Saturday, November 03, 2012

Another Piece of the Puzzle

On my visit to the Columbiana County Archives and Research Center in Lisbon, Ohio last month I was given two more documents relating to the descendants of Dietrich Hoffman, my 5th great-grandfather. A previous visit (in July 2011) had garnered an article on the legal publication of the Petition for Partition for a portion of the real estate.

Published on September 29, 1832 on page one of The Ohio Patriot, the article lists the heirs of Detrick Hoffman and states that 27 acres in the north west quarter of section 12, township 15, range 3 were involved. Although there were 10 heirs named, the petitioner was requesting his “one-sixth part of said land” indicating that there were only 6 children of Detrick Hoffman still living or deceased with children. (A full transcription can be found in this post).

The parties involved in the Petition were John Hoffman, Samuel Hoffman, Daniel Coler and Elizabeth his wife, John Swarts and Margaret his wife, Henry Hoffman, Samuel Hoffman, Jacob Hoffman, Abraham Hoffman, Samuel Fox, and Edward Rhodes and Sarah his wife.

Through evaluation of various records and information from another researcher, we thought the relationships of the individuals listed in the above Petition were:
  • John, Samuel, Jacob, and Abraham - children of Detrick
  • Elizabeth wife of Daniel Coler, Margaret wife of John Swarts, Henry Hoffman, and Samuel Hoffman - children of Michael & Mary (Coy) Hoffman
  • Samuel Fox and Sarah wife of Edward Rhodes - children of Phillip and Susanna (Hoffman) Fox
One of the things that puzzled me about the above Petition was that only 27 acres of land were being sold. Detrick was in possession of 81 acres of land when he died in March 1826. The answer lies in the documents below...

Columbiana County, Ohio - Common Pleas Journal #6, page 165
August Term AD 1828 1st day 18th

John Hoffman & Jacob Hoffman vs Michael Hoffman, Samuel Hoffman, Abraham Hoffman, Abraham Fox, Samuel Fox, Sarah Fox & Susanna Huffman } Petition for Partition
"The Petition of John Huffman & Jacob Huffman by Mr. Blocksom their attorney presented their Petition for partition of 81 25/100 acres of land being a part of S12. T15. R3. in Columbiana County & produced satisfactory Proof that due & legal notice has been given the parties interested by Publication in the Ohio Patriot. A. W. Loomis Esq is appointed guardian ad litem of for Abraham Fox[,] Samuel Fox & Sarah Fox defendants in this case & Minors, who appears and receives notice and consent to the grantings of the prayer of the Petition, whereupon the Court grant the Petition [smudged word] that a writ of Partition [illegible word] to the Sheriff to proceed and apart [?]..."
It seems there may be a little more to the case on the next page, which I neglected to get... at any rate, the document shows us that Michael Hoffman was still living in August 1828. It also names three minors: Abraham, Samuel and Sarah Fox. The published petition of 1832 listed Samuel Fox as well as  Sarah wife of Edward Rhodes. There was no mention of Abraham. It is likely that he died sometime between the time of the two documents (August 18, 1828 and August 23, 1832). So, it seems, that our original "assessment" regarding the heirs of Detrick Hoffman was correct!

Columbiana County, Ohio - Common Pleas Journal #7, page 53
April Term 1829, 3 day

John Huffman etal vs Michael Huffman etal }
"The Sheriff of the County made return of a writ of sale issued in this case with his proceedings thereon from which it appears that after giving notice as required by the statute of the time & place of sale by advertising & putting up written advertisements he sold the land in said writ mentioned at the Court House in said County on the 26th of January 1829, Except the widows dower mentioned in the writ, to John Fry for Seven Hundred ten dollars & that he brought the money into Court for distribution & thereupon the Court order the said Sheriff, after deducting the costs & expenses, to distribute the money aforesaid to & amongst the parties entitled to receive the same in lieu of their shares & proportions of said land according to their just rights. And said Sheriff here acknowledges in open Court a deed for said land so sold as aforesaid to said Fry."
It appears that John Fry would have purchased 54 acres, with the 27 acres mentioned in the 1832 published Petition being the Widow's Dower.

What these two documents also provide is a better estimate of the date of death of Susannah Hoffman, widow of Detrick. We now know that she was still living in January 1829 when the land was sold to John Fry but had passed away before August 23, 1832 when the Petition for Partition for the remaining 27 acres was dated.

Published under a Creative Commons License.
Becky Wiseman, "Another Piece of the Puzzle," Kinexxions, posted November 9, 2012 ( : accessed [access date])

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