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This census gave her year of immigration as unknown. She was 67 by then, so I'm guessing maybe nursing had become too strenuous. As far as I know, she is the first career woman in my Creeden family. Her grand-niece Mary Mae Creeden McNamee was a devout Catholic and a nurse, but may not have even known about Julia.

There were some curious codes in the last column of the 1910 census which made no sense. The last columns are for Farm Schedule, Survivor of the Civil War, blind, and deaf and dumb.

I found an explanation for the codes on Steve Morse's site. It turns out that the last columns were often used for occupation codes and the ones for Julia matched the occupation for a teacher.

I still haven't found Julia in the 1880 census. In some census records, I found that they only listed the first names for the nuns, so there are lots of entries for Sister Mary! Knowing Julia's religious name was key to finding her in the other census records.