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"The Spirit of Democracy"
Friday, 1 Jul 1983, Page 5
VAN BUSKIRK-BUSKIRK AND FOGGIN - 1st Installment
The deeds help to fill in some spaces too - Deed Book D. shows that Samuel Buskirk and Charity, his wife sold land to James Foggin which had been granted by letters patent to Samuel Buskirk in 1812, except that sold to John Buskirk by deed of 1830. This is part of a burned record book, but it shows that the land was in T.3, R.4 - other deeds by Samuel & Charity convey land in S.6, T.3, R.4 - so the patent was also to land in S.6. John Buskirk and Mary, his wife sold land in 1829 to Conrad DeVaul - he was from Green Co. PA too - maybe Mary was nee DeVaul - a clue not to be overlooked.
Samuel Buskirk is buried in the McIntyre Cemetery (this is Samuel, Jr.) his tombstone shows that he died Aug. 10, 1876, aged 79 years, 5mos., 29 days, which would give a calculated birth of circa Feb. 11,1797 - another bit of information to add to Samuel Sr.'s family group sheet. Hardesty's History confirms this information as that source states that Samuel D. Buskirk was born in 1797, from Greene Co., PA to Monroe Co., Ohio 1809 (which fits in with Mary's statement that she was married in Wetzel Co., VA in 1808) and died Aug. 10, 1876, which matches up with his tombstone. Hardesty also says that he was married to Martha Williams.
Ms. Craig was particularly interested in the parentage of Wm. Buskirk's wife/wives, as it appears he was married twice. Marriage records are not available before 1867 in Monroe Co. - so it is extremely difficult to come by this type of information. Sometimes the civil suits will fill these gaps for you too, and I hit pay dirt in the search for Ms. Craig. Jane Foggin, plaintiff, in a suit files for dower on Mar. 10, 1841, named as defendants James Foggin, Jane Haley, ELIZABETH BUSKIRK & WILLIAM her husband, Ellen Gaston and George, her husband, Jane Foggin, widow of Wm. Foggin deceased, Thomas Foggin, Robinson Foggin, and Elizabeth Foggin, the last three named being minors. It is logical to assume that the last three were children of Wm Foggin, deceased. Now one needs to know where to hunt to see if the case ever came to trial, and the disposition of it. One also needs to know a few legal terms too - in this instance, "suit for dower." A woman's portion of her husband's estate was termed her dower. If she had to sue for it, obviously, (1) her husband was deceased, and (2) he left no will, and (3) the defendants were heirs of her husband - they could also be her heirs, but here one needs to go slowly, as a 2nd wife, & not necessarily the mother of the other heirs, could be suing for dower.
This particular suit would be indexed as Jane Foggin vs. James Foggin, et al. Now how would one know that the identity of a Mrs. Wm. Buskirk would be revealed in a suit filed that way - you would not, and probably could not find it, without a page by page hunt through these extant records, and with the name of Foggin, you would not even know where to begin to look. That is why my books are valuable, in that I have done much page by page transcribing of these records, and with an every name index, the job is easier. This suit came to trial at the Sept. term of court, 1842, and in that Jane represents that her husband, THOMAS FOGGIN, late of said county of Monroe departed this life on or about the day.., 1840 (this is verbatim I suppose the clerk forgot to get the whole day and month.) leaving her and the defendants as his legal heirs, that Thomas Foggin, during coveture with your petitioner (this means during the time he was married to her) was seized of an estate of inheritenance of NE-1/4 of S.16, T.3, R.4 containing 160 acres. She wanted her dower right assigned on that piece of property, so it could not be sold off to divide among the other heirs, or any creditors of the estate.
The term "seized of an estate of inheritance" is intriguing, as most persons owned land in fee simple - this might indicate that the deceased Thomas Foggin did not have clear title to it when he died, but that it was still tied up in a prior generation's estate. Every word in the records, especially in Monroe Co., must be considered in that they may contain possible clues. You probably can't find a marriage record for Jane -- to Thomas Foggin, but these records will show that such a marriage existed, simply because she was filing for dower (which is a wife's right) and the record shows that "during coveture with petitioner" Thomas Foggin had certain rights to a piece of property. Therefore, although no marriage record exists, one now knows that Wm. Buskirk was married at least in 1841 to Elizabeth Foggin.
I came into contact with Mr. Townley because he wanted to know the name of a Mrs. Samuel Hurd in the 1850 census (He believes that this particular Samuel was the son of Wm. & Mary Hurd, and not Samuel and Elizabeth Hurd). By method of transcribing these court records page by page, I had come across a will that named Mrs. Samuel Hurd (Louisa) as a daughter - but here again, not knowing the maiden name - which was what he was seeking anyway - he would have no idea of where to hunt for a will that would name her, nor in what time frame to hunt for it. As you can see, research in a "burned" county such as Monroe can be exceedingly difficult but not always impossible.
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"The Spirit of Democracy"
Friday, 20 Jan 1984, Page 4
FOGGIN - 2nd Installment
FOGGIN - In July of 1983 in this column I wrote about Elizabeth Buskirk, wife of Wm. who was listed as a defendant in a suit to settle up the estate of a person named Foggin. Mrs. Willa M. Craig of 951 17th Ave. #65, Longmont, Colorado 80501, asked me to try and find out more about this suit in which her ancestor was named. There are many references to a James Foggin who was also a defendant in the same suit, so with the scarcity of records available in Monroe Co. one must just "jump in" and start looking.
I finally found one that seemed to fit, as the next possible generation, it is in Deed Book A and was dated 27 Dec. 1838 - Thomas Foggin to Jane and her three children, Elizabeth, Thomas and Robinson Foggin of Monroe Co. for $50.00 the NE Corner of S.16, T.3, R.4 ..... containing 41 acres. Since Jane Foggin and her three children were also listed as defendants in the above suit, I felt that I was on the right track. This Jane Foggin was the widow of a deceased William Foggin (who obviously had died by 1838 and just as obviously an older Thomas Foggin was still alive.) So adding this bit of information to the information contained in the above suit, Thomas Foggin was the father of Wm., deceased, therefore, also the father of the other defendants in the suit, which was brought by another Jane Foggin for dower, so she obviously was the widow of Thomas Foggin, Sr. Jane's suit was brought in 1841, and Thomas was selling land in 1838, so sometime in that interim, he must have died. So we have at least learned that there were two Janes involved in this story, and I also learned that a Jane Haley, another defendant in the suit, was a dau. of Thomas Foggin too, however, by 1841, her husband too had died, since he was not mentioned in the suit.
Another deed was from Mary Hudson to Thomas Foggin heirs, it was dated Nov. 30, 1840, and was for 40 acres in R.4, T.3, S.10 (and near that which Thomas had sold to his dau.-in-law, see above.) However, it was very frustrating to check out the reference only to find that the sellers were only listed as "Thomas Foggin heirs," not by individual name. However, the date of sale is Nov. 30, 1840, so the possible date of death for Thomas Foggin can now be shortened somewhat to Dec. 27, 1838 - Nov. 30, 1840.
In the deed of Thomas Foggin to Jane Foggin and her children in 1838, no wife is shown on the deed with him, so he obviously was a widower. However, the suit brought for dower in 1841 by a Jane Foggin against Thomas's heirs, is proof that he had her as a second wife. In her petition for dower, the suit states that she had requested her dower, but the other heirs had refused to allow it to be set off to her. So judging from the dates of a possible death for Thomas, and the fact that he was a widower in Dec. 1838, this second wife was probably only married to him for about a year. Perhaps the other heirs thought that such a short marriage did not entitle her to any of the estate, or perhaps Thomas did not leave her much, at any rate, as legal wife, she was entitled to dower - 1/3rd of the estate under the law. Sometimes widows went to court and chose to take under the law (1/3 as dower) or under the will (whatever the husband left them) and if they did not receive much under the will, they chose "to take under the law" thereby assuring themselves of 1/3 of the property.
The Foggins sold quite a bit of property, according to deed records - most of it in Range 4, Township 3, and in Range 3, Township 2 - to Wm. Meyers, George Lapp; to Joshua B. Hurd; to Henry Syckes; to Samuel Buskirk; from Elizabeth Howell; to Abner Howell; to James Atkinson, and I also found a land patent to James Foggin from the USA, 19 Jul 1824, R.3, T.2, S.34 - E-1/3 NE. But I never did find out how Thomas Foggin, Sr. acquired this property "Though an estate of inheritance." A few more times in the court house might answer that question, or determine just who was the original owner of the property which was the subject of Jane's suit against the other heirs in 1841. Another interesting deed which answered some of the questions was from Thomas Foggin to Jane Haley, April 9, 1846. (This could not be Thomas Foggin, Sr. as he was deceased by Nov. 1840, so it must have been the Thomas, son of Jane and William Foggin.) The land in question was 40 acres of SW of SE, and at the sale, he had a wife named Elizabeth - it goes on to say that for $50.00 Thomas and Elizabeth his wife have, for $50.00, released and quit-claimed all estate, title and interest in SW-1/4 of SE-1/4 of S.17, T.??, R.4 containing 40 plus acres, also a small part of the NW corner of ... /4 of NW-1/4 of S.16, T.??, R.4, supposed to contain 4 acres, part ... lately sold to John Fulton by the heirs of Thomas Foggin deceased.
In trying to come up with another piece of evidence to add more weight to the names of defendants ... in Jane Foggin ... dower in 1841 I tried to find the record of the sale.
to be continued .........
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"The Spirit of Democracy"
Friday, 27 Jan 1984, Page 5
I looked through the first deed index, which goes to about 1852, but could find no record of a sale to John Fulton by Foggin heirs. So I went back through the index again looking for a sale by "et als." to a John Fulton, and this time I found what I was looking for, however, the first seller was "George Gaston et al." So you can see how difficult it is to find anything in the Monroe Co., records. You cannot look just for the name Foggin - George Gaston and Ellen, his wife, were among the defendants sued by Jane Foggin for her dower rights, therefore, Ellen Gaston had been nee Foggin - See how one has to work to find maiden names of women in Monroe Co.? This presents a special challenge to me, and worth all the effort, when you finally crack such a puzzle.
Robinson Foggin was married by 1848, as I found a deed from him and his wife, Eliza Jane.
The Journals of the Court of Common Pleas help to determine the time when Thomas Foggin made an intention to become a citizen. However, their early "intent records" do not give much information. Thomas is lumped in with a group of people who probably came to the court house on the same day in the Sept. term, 1833 to swear, severally, that it was bonafide their intention to become citizens of the United States. Generally after filling an intent a man had to wait for five years before he could go back and renounce his allegiance to a former king, potentate or principality, and take the oath of citizenship to become a citizen of the United States. Since he did not die until sometime prior to Nov. 1840, in all likelihood, he did return when the time was proper. If one could find that entry, he might at least learn the country from which Thomas Foggin had come - my hunch would be that he was Irish - but such a search would involve almost a page by page check for several years to try to come up with that information.
One of Thomas's sons, James Foggin was a minister, as the Journal records show that he made application for a license to solemnize marriages, being a regularly ordained minister of the Christian Church. His license was issued for as long as he remained such a minister of such a church.
I also found that at the April term of court, 1842, James Foggin, executor of Thomas Foggin, made his accounting. The personal property amounted to $410.52, with debts, left in the hands of the executor. The sum of $312.09 was ordered by the court to be paid according to the last will and testament of the testator (Thomas Foggin). So this proves now that Thomas did have a will, but since all probate records prior to July, 1867 burned, there is no way now to know how he wrote his will. Also at the April term, 1842, in the suit of Jane Foggin vs. James Foggin et al, the court ordered that the sheriff assign dower to Jane Foggin, widow of Thomas Foggin, late of this said county, deceased. One full equal 3rd part of real estate in NE-1/4 of S.16, T.3, R.4, containing 160 acres, except 41 acres which was sold to Jane Foggin and her children. If one had found this record first the two Janes would have been most confusing, but by adding together the other bits and pieces, the 2nd Jane was a step-daughter-in-law of the 1st Jane.
A final piece of the puzzle was found by me, while copying records from the Court of Common Pleas to use for a possible volume to my series on the County. On the 6th day of the Oct. term, (which counts out to Saturday, Oct. 31, 1840) I found the notation that the last will and testament of Thomas Foggin, late of this county, deceased, was brought to court for probate. William Williams and Thomas Foggin were two of the subscribing witnesses. James Foggin was to be executor, and bond was set in the sum of $600. I think bonds were set on a percentage of the property involved, but since I don't know the exact law of the time, I cannot guess at the amount of property involved, at least it was more than $600.00. Samuel Buskirk and David Syckes and George Davis were named as the appraisers of the personal property of the deceased.
Since his will was brought to court Oct. 31, 1840, Thomas Foggin probably died a very short time before that date. Generally wills were brought to court immediately after the funeral - sometimes special courts were held just for this purpose, so that the heirs did not have to wait until the next term of court to proceed with the disposal of the property.
I suppose it might be possible to ... every deed sold by Thomas Foggin prior to 1838 (when he had no wife) in order to find one with a first wife's name also, but that might take hours and hours of research in the court house. As it was, I spent one whole day on this search, but I had some prior information of how to proceed on the search. Therefore, I guess the moral to this column is to find everything you can from family tradition, census schedules, libraries, and try to piece them together, before starting to head to the court house.
James Foggin died before 1850, and I have information on his wife and heirs too.