Monday, April 7, 2014

1805 Legal Complaint against my 5th Great Grandmother

To the Honr. Saml. Walton Esq.

Complains Wm. Coffin of Gloucester
that the widow Mary Carter of said
Gloucester holds an Estate belong-
ing to her former husband Levi
Younger formerly of sd. Gloucester, Decd.
that She will neither administer nor ???
the Debts of the sd. Levi Younger
We therefore begs you honor ??  ??
order her to conduct as xxxxxx
you may think proper-  ????
Duty bound wife ever ????

                      Wm Coffin

Glo -  Sept. 2d, 1805

Sept. 2nd 1805
I wrote to Mrs. Carter


from the Salem Gazette, March 11, 1806, page 4
"Notice is hereby given that the subscriber has been duly appointed administratix of the estate of Levi Younger of Gloucester, mariner, deceased, and has taken upon herself that by giving bends, as the law directs.  All persons having demands against the said estate, are requested to exhibit them for settlement - and those indebted to make payments to: Mary Carter, Admin'x
Gloucester, Feb. 4th, 1806"


Levi Younger and Mary (Wotten) (Younger) Carter, both mentioned in the legal complaint above, are my 5th great grandparents.  Levi was born 7 February 1756 in Gloucester, Massachusetts, the son of William Younger and Lucy Foster.  He served in the Revolutionary War as a seaman, and was captured and sent to the prison ship Favorite in New York harbor.  He was later exchanged for a British prisoner and returned to Massachusetts.   He died intestate at some unknown date, and was listed in the Essex County Probate dated 9 October 1806.

Levi married Mary Wotten, daughter of John Wotten and Mary Hall, on 17 July 1784 in Gloucester.  She remarried on 24 October 1801 in Gloucester to John Carter.

Apparently, after the complaint by William Coffin, she served as administratix of Levi's estate and put the notice in the newspaper in March 1806, and the notice of his intestate status was filed in court in October of the same year.  I can see why the complaint was filed.  Apparently Levi died some time before 1801, and William Coffin was probably owed money or services for about five years before all the accounts were finally settled.

UPDATE:  Thanks to Barbara Matthews, reader and fellow genealogist, who reminded me that the Essex County. Massachusetts Probate File Papers 1638 - 1840 are available online at the New England Historic Genealogical Society website (by subscription)- also Middlesex County, Barnstable County, and Worcester County:

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Copyright (c) 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

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