David Carey's estate

This is a study of the disposition, after his death, of property owned by David Carey (ca 1790-1832). The property was inherited by David's son Isaac C. Carey (1820-1835), then passed on to David's other children1 following Isaac's death. The information was compiled by his descendant, Kelly Conrad, who supplied most of the comments below.

Kelly found the following document in Clerk of Courts, Miami County, Ohio, Court of Common Pleas, Minutes Journal, Vol. 8 (30 May 1831-26 Sep 1834), 566 pp. I have removed unrelated entries from the image:

Transcriber's comments

An index of the Minutes of the Miami Court of Common Pleas is available on microfilm in Special Collections, Dunbar Library, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio. The microfilm is designated as "Roll #7" and is also marked, "OHIO 5-55H #7". Three titles exist on the microfilm: "General Index Vol. 1 1807-1853"; "Manumission Record 1834-1847"; and "Supplemental Court Records Vol. A-B: 1808-1843".

Among the listings in the microfilmed General Index appears an entry for the subject Minute, giving the date for the Journal Minute as "Apl 1834". However, the designation for the specific Minutes Journal is given as Minutes Journal "J" and the specific page is given as "424". Microfilm No. 1030025, available through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Family History Library [FHL], contains the original, hand-scripted, Minutes Journals for the Miami Court of Common Pleas, Journal Numbers 1 through 8.

The subject entry appears in Minutes Journal Number 8 on this particular microfilm as opposed to Minutes Journal "J" as provided in the mentioned index. A second microfilm, FHL No. 1030026, includes the original Miami Court of Common Pleas, Journal Numbers 9, 11 & 12. Journal Number 10, covering the interval April 1836 through 7 Aug 1839, was either not available for microfilming when that work was performed or no longer exists.

This is unfortunate because the General Index [see above, Roll #7, etc.] also available as FHL No. 1030028, Item 1, lists, in addition to the subject Minute [pg. 424], fully four additional entries pertaining to Isaac Carey's estate and/or his guardianship:

Cary's IsaacAdministrator/AdministrationJuly 1838
Cary's IsaacGuardianship SettlementOct 1838
Cary's Isaac"Defendants" probable heirs, listed as, Webber Francis & Elizabeth et alApr 1839
dittoCarey Sally & Phebe et alApr 1839
dittoCarey David & George et alApr 1839

The missing Miami County Court of Common Pleas, Minutes Journal No. 10, if such exists, will include the specific four entries listed and may well include additional bits of significant info.

Margin Note "(64)" most likely refers to the specific page number in the Court's Bonds Book wherein John C. Winans'2 surety bond was entered.

Miami County Probate Court File No. 0891, titled, "Isaac Cary Estate", consists of a filed packet of loose papers. The enclosing envelope is dated 18 July 1838. The packet contains papers submitted to the Court by John C. Winans, Isaac's guardian and later, Isaac's estate administrator. Included is an accounting of John C. Winans' role as Isaac's guardian, listing vouchers paid for various costs. One sees that Isaac was bound to a trade (not specified) in the town of Piqua and also that he fell ill for two days (assumedly, just prior to his death) for which he was treated by a Dr. Abbot.

Also included within the estate packet are receipts for funds paid to Isaac's bodily heirs, his siblings. Two receipts, dated April 6 & April 12, 1843, for $3 & $9, respectively, were signed [her mark] "Phebe Cary". Of these, the receipt dated April 6 includes the notation "heir" following Phebe's ‘signature'. Another receipt, this one undated, for an amount of $12.25 paid to [& signed by his mark] "David Cary". Two receipts signed by [her mark] "Sarah Carey" for $10, dated 14 Sep 1840 and for $4, dated 22 Jan 1841 exist in the file. A receipt dated 11 Jan 1851 for $12.50 received and signed [by mark] "George W. Cary", shows, as do the rest, that the money was received from "John C. Winans Admst of Isaac C Cary Deceased".

Lastly, included in the file is a final accounting and settlement document for the Isaac C Cary Estate filed with the Court by John C. Winans on 18 Mar 1851. This page reiterates, in ledger fashion, the information available from the forgoing receipts, showing that Estate disbursements were paid to: "Sarah Cary", "Phebe Cary", "David Cary" and "George Cary" in the amounts shown by the individual receipts.

Narrative and analysis

David Carey died intestate. Ownership of his entire estate, personal and real property with the exception of a routine dowry provision for his widow Elizabeth, passed automatically to his eldest son Isaac C. Carey. Isaac secured a legal guardian, John C. Winans, who managed Isaac's financial & legal dealings, such as being legally bound as an apprentice for example.

Isaac succumbed to illness at age 15 and died. His four younger siblings were his heirs at law and they inherited everything he had in the way of cash, personal effects and land formerly owned by his father David with the exception of his Mother's Elizabeth (Winans) Webber's dower interests. If the Phebe (Carey) Prilliman's Indiana obituary is correct with respect to her date of birth, 10 Feb 1821, she was the next oldest child in the family.

Skipping ahead a few years to the early 1840s, one sees that David Carey's two daughters Phebe and Sarah married. They and their new husbands Daniel "Prilleman" and Samuel S. Spicer, respectively, sold their undivided interests in one jointly owned 50 acre tract on the North Side of the North West Quarter of Section 14, Township 1, Range 11 to Michael Miller. The Spicers sold Miller their part on 14 Oct 1842, the Prillimans sold their part of the land to Miller on 19 Oct 1843. The land is in Staunton Township and is located a little over a mile northeast of Raper Chapel Cemetery.

Looking at the earlier records for the tract the Carey sisters and their husbands later sold, one sees that David Clark3 patented the land in 1812. David Clark & wife sold the NW corner of Sec. 14, T.1, R. 11 to Thomas Carey4 in Aug 1816. Thomas Carey & wife sold part of the NW corner, Sec. 14, T.1, R. 11 to David Carey in Apr 1827. The Miami Co. Mortgage Book show that Elizabeth Carey in May 1837 became Mortgagor of record with Samuel Winans the listed Mortgagee for the North part of the NW Quarter of Sec. 14, T.1, R. 11. Evidently Elizabeth needed cash. The records I have at hand only cover the period up to 1841.

Although these items are a bit off subject, on the same day that Thomas Carey sold David Carey the land in Sec. 14, T. 1, R. 11, David Carey sold Thomas Carey a tract in Sec. 2, T. 1, R. 12 so maybe they swapped land. In other matters, David Clark & wife sold "Geo. & P. Carey"5 part of the SE Quarter of Sec. 14, T. 1, R. 11, in Jan 1825. Feb 1836 saw George Carey & wife sell that same tract to Michael Miller, doubtlessly the same Michael Miller who served as John C. Winans' surety on the bond he posted as Isaac C. Carey's guardian.

"What does it all mean?" As I wrote above, Isaac C. Carey was David Carey's heir. Supporting that statement is the fact that the Court of Common Pleas Journal No. 8, pg. 424 entry mentions Isaac as David Carey's minor heir. Note that it does not say, "one of David Carey's heirs."

John C. Winans was appointed Isaac's legal guardian. With the appointment came the requirement to make periodic reports to the Court. I've made a good but by no means exhaustive scan of Common Pleas Journal No. 9, and have found no mention of annual reports. John C. Winans was a busy guy though and his good standing with the Court may have helped exempt him from a rigorous requirement to file periodic reports on a strict schedule. More below.

"Why did it take almost six years to settle Isaac's estate?" Well, for one thing there wasn't a good deal of money or land involved. Secondly, Isaac's heirs were all under age and likely being supported so they wouldn't likely have been putting pressure on John C. Winans to get the thing settled. Then again the April 1839 entries from the General Index seems to suggest that Isaac's administrator, John C. Winans, filed some sort of case against Isaac's Mother, her husband and legal representative Francis Webber and Isaac's siblings but in lieu of the actual records (in missing Minutes Journal No. 10) we really can't tell what actually transpired.

Speaking of the land side of things, the land was mortgaged in 1837 by Isaac's Mother Elizabeth. Whether she sought her kids' permission to do so or not is sort of beside the point because she did it for the sake of the family. Too, since Isaac's heirs were all under legal age they couldn't lawfully possess it anyway. As soon as the two girls Phebe and Sarah reached legal age they did sell their interests. Apparently amicably too, because there's no record of a partition suit as I've seen elsewhere among the records of some of my other Ohio families I'm working on.

David Carey's heir would have been Isaac but under Ohio law a portion of David's estate would have been subjected to a dower right favoring his widow unless she declined the dower. That brings to mind the one entry from the index that mentions Elizabeth Webber. We don't have that Court Journal Minute since it exists in the missing Journal No. 10.

The word "defendant" appearing in the index may only have been a device of convenience to facilitate indexing so I wouldn't read too much into the use of the word.

Under the old law of primogeniture, the eldest surviving son 'takes all', automatically. There's no need for a settlement unless he left outstanding large debts unpaid in which case his creditors may have filed suit to have the estate settled while also having the issue of unpaid debt entered into the case.

The above might suffice as a sort of stand-in until such time as I get my hands on Vol. 2. You see, I anticipate finding an 1880s date at the end of Vol. 2 because all over the country in the mid to latter 1880s County Clerks busied themselves with all sorts of truly heroic [and sometimes counter productive] efforts to both preserve and facilitate future study of their records in their charge.

1 Isaac's siblings, mentioned throughout Kelly's analysis, are: David Carey's widow, and Isaac's mother, was Elizabeth (Winans) Carey, who married Francis Webber after David's death.
2 There were several John C. Winans in Miami county around this time, but this guardian and administrator is most likely the Judge John Clawson Winans (1803-1861), who was David Carey's second cousin, and who is buried in the same Raper Chapel Cemetery where David and Isaac Carey are buried.
3 David Carey's uncle, the Rev. David Clark (1776-1847).
4 David's brother, Thomas Carey (ca 1795-after 1850).
5 David's parents, George Carey (ca 1759-1846) and Phebe (Clark) Carey (ca 1765-1850). See the 1825 deed. George and Phebe's subsequent sale of the land to Michael Miller may be related to their departure to Paulding county.
This page was last updated 28 Feb 2007.