Sunday, March 15, 2015

Anthony Leffel's Will and Probate, part 3

David Miller Leffel Heirs

Of special interest to the descendants of David Miller Leffel, is page 4 of the Distribution of the Will in the previous post on Anthony Leffel's Will part 2.  Since David Miller Leffel died prior to his father, all of his heirs are mentioned in the will of their grandfather, Anthony Leffel.

All of David's children moved to Texas except for the oldest son, William Jefferson Leffel, who lived in Miami County, Ohio.  William was given Power of Attorney by his siblings to act in their behalf in the estate of their grandfather.  This created all kinds of documents back and forth between the heirs in Texas and the administrator of the estate in Ohio.  Below is just one example of a receipt found in the probate file.  This receipt shows that "George L. Leffel one of the children of David M. Leffel, deceased late of Texas" received his final distribution of his share of the estate through his brother, William J. Leffel, acting as his attorney in fact.

Prior to finding this probate file, David's daughter, Sarah Ann Leffel had been a mystery.  She was listed in the 1850 Census in Champaign County, Ohio with her parents, but that had been the only record I had of her until she showed up in her grandfather's will.  Once I found her married name, I was able to locate her marriage record in Grayson County, Texas.  The name on her marriage record was different -- Elizabeth S. A. Leffel instead of Sarah Ann Leffel.  Probably one of the reasons she had remained a mystery.
Marriage Record for Sarah Leffel to William S Counts
4 Jun 1860, Grayson County, Texas 
By the time of the final distributions of the estate in 1880, the papers refer to the heirs of Sarah Ann Counts, so that means Sarah had passed away leaving her distribution to her heirs.  And, since she never showed up in any census record as a married woman with her husband and/or children, her family was unknown to present Leffel family researchers until being mentioned as heirs in grandfather Anthony Leffel's will.

Sarah Ann Leffel Counts had three children that are known:  Eliza Jane Counts, Joseph F. Counts, and David Counts.  Because their mother Sarah Ann Leffel Counts and grandfather David Miller Leffel had passed away before the distribution of the estate was completed, each is mentioned in their great-grandfather's probate documents.

In this first document, Eliza J. Quirk (daughter of Sarah Ann Leffel Counts) and J H Quirk her husband appoint an attorney to represent them.

The document below is an affidavit signed by J. G. Quirk of Cooke County, Texas stating that "David Counts...died at the residence of his sister, Mrs. Eliza J. Quirk, in the city of Gainesville, Texas on the 31st day of August 1883... said Counts died without issue." 

In the guardianship document below, Anthony M. Leffel of Hood County, Texas was given guardianship of Joseph F. Counts, a minor.  

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Anthony Leffel's Will and Probate, part 2

Anthony Leffel wrote his will on 16 January 1869 and died one year later on 28 January 1870.   At the time of his death, he was married to his second wife, a widow named Lydia Ann Mayne Harris. Anthony married Lydia in 1851 when he was 60 years old and about 7 months after the death of his wife, Mary Polly Miller.
This post contains the account of the distribution of Anthony Leffel's estate.  There were some disbursements of Anthony Leffel's estate starting in 1871.  After Anthony's widow, Lydia, died in 1879, the remainder of the estate was settled.

Distribution of Estate 1

Distribution of Estate 2

Distribution of Estate 3

Distribution of Estate 4

Distribution of Estate 5

Anthony Leffel's Will, part 3
Anthony Leffel Biographical Sketch

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Anthony Leffel's Will

In 2008, I had the opportunity to visit Springfield, Ohio, where our Leffel family lived.  A cousin on the Leffel side of the family who lived near Cleveland, met me in Springfield.  We spent the afternoon doing research in the Heritage Center.  About 30 minutes before closing time, we located the probate file for our 3rd great-grandfather, Anthony Leffel. It was a large file with probably 100's of pieces of loose papers - will, codicils, receipts, correspondence, etc. We were hurriedly going through trying to copy everything that was of importance - especially pertaining to Anthony's son, our David Miller Leffel's family.

Anthony Leffel wrote his will on 16 January 1869 and died one year later on 28 January 1870.   At the time of his death, he was married to his second wife, a widow named Lydia Ann Mayne Harris. Anthony married Lydia in 1851 when he was 60 years old and about 7 months after the death of his wife, Mary Polly Miller.
Anthony and Mary had been married 40 years when she died 1850.  They were the parents of  10 children, although only four were still living when Anthony's will was probated: Samuel Leffel, Harrison Leffel, Daniel Leffel, and Anthony M Leffel.  Two children, Frederick (1821-1830) and Delialha (1824-1830), died young so there were no offspring.  Four of Anthony's children (Joel Leffel, Rebecca Roller, Eveline Jones, David M. Leffel) died previous to Anthony's will being probated and so their heirs are mentioned in the probate papers.  Our family descends through son, David Miller Leffel.

Below is Anthony's will written on 16 January 1869 and an attached First codicil signed on 24 April 1869.  
Anthony Leffel Will 1

Anthony Leffel Will 2

Anthony Leffel Will 3 plus 1st Codicil
These two pages of Anthony Leffel's will can now be viewed on and is part of their database: Ohio, Wills and Probate Records. 

This post will be the first of several posts containing information and documents from the probate file for Anthony Leffel.
Anthony Leffel's Will, part 2
Anthony Leffel's Will, part 3
Anthony Leffel Biographical Sketch

Horse Racing - A Family Tradition

I spent a lot of my youth going to the horse races with my family.  Both of my parents' families were involved in racing horses.  And, it seems as if this tradition of horse racing has a long history in our family.

When I was very young, my grandma Maymie was always telling me stories of her Wilson side of the family.  Some of the stories were handed down to her by her father, Charles B Wilson.   Charles told stories to Maymie of his dad, William Wilson, and his brother Bill Wilson, racing horses around Denton County, Texas with their friend named Sam Bass.  Story goes that after William Wilson returned home from the Civil War, he could never settle down to farming and he spent his time gambling, horse racing, and drinking.  And, Charles' brother Bill Wilson was supposedly an outlaw with some of the same habits of gambling, horse racing, and drinking.

And, on the Baldwin side of the family there is the following story written in 1881 about our early Whitley family. The Whitley family were early settlers in Moultrie County, Illinois.  John Whitley was our Grandpa Jess Baldwin's 3rd great-grandpa going back through the Sadler and Lindley family lines.  
"The Whitleys were followers of horse racing and hunting almost to the exclusion of all else. The story was told that the elder Whitley journeyed to Kentucky and purchased a racing filly from a breeder named Dodge and returned here to win almost all the races he entered he in. Thinking to make some easy money, he entered her in a claiming race in which all entrants have a price set before the race and may be claimed afterwards at the price. John set a low price on her thinking to win an easy race and none would claim her. To his dismay she was claimed and to avoid losing her at a give away price, he slipped her out and hid her in a grove of trees north of Mattoon until the search died down. (The grove then became know as the Dodge Grove because the Dodge filly had been hidden there. It is now the Dodge Grove Cemetery.)"
      Combined History of Shelby & Moultrie Counties, Illinois: and biographical sketches of  some
      of their prominent men and pioneers; Philadelphia : Brink, McDonough and Co., 1881. 333,209

So, you could say horse racing is in our blood.  Perhaps, there is a DNA marker for racing horses.😊

In 1990, when Grandma Baldwin turned 90 years old, the family had a big party for her in Chickasha.  Family came from all over the country to be there for her birthday. After the dinner and party, someone asked grandma what she wanted to do special for her birthday.  Her response was to go to the races.  So the next day, we all went to Remington Park race track in Oklahoma City with Grandma for her 90th birthday celebration.
Mabel (bottom left) at the horse races with family for her 90th birthday celebration.

Here's a photo of me at the horse races in Arizona when I was only three years old.  Satin Charley was my favorite -  how I loved that horse.  He would put his head down low so I could give him hugs.

Race day was always a family affair, with aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents.  There are four generations of  family in this next photo taken at San Juan Downs in Farmington, New Mexico.   Grandma Maymie is right in the middle next to Aunt Alma Barnes, who is in the red plaid shirt. Maymie loved to go to the horse races! There are aunts, uncles, and cousins from both sides of the family in this photo -- Joe, Arlene, Muffy & family, etc.

And, here I am in 1986 at Turf Paradise in Phoenix, Arizona.  We were with some friends, with my Dad standing in the middle next to me.  My younger brother, who is holding the horse, was the trainer.   A family friend, Ted Cypert, was also in the photo standing next to my brother.