I‘ve recently blogged about my quest to find out more about Christian Hoover of Heidelberg Township, York County, Pennsylvania and the brothers he named in his 1771 last will and testament: Jacob, Ulrich and Henry. I transcribed his will and posted it here, requested his estate file and several deeds regarding his property from the York County Archives, and transcribed his estate inventory. My next step was to obtain the intestate file for his widow Mary (Gochanour) Hoover.
The documents from Mary’s estate arrived yesterday. I was very anxious to look through them. Surely, there would be something to help identify the children of Christian’s brothers. After all, her administrators were required to make three yearly payments of £100 pounds to Johannes Huber and Johannes Line, starting a year after Mary’s death.1 Her brother Jacob sold Christian’s land to their brother-in-law John Welty in order to do so.2 Surely, these papers would have some reference to these payments…
No such luck. Mary’s file included only an inventory, the administration bond, and “notes relative to the estate.” No receipts, no quitclaims or releases. Nothing regarding the payment to her husband’s relatives.
Mary (Gochanour) Hoover died 7 May 1777 in Heidelberg Township, York County, Pennsylvania.3 Mary’s brother Joseph and her brothers-in-law John Welty and Abraham Beery were the administrators of her estate.4 They—with Christian Bechtel, John Schenck and Michael Danner Sr.—were bound in the sum of £500 for the estate administration. The inventory was entered in the Registers Office on 14 Jun 1777 by John Welty and Joseph Coghanour.5
I read through the notes, hoping there’d be something—anything—regarding Christian’s nieces and nephews. Nothing. Instead I got a view into Mary’s life and her relationship with her brother Jacob. Here’s a transcription of the notes:
“Notes Relative to the Estate of Maria Hoover who died Intestate the 7th Day of May 1777—
Magdalena Bechtel saith that on Sunday the 20th Day of April last, the said Maria Hoover was at the House of her the said Magdalena Bechtel upon a friendly visit, when in Conversation together they Discoursed concerning Numbers of Persons in a married state being so unhappy to themselves and Families that they did not take due pains to make the necessary Provision for either themselves or Families that they ought to do; Upon which said Maria Hoover said that she had one Brother, Viz. John Jacob Coghanour, who had lived such a Life, that if she had any Estate to leave at the Time of her Death she would not leave him any part thereof, but that she would leave it to his Children.
Mary Bechtel saith that upon Easter Monday last past she the said Mary Bechtel in Company with the said Maria Hoover on a friendly Visit to a Certian John Sherrock’s (the said Sherrock being intermarried with a sister of the said Mary Bechtel) that on the road as they were Riding to the said Sherrock’s said Maria Hoover related to her said Mary Bechtel that Isaac Coghanour son of John Jacob Coghanour had left his Father in Maryland and had come to her House in a very bad state of clothing, and that she had advised the boy to stay at home until his Mother could spin and clothe him. Upon this said Mary Bechtel said to Maria Hoover, your Brother meaning John Jacob Coghanour [is] so poor that he will think long until he is helped from your Estate; To which said Mary Hoover replied — I expect nothing from him for what he has had more than his share
of my Father’s estateand he shall have no more of my Estatebut what would be his share of it I will give to his Children.
Catharine Wickertin an hired Maid with the said Maria Hoover saith that on Saturday the 26th Day of April last, she the said Catharine was working in the Meadow — that Maria Coghanour, a daughter of John Jacob Coghanour’s was with her — also Maria Hoover now deceased was present — That Maria Hoover reproved Maria Coghanour for being lazy and indifferent about her Work, saying that if she did not mend she would be as bad as her Father and Mother — On which she the said Catharine said to Maria Hoover, I suppose that if John Jacob Coghanour had your Plantation he would soon spend it as he did his own; — That then the said Maria Hoover replied, He shall never have any more of mine, I will give his share to his Children. The said Catharine also saith that she heard Maria Hoover use the same Words or Words to the same in part many Times before that time.
Joseph Coghanour saith that on the fifth Day of this Instant [May], Viz. two days before the death of the said Maria Hoover, he the said Joseph came to visit her, and finding her the said Maria in a low state, enquired of her whether she had made a Will to which she answered that she had not, but that she had a mind to make one; — And said Farther that if she made a Will Jacob Coghanour should not have anything but that his children should have his share.
Committed to Writing this 13th Day of May 1777
By A. m’Clean
While this is all very fascinating and raises several questions—including if Maria meant Jacob to get nothing, why on 16 Jun 1777 was he the one to sell her property to John Welty, one of the administrators of the estate?—none of it addresses my main question. Who were the surviving children of Christian Hoover’s brothers and did they receive the money from his estate?
I’ve searched the York County deed index for releases or quitclaims to Jacob Coghanour, Joseph Coghanour, John Welty and Abraham Berry (with alternate spellings!), but found nothing in a reasonable timeframe. The estate files are supposed to contain all the relevant Orphans Court proceedings, but it might be useful to check them for the period 1777-1781 for any information regarding the settlement of her estate. I have my doubts, but you never know…
The only other line of research I can think of would be to research Johannes Huber and Johannes Line. They were supposed to receive the money in trust for the surviving children of Jacob, Ulrich and Henry Huber. Perhaps there will be releases or quitclaims from the heirs to them. I’ve already searched in York County, but perhaps I should widen the scope.
There were a John Huber and John Line who were the administrators for the estate of Henry Boyer of Conestoga Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in 1776.6 They were also guardians for several of his children. In 1776, both men were of Conestoga Township.7 Unfortunately, John happens to be very popular name! So, I can’t even begin to determine which John Huber and John Line!
So, Christian… If you’re out there, I’m all out of ideas. A little research inspiration is needed! Could you please send some my way?
- Christian Hoover will (1771), York County Will Book C:267-268, Pennsylvania State Archives, records group 47, roll 3466 ↩
- Jacob Coghenaur & ux to John Welty (1777), York County Deed Book 2O:88-91 ↩
- Notes Relative to the Estate of Maria Hoover, Estate of Maria Hoover (1777), York County Register of Wills, York County, Pennsylvania ↩
- Administration bond, Estate of Maria Hoover (1777), York County Register of Wills, York County, Pennsylvania ↩
- Estate Inventory, Estate of Maria Hoover (1777), York County Register of Wills, York County, Pennsylvania ↩
- Wevodau, Edward N., Abstracts of Lancaster County, PA Orphans Court Records 1742-1767 (Apollo, PA: Closson Press, 2001), page 151 ↩
- Jacob Boyer et al to Rudolph Miller (1776), Lancaster County Deed Book R:204-209; They signed the deed “Hans Huber” (written in German) and “Hans Lein” (written in German); also signing the deed was “Henrich Huber” the husband of Margaret Boyer, the deceased Henry’s daughter. ↩