Monday, January 19, 2015

Where there's a will! Finding Margery McQuiston Trindle McConnel

For years I have been looking for any record of Margery after the death of John Trindle.

I knew that she had remarried, various documents from the estate of John gave her married name, such as this one from the Spring court session 1790 of Cumberland Co. PA.

An additional Clue came from the 1800 Census where a Matthew McConnel was listed directly above Widow Paxton (John and Margery's daughter Agnes who had married Samuel Paxton) and James Holmes (husband of John and Margery's daughter Jane).  Matthew is listed with a female who is the correct age to be Margery.

East Pennsboro, Cumberland, Pennsylvania; Roll: 38; Page: 62.
But, there I have been stuck for way too long.  But a few days ago, I happened upon an index to wills in Cumberland County and found the following entry.

McCONNELL, MERGERA.   May 25, 1815.   H. 333.
Well, that could be Margery McConnel. Right?

I knew the early wills for Cumberland county were available on FamilySearch, so I immediately headed there and found.

 Last will of

Mrs. McConnel dec
Know all men by these presents that I Mergera McConnel of Mifflin township, Cumberland county, State of Pennsylvania being very sick and weak in body but Blessed be God sound of memory and Judgement I do make this my last will and testament in the year of our Lord one thousand eighteen hundred and fourteen it being the sixth day of March.  In the first place I do Recomend my soull unto God who gives it and my body to be intered in a decent christian manner. First all my just debts to be payed then what remains is to be disposed of in the following manner, I do bequeath unto my daughter Mergera all of my moveable property. First I bequeath my case of drawers, second my bed and bed clothes, third my table and chairs, fourth all the money that is due unto me, fifth my half of the cow sixth all the books, allso all the kitchen furniture, also the looking glass, allso my spinning wheel and Rull, allso the two Best Bedsteads, allso the cupboard with all the furniture Belonging to it. In testimony thereof I have set to my hand and seall the day and deat above written in presence of us Samuel Hannah c James Pettigrew                                                                         her                                                                                                                                                                         Mergera (M) McConnel                                                                                                                                                                  mark
Cumberland County Ss Personally appeared before me Geo Kline Jr dep for Geo Kline registrer for the Probate of Wills and granting of letters of Administration in and for said county Samuel Hannah and James Pettigrew the subscribing witnesses to the instrument of writing to which this is annexed purporting to be the last will and testament of Megera McConnel de       cd. and being duly sworn according to law acknowledge the said instrument of writing as and for the last will and testament that at the time of her so doing she was of sound mind memory and understanding that they wrote their names as witnesses at the request of the testatrix in her presence and in the presence of each other
Sworn and subscribed 25 May 1815                                                 Samuel Hannah
Before me Geo Kline, dep regr                                                        James Pettigrew
Be it remembered that on the 25 of May AD 1815 the last will and testament of Margary McConnell was legally proven of which the foregoing is a true copy and letters of Administration to Margary Johnston no executor being named in said will.

As I read I kept wondering if this was the right will.  Margery had seven children.  Would she leave everything to just one daughter?  It was only with the final sentence that I could be certain this was the correct record, for we knew that Margery's daughter Margery had married Samuel Johnston. 

By 1814, some of Margery's family were gone from Cumberland County.  The youngest, David, died during the War of 1812.  Her eldest daughter, Ann, had married Samuel Lamb and moved to the Shenandoah Valley.  Alexander had moved to Ross County, Ohio about 1807.  The whereabouts of Agnes is unknown.  The widow of Samuel Paxton had most likely remarried by this time.  She is listed as "Porter" in her brother John's probate in 1821.  

Still in Cumberland county are Margery's eldest son John and her daughter Jane (James Holmes).  Perhaps everything went to Margery, because Margery was living with her?  That would explain Mifflin township, which does not show up in other Trindle records.  But a quick search for the 1810 and 1820 census shows the only probable Samuel Johnston family is in Allen township which is on the opposite side of the county, so why Mifflin?  Why Margery only?

Probably my favorite part of finding this record is the very unique spelling of Margery's first name. Does it perhaps give a indication of it's pronunciation? I noted that the will was signed with her mark.  Who was the scribe?  

The will as written in the register does show the importance of looking for all spellings, Margary and Mergera are both used in the same document as are McConnel and McConnell.  

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