When I wrote about Daniel Petty several days ago, there seemed to be at least three unidentified children. I found references to them, but could not find any solid information. So I continued to chip away at the problem. I was finally able to locate Daniel’s probate papers and with the information in them, I have been able to identify the missing children.
Daniel Petty Will and Probate
Daniel wrote and signed his will on 22 March 1875. His will was accepted and probate was started on 21 December 1876 in Wayne County, Indiana.
This is the header from Daniel’s will. It was contested, so everyone who was a possible heir was listed in the suit. As you can see, it lists several names. There were several additional names within the will itself. Some of the people were identified by Daniel, others were revealed with some research into families of Daniel’s children. Fortunately, Daniel gave his daughters’ married names.
Eli Petty – Daniel’s son
John Petty – Daniel’s son
Rebecca Harris – Daniel’s daughter
Allen Harris – Rebecca’s husband, Daniel’s son-in-law
“to the children of my deceased daughter Mary Ann Baldridge”
Edward A. Baldridge – son of Mary Ann Baldridge, Daniel’s grandson
George G. Baldridge – son of Mary Ann Baldridge, Daniel’s grandson
Francis H. Baldridge, Jr. – son of Mary Ann Baldridge, Daniel’s grandson
“to the children of my deceased daughter Sarah Pollard”
Daniel Pollard – son of Sarah Pollard, Daniel’s grandson
Elizabeth Baldwin – daughter of Sarah Pollard, Daniel’s granddaughter
Bailey Baldwin – Elizabeth’s husband
“to the children of my deceased daughter Nancy Evans”
Charles Evans – son of Nancy Evans, Daniel’s grandson
Eleanor Jones – [Meribah Ellen Evans], daughter of Nancy Evans, Daniel’s granddaughter
Oliver Jones – husband of Eleanor
Balle E. Long – [Belle Emma Long], daughter of Nancy Evans, Daniel’s granddaughter
Daniel’s granddaughter, J and E Long – [Jared S. Long], Belle’s husband
“to the children of my deceased son Zeno Petty”
Nancy E. Miller – daughter of Zeno, Daniel’s granddaughter
George Miller – Nancy’s husband
_____ Watson, Bert Watson, [Cynthia Ann Watson], daughter of Zeno Petty, Daniel’s granddaughter
[Leander B. Watson], Cynthia’s husband
_____ Laffalette, John Lafallette, [Harriet Elizabeth LaFollette], daughter of Zeno Petty, Daniel’s granddaughter
[John H. LaFollette], Harriet’s husband
The 1840 census would now look like this:
U.S. federal census. Year: 1840; Location: Clay, Wayne, Indiana; p. 296.
1 male less than 5 years old (John 4)
1 male 10 to 14 years old (Eli 13)
1 male 15 to 19 years old (Zeno 19)
1 male 40 to 49 years old (Daniel 48)
1 female 5 to 9 years old (Rebecca 8)
1 female 10 to 14 years old (Mary Ann 9)
2 females 15 to 19 years old (Nancy 15, Sarah 17)
1 female 30 to 39 years old (Betsy 39)
9 persons total
There was one other problem with Daniel and Betsey’s history. In the 1860 census, there were two children, Elizabeth Petty age 18 and Frances Petty age 8.
After looking at the families of Daniel’s children, it looks as if Elizabeth was Elizabeth Pollard born about 1843, daughter of Sarah Pollard, who died in 1853. Elizabeth was not listed in the 1860 census with her father and step-mother.
Frances was probably Frances H. Baldridge born about 1852, son of Mary Ann Baldridge who died about 1857. In the 1870 census, Frances was still living with Daniel, only he was listed with the correct last name.
An indicator that these two children were not Daniel and Betsey’s children was that Daniel mentioned his children by name in his will, but he did not name either of these two children as his children. So they were most likely his grandchildren.
Indiana, Probate Records Order Books, 1873-1916. Wayne County Circuit Court. (Indiana: Wayne County Clerk, 1965) FHL film #404240, pg. 434-437.