Patricia Craig Johnson --- Searching for My Ancestors --- Sharing My Life Stories

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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Benjamin Clifton Delaware Orphan's Court Case 1798

Delaware Archives Orphan’s Court, RG 4840.035 Obediah Smith (dec's) 1798
Petition for Appointment of a Guardian to Benjm Juda Charles and John Clifton                                            
The Court appt the petitioner Guardian and approves of Judges move Surety Bond’s to be taken in 100 Dollars in Nov 24th 1798
Bond Taken

__________________________________  _____________________________

To the Honorable the Judges of the Orphans Court now sitting in and for the County of Sussex, The petition of Benjamin Clifton of the County afsd (aforesaid)  Humbly Sheweth , that Obediah Smith – late of the County of Sussex afsd decd did not in his lifetime dispose of the guardianship of him  did by his last Will and Testament will and leave to Benjamin, Juda, Charles and John Clifton (minor children of your Petitioner) five pounds each ----------------       the age of fourteen years. That same minor has about ------acres of land & other property worth by computation about ----------Dollars   your  Petitioner therefore prays  your Honors to appoint him Guardian to said minor, and your Petitioner as in Duty bouns will ever Pray Ye                                                         Benjamin Clifton                      

Nov 24th 1798
7 Dec 2012 notes by Pat Johnson:

The part not crossed out is pretty straightforward and makes sense.  But, why did the writer write the crossed out section? We can’t be sure who physically wrote this document.  It could be Benjamin or it could be the clerk of the Orphan’s Court or it could be someone Benjamin enlisted to write it for him.  Is there another case of a minor child of OBEDIAH SMITH?  I have only found the two little daughters, Sarah and Elizabrth, ever mentioned as his children with his widow Eustacy.   A further stretch is that possibly  Obediah Smith Clifton is a child of Obediah Sr. and taken by Benjamin and Margaret to raise as their child. Although, Obediah Smith Clifton was born in the middle of the Clifton’s other children so he fits in their family nicely.  I wonder if there is other Orphan’s Court proceedings relating to Obediah Sr?  Seems the two little daughters should have had a guardianship document as well.  Interesting that the word is minor NOT minors in the last sentence.
Strange also, is that this Guardianship case was dated AFTER Obediah Smith’s estate was settled in 1797.

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