Sunday, July 17, 2005

Reuben Jackson, Obion Co., TN Court Records

I've recently arranged for someone to send me copies of the estate records of Reuben Jackson of Obion County, Tennessee.

I already know quite a lot about Reuben.

That he lived in Wilson County, Tennessee in 1820.
Obion County, Tennessee in 1830 and 1840.
That he was a saddler in the War of 1812.
That he had owned a lot of land in Obion Co., TN.
That he'd been married twice and had 15 children.

So I wanted to see if he had a left will, etc.

As it turns out, he died intestate and there are lots of interesting documents to be seen. One of which reads:

[Pg. 537, Dec Term 1844]

It appearing to the satisfaction of the court that Reuben
Jackson, Jane Jackson, Samuel Jackson, Robert Jackson and
George W. Jackson are minor orphans of Reuben Jackson
Deceased and that they are under the age of Fourteen
years and that they have an estate that needs attention +c
thereon James N. Cullum moved the court to appoint him
guardian of said minor children. It is therefore ordered
by the Court that said James N Cullum be appointed
Guardian of said minor orphans upon his entering
into Bond, and security as the Law directs. Whereupon the
said James N Cullum came into court and entered into
Bond in the sum of Twenty four Hundred Dollars. con=
ditioned as the law directs, with Thomas Sales Alfred
McDaniel and Everett H Verhin his securites all of which
was examined and recieved by the court and ordered to be
recorded which is done accordingly

I was excited to see "George W." listed.

I had guessed that the Jane and George Jackson living with Mary Jackson Davis in 1850 were her siblings, though George was not listed in the family bible. This document seems to have proven my guess to be correct. I transcribed it eagerly.

But upon further reflection the whole thing seems quite strange.

In terms of transcribing, the only difficulty was the word "Fourteen" which really couldn't be anything else, but doesn't look too terribly much like Fourteen. It looks like Toyrteen. Or Toynteen. But I think there's an superfluous mark under the "u", so, Tourteen? In any case, the Reuben mentioned was actually 22.

I can't imagine under what circumstances he could have been declared a minor orphan.

Their actual ages in December 1844:

Reuben 22
Jane 23
Samuel 17
Robert 15
George W. abt. 12

There's an older daughter Mary who must have still been at home who isn't mentioned. She was 23 and unmarried.

The estate sale was in November 1844. All of the children but George bought things at this sale. So did the security Thomas Sayles and, of course, James N. Cullum who was also the estate administrator. Thomas Sayles is listed with Reuben as one of the early settlers of Obion County. Everett Verhines and Thomas Sayles both lived in the same district as the Jacksons.

They had to know that most of those children were not minors.

What the heck was going on?