Friday, July 01, 2011

Robert Downing Probate


This is the first of several planned posts on probate. This probate file was obtained in the standard way from the Logan County Circuit Court Clerk.




On June 14, 1887, Robert Downing died. The War of 1812 veteran and one of the earliest settlers in Logan County, Illinois, was 93 1/2 years old. He died without a will. Letters of Administration were not issued to his eldest surviving son, Robert Harden Downing, until January 3, 1888. As he died with little money, no land and two of his daughters were given a lump sum by agreement of all other heirs it would appear he had carefully divested himself of most of his property, probably beginning after the death of his wife Jane Morrow Downing on May 16, 1882.


The heirs of Robert Downing were the four daughters of his deceased eldest son John, son Robert Harden who was the administrator, daughter Mary Downing Roberts, son Lorenzo, son Alexander, the son of his deceased son Henry Clay, daughter Melita Downing Downing [correction added March 23, 2012] daughter Elizabeth Downing Downing, daughter Delilah Downing Downing Shellhammer. One child, Hannah, had died young.


At the time of his death Robert was receiving a pension of $24, apparently per year, for his War of 1812 service. In the estate was an uncashed check for $24 which was characterized as "utterly worthless" as the government refused to pay it.


Daughters Elizabeth and Delilah, the youngest of the children, were given $200 each which all of the other heirs agreed was proper so that they "might equally share the estate." This seems to indicate the others already had their $200 at the time of death. Each heir signed off on the agreement. Their individual affidavits tell us where they were located at the time as well as their name. 


The stone for Robert cost $23.75. I would have to guess this is the "Father" stone at the side of the major stone for Robert and Jane. In the foreground is the War of 1812 marker.






When all was said and done, exclusive of the $400 above, each of the eight heirs received only $53.28. The four daughters of John each received $13.32. Elizabeth died after her father but before the disbursement. Each of her eight children got $6.66.

3 comments:

Amy Emrick said...

Why wasn't Robert's daughter Melita Downing Downing (1834-1907) listed in the probate? She was my husband's great great grandmother. Amy Emrick

Cheryl Rothwell said...

Another daughter was Delilah Downing Downing, my great great grandmother. Three of Robert's daughters married three of Samuel Downing's sons. And DNA now says Samuel and Robert have a common ancestor probably from Ulster about 1700. I'm going guess Judy is your husband's mom and Peggy is his grandmother. I went to school with his aunt Carmen.

Cheryl Rothwell said...

Melita is listed and she signed off. She got $53.28. There is also a receipt with her signature for that money. She's there multiple times. I don't know why I didn't list her.