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RESEARCHING MY MATERNAL ANCESTORS, THE HOSNERS

JUST A BIG FAMILY WHO HUNG AROUND PLESSIS-THERESA

OF JEFFERSON COUNTY, N. Y.

by Shirley Conklin Farone

No claim to fame .. just plain people -- left few traces, but I'm proud they were able to endure apparent hardships.... and I'm thankful they kept me looking around for them for so long......and so it went:

Nicholas Hosner (b. ca. 1801) married Abigail Wiltse, on whom census info reflects birth in Otsego County. Since their son, Archibald (our great-grandfather), appears to have been born in Plessis about 1819, it seems plausible that Nicholas married Abigail before coming to Jefferson County. Only conjecture, of course. Abigail was a year younger than her husband. It must be noted that these years were taken from census records -- there are other accounts showing different years of birth. Abigail died in 1865 at Plessis and is buried in the cemetery there - stone missing*.

Nicholas's brother, Henry, who also was in Plessis in the 1830 Census, took up residency in Canada - Haldimand County. As we researchers understand it, Nicholas's father, John (our 3ggf), went to live with Henry and most likely died there, although his burial site has not been found. This researcher has been very fortunate to have met via E-Mail, Henry's descendant, Jim McCallum from London, Ontario. He is very much involved in genealogy and I have a great deal of respect for his work.

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*Insert Note - June 6, 2000:

*June 6, 2000: (by Shirley Farone) Information and photo received from Edward Hunneyman, Jr. indicates that as of July, 1999, the headstone which was missing on my previous visits to the cemetery at Plessis has somehow been reset. The photo shows the dates concerning Abagail (the spelling on the monument) and Nicholas are different from calculations found on the census. Nicholas: 1805 - 1879; Abagail - 1809 - 1865 are the dates on the monument. Calculations from the census generally reveal 1801 and 1802 as birthyears, respectively. I, therefore, believe that engravers made huge errors. To prove this, one could take a look at the interment book kept by the Secy.-Treas. of the Brookside Cemetery Association, Plessis, N. Y. Her name is Mrs. Halpin and she lives just outside Plessis, N. Y.

Nicholas remarried after Abbey’s death to a Dolly Walrath sometime before the 1870 census. I cannot locate much information on Dolly -- I suspect, however, that she may have been a Hosner from St. Lawrence County before she married Walrath. I do not know when she died nor where she is buried. Nicholas died in Plessis possibly in early 1879 and is buried at Plessis, also (stone missing). There is confusion about Nicholas' deathdate -- that confusion arises out of the fact that there is a guardian document appearing in land records (?) which indicate that Charles Hosner was the guardian of Nicholas' daughter, Fanny Hosner (Fanny was born in 1828 and may have had a mental deficiency). The date of the document, probably a document transferring land, was January 24, 1879. The second point of confusion for this researcher arose because the date of the documents at the surrogate's court shows 1882 as Nicholas' date of death. He was apparently alive January 24, 1879 because he signed the document spoken of earlier with an "x" on that date; but why the 1882 document, is a mystery. Perhaps the probate procedures took that long to develop. Or, it's possible that the stepmother, Dolly, was unable to take care of Fanny -- or no longer felt obligated to care for her. Fanny’s deathdate hasn’t been found.

Nicholas and Abigail had at least 11 children who reached maturity. The eldest son was my great-grandfather, Archibald, who married Minerva Sweet. They had four children: Mary, Dolly, George (my grandfather), and Edward.

Research on Nicholas Hosner and his descendants commenced with an estate file found at the Jefferson County, N. Y., Surrogate's Office, Watertown. File No. H-551. A statement found in the file read that Nicholas died intestate some time in January of 1879. Recorded cemetery info made by the D.A.R. for the Plessis cemetery indicate that Nicholas was 74 years old when he died. However, most census data reveals that Nicholas would have been almost 80 in 1879. The following notice was published in the Watertown Post, a weekly newspaper printed in the City of Watertown. It is not known why this estate was handled so long after Nicholas' death.

My Great-Great-Grandfather’s Estate Settlement

by Shirley Conklin Farone

"The People of the State of New York, to Charles Hosner, Nancy Hosner, Dolly Hosner, Arnold Hosner, Louise Hosner, James Hosner, Lucy Hosner, Nelson Hosner, Mary Hosner, Hannah Sweet, William D. Sweet, Symantha Frost, Delos Frost, Pamelia Beebee, George Beebee, Fanny Hosner, Archibald Hosner, Minerva Hosner, Lorenzo Hosner, Maria Hosner, Maria Pierce, Peter Pierce, Horace Hoyt, Joseph Folts, Byron Ostrander, J. Aldrich Wood, Westley (sic) Crandle, widow, heirs at law, next of kin, legatees, devisees, creditors and occupants of the real estate of Nicholas Hosner, late of the town of Alexandria, in the county of Jefferson deceased, and to all other creditors and person interested in any manner whatever in the estate of said deceased, Send Greeting:

"You and each of you, are hereby cited and required personally to be and appear before our Surrogate of the county of Jefferson, at his office, in the city of Watertown, in said county, on the 18th day of April, 1882, at 10 o'clock in the forenoon of that day, then and there to show cause, if any you have, why the payment of debts of said deceased, and why an order and decree should not be made and granted by said Surrogate authorizing, empowering and directing Edward Barton and Dolly Hosner, as the administrators &o, of the said Nicholas Hosner, deceased, to mortgage, lease or sell so much of the real estate of said deceased as shall be necessary to pay the debts and funeral expenses of said deceased. And that if any of the persons interested be under the age of twenty-one years they are required to appear by their guardian, if they have one, or if they have none that they appear and apply for one to be appointed, or in the event of their neglect or failure to do so, a guardian will be appointed by the Surrogate to represent and act for them in the proceeding. And also to show cause why the individual claim of Dolly Hosner, one of the administrators, to the amount of $100 should not be allowed.

"IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, We have caused the seal of office of said Surrogate to be affixed, Witness Ross C. Scott, Surrogate of said County, at the city of Watertown the 22nd day of February, A.D. 1882."

NOTE: The following summary was of interest to this researcher. It pertains to the items in the estate. It was also interesting to note that Nicholas borrowed $100 from Dolly and portions of the file material dealt with the recovery of this amount. A question arises when reading the file material of what is meant by the "minor children." Was this a standard clause in such a document, or was such a statement meant to include Fanny, who may have been of limited mentality enough to be classified as a minor? Fanny, age 42 in the 1870 Census, may have been considered under that classification. It seems plausible that Fanny had some sort of handicap. Certainly, by using the 1870 Census data, Dolly, Nicholas' second wife age 60 in the 1870 Census), had long passed child bearing age by the time she married Nicholas after Abigail's death. Perhaps, she had minor children from her previous marriage, but they certainly weren't listed on the 1870 census as living in Nicholas' household. Perhaps Nicholas' daughter,

"Edward Baslen (sic) appointed administrator, January 21, 1879, articles for the widow and minor children set apart with the approval pursuant to the revised status:

One cookstove and furniture, one cow, one feather bed and bedding, one bedstead, one table, six chairs, six knives and forks, twelve plates, six teacups and saucers, one sugar dish, one teapot and all the necessary clothing for the widow.

Furniture not exceeding $150 in value under law of 1874:

In addition to the above we did inventory and set apart for the use of the widow and minor children of the said deceased the following articles of property pursuant to the Statue of 1842 not exceeding in value the sum of $150.

As usual, I'll have to apologize for the mis-alignment of the figures in the columns -- some things this old lady just can't learn!!

one chest

.25

2 blankets. chq.

8.00

2 bed sheets

4.00

1 comforter

1.00

7 wool sheets

9.00

2 white spreads

3.00

1 scourge

.25

1 clothes ringer

2.00

4 stone jars

1.50

1 oil can

.25

1 cream can

.10

1 crock

2.00

2 bellows

.50

1 overcoat & clothing

of deceased

5.00

one stand

1.00

3 blankets

12.00

1 bed quilt

1.50

1 stand

10.00

1 clothes bars

.50

3 blankets

l.50

1 feather bed

5.00

20 milk pans

1.50

1 jug

.50

1 flat iron

.10

1 butter bowl

.50

1 straw tick

.50

1 dish pan

.50

1 chain

1.00

1 milk racks

.25

$ 73.20

In addition to the above we did inventory and set apart for the use of the widow

and minor children of the said deceased the following articles of property

pursuant to the Statue of 1842 not exceeding in value the sum of $150

56 Hens

$ 14.00

Cash

126.00

1 Dbl. Wagon, Box & Neck Yoke

10.00

Total for Widow & Minor Ch.

$150.00

Property inventoried and appraised as assets of the estate:

 

1 Sleigh (double)

$ 2.00

1 Drag

2.00

1 Plow

6.00

1 Harness

1.00

1 Scythe & Snath

.10

Total:

$ 11.10

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