George Yinger 1790 Estate File Narrative
Introduction and Summary
The transcripts for the estate documents of George Yinger were prepared from the original documents which are in the York county archives in York, Pennsylvania.
George Yinger was the oldest known son of Johann Paul Jünger who was a Palatine emigrant from the Rhineland in Europe. Paul arrived in Philadelphia on September 15, 1748 on the ship “Two Brothers.” The life and times of Paul are covered in another section of this web site. It has not been determined when or where George was born. However, his younger brother Anthony was born in 1759 according to his tombstone. Therefore, George was born before 1759, perhaps as early as the early 1750’s.
George married Sophronia (Freney) Broband who was the eldest daughter and child of Jacob and Anna Broband. After the death of Jacob Broband in 1777, George and Freney (Broband) Yinger purchased the 140 acre plantation of Freney’s parents in November, 1788. The details of that acquisition are explained in the section of this web site discussing Jacob Broband’s estate.
When George Yinger acquired this farm, it represented the first time anyone in Paul Jünger’s family actually owned, albeit heavily indebted, a significant amount of property in America. This dream motivated Paul and many thousands of other European immigrants to take the calculated risks to leave their war torn homeland to come to the new world and seek a better life for themselves and especially their children and future descendants of which I am a part. Tax list appearances for Paul throughout his life indicate he did not own any land and, therefore, probably he was only a tenant farmer-laborer.
Paul came to America in 1748. Not until 1788, forty years later, did his eldest son, George, become the first in the family to actually own his own land on which he could work hard and, hopefully, enjoy the fruits of his labor and eventually have something of increasing value to pass on to future generations.
Paul took great calculated risks to venture to the British colony of America in search of a better life. His son George also took a large calculated risk, financially, in committing to purchase the Jacob and Anna Broband plantation on credit. I wish I could truthfully report that his gamble paid off for him. It is deeply saddening to report that he died less than two years after this agreement was entered into in November, 1788. He died on March 1st of 1790 according to his estate file documents. It’s hard not to wonder whether the stress from the financial burden associated with acquiring this property may have been a factor in his premature death. He probably was only in his 30’s when he died.
Many fantastic genealogical revelations emerge from a review of the estate documents for George Yinger. Transcripts prepared from the original documents are included on this web site and can be viewed by following the links at the bottom of this introduction and summary. The documents which comprise George Yinger’s estate file with my comments about certain important items to note are as follows:
Renunciation of Sophronia to Anthony Yinger for Administration
On March 8, 1790 George’s wife Sophronia renounced her right to be the administrator for her husband’s estate. She designated that her ‘brother-in-law Anthony Yinger’ should be granted letters of administration instead. This brief document establishes that George and Anthony Yinger were brothers. Sophronia Yinger made ‘her mark’ instead of an actual signature indicating she probably had not learned to write.
The Administration Bond of the Estate of George Yinger
The administration bond for George Yinger’s estate indicates that Anthony Yinger, Martin Miller and Sophronia Yinger (widow and relict) were the appointed administrators for the estate. A bond of three hundred pounds was set to insure the administrators would fulfill their fiduciary duties faithfully for George Yinger’s estate. The administration bond is dated March 8, 1790. Two duties of the appointed administrators were to produce an inventory within one month and an accounting for their administration of the estate within one year from the date of the administration bond.
Martin Miller was probably the second husband of Jacob Broband’s widow, Anna. She probably remarried after Jacob’s death. In the first accounting of George Yinger’s estate Martin Miller is listed as receiving payments from the estate several times in respect to “his wife’s dower.” Probably these payments where those that were committed to be paid in the agreement George and Freney made when they purchased Jacob and Anna Broband’s 140 acre plantation in 1788. That agreement is detailed in the section of this web site dealing with Jacob Broband’s estate.
George died without leaving a will. Therefore, it was necessary for the orphan’s court to appoint administrators. However, the administration bond document leaves the door open for the possibility that a last will and testament may later be discovered. If that should happen the administrators would be relieved of their duties under the administration bond. However, the estate file and documents do not indicate that a will was ever located for George Yinger.
Unlike Sophronia Yinger who simply made “her mark”, Anthony Yinger signed his name. This is significant, and though it is hard to read, it appears to be signed as Andoni Jünger. The Jünger family surname is discussed in another section of this web site in greater detail. Of particular note is the umlaut (double dots) over the letter ‘u’. This is uniquely a German language feature and it is certain that our first and second generation ancestors, Paul Jünger and his sons, spelled their surname this way and that they were German speaking. English speaking people they encountered, like the clerk at the courthouse in Philadelphia where Paul Jünger pledged an oath of allegiance to the King of England when he arrived in 1748, often omitted this small but important detail.
The Inventory and Appraisement of George Yinger’s estate
The inventory for George Yinger’s estate is dated March 8, 1790. It also indicates that he died on March 1, 1790. A review of the inventory contains many items that seem to be carried over from the estate and belongings of Jacob and Anna Broband’s period of ownership of the plantation. This is determined by comparing the inventory from Jacob Broband’s estate file which is part of this web site to the inventory for George Yinger.
A review of the inventory for George Yinger highlights the relative importance of livestock and crops to the material wealth of 18th century Americans. Only the actual land is of greater value than the animals and crops produced on the land. Farm animals included in George’s inventory include horses, cattle and sheep. Crops included wheat, rye, buckwheat and flax.
Administration Accounts of George Yinger’s Estate
Anthony Yinger (Andoni Jünger) filed five separate administration accountings for the estate of his brother George Yinger. They were dated as follows:
First accounting on March 23, 1791
Second accounting on January 2, 1793
Third accounting on January 8, 1794
Fourth accounting on January 8, 1795
Fifth and final accounting on February 12, 1798
Each accounting offers insights into the family and neighbor connections of the Yinger family. Transcripts of each accounting are presented on this web site and they can be viewed by following the links provided at the bottom of this introduction and summary. Certain common elements exist among the separate accountings.
One common factor is the fact that all of the accountings, and the inventory filed on March 8, 1790 are denominated in pounds, shillings and pence. As discussed in Jacob Broband’s estate file introduction and summary, the American colonies followed this British convention in many areas of America prior to the Revolutionary War. After the war began, transitions in currency also began to take place. Initially the new currencies like the “Continental” followed the denominational pattern of the British system of pounds, shillings and pence. This continued for some time even after the “Continental” currency ceased to exist.
The next available estate file for Yinger family descendants of the immigrant Johann Paul is for the eldest son of Anthony and Magdalena, Jacob Yinger, who died in 1813. His estate file is presented in another section of this web site. Those documents are denominated in dollars and cents. Therefore, sometime between 1790 when George, Anthony’s brother, died and 1813 when Jacob, Anthony’s son, died the currency changed from a denomination of pounds, shillings and pence to dollars and cents.
Another element which is common to all five administration accountings is that each one is signed by Anthony Yinger as Andoni Jünger. As previously discussed, this provides conclusive proof that the family name was Jünger in German, the native language of our Yinger family first and second generation ancestors.
First Administration Account of George Yinger’s Estate
The first accounting for George Yinger’s estate was prepared on March 23, 1791 slightly after the one year deadline following George’s death on March 1, 1790. When the inventory was filed on March 8, 1790 shortly after his death, the total amount was not indicated on that document for the value of his assets. In the first accounting it is stated to be 84 pounds, 12 shillings, and 9 pence (84.12.9).
Martin Miller, who was also an administrator for George’s estate, received from George’s estate several payments for “his wife’s dower” which I interpret to mean for Anna Broband Miller the former wife and widow of Jacob Broband. George and Freney Broband Yinger committed to pay Anna Broband an amount each year until her death for the 140 acre farm Jacob and Anna Broband owned that George and Freney later acquired in 1788. It seems reasonable, though by no means certain or proven, that these payments were in fulfillment of the obligation George and Freney had to Anna Broband. My assertion that Martin Miller was the remarried spouse of Anna Broband is admittedly speculation.
Martin Yinger appears as a recipient of 2 pounds, 2 shillings and 2 pence from George’s estate. This reference proves that Martin Yinger the younger brother of George and Anthony Yinger and youngest known son of Johann Paul Jünger was still alive at the time of George’s death in 1790. Martin married Catherine Grove, daughter of Samuel Grove a well known gunsmith in Newberry Township of York County, Pennsylvania. They had two known sons namely Samuel Yinger and Paul Yinger. The life and times of Martin and Catherine Grove Yinger and their sons are covered in another section of this web site.
What makes this reference important is that for some reason Martin is not present on the 1790 census of Newberry Township. He would have been 25 years old at that time since he was born in 1765 according to a record of his birth to Johann Paul Jünger in the Muddy Creek Lutheran/Reformed church records in Cocalico Township of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Furthermore, Anthony Yinger and “Widow Yinger” (Freney) do appear on the 1790 census which was the first Federal census prepared for America. Also, Martin Yinger does not appear on the 1800 or any later censuses. He may have died as a young adult after fathering Samuel and Paul Yinger with his wife Catherine Grove Yinger before 1800. Further discussion and conjecture on this mystery is reserved for the section of this web site dedicated to their lives and times.
Payments are indicated in the first accounting to John Shuman for several purposes including liquor, taxes, and perhaps as guardian for Esther and Catherine Broband, minor children of Jacob and Anna Broband. Payments are also indicated to Gotlieb Fisher as guardian for Elizabeth Broband. The guardian relationships of the youngest unmarried daughters of Jacob and Anna Broband after Jacob’s death are presented in the section of this web site dealing with his estate. John Shuman owned the property adjoining the eastern boundary of George and Freney Yinger’s 140 acre plantation. Gotlieb Fisher owned the property adjoining the northern boundary of the Yinger property.
Significant payments continued to be made from George Yinger’s estate by Anthony Yinger, administrator, to these two neighbors as guardians for the younger Broband daughters in later administration accountings as well. These payments were obligated from George’s estate resulting from the financial commitment George and Freney Broband Yinger made when purchasing the 140 acre farm of Freney’s parents Jacob and Anna Broband in 1788 following Jacob’s death in 1777.
A payment of 5 shillings (0.5.0) is indicated in the first accounting to Esther Brabants (note spelling variation). She was the older unmarried sister to Elizabeth and Catherine Broband. In 1790 when George died, she would have been 18 years old. She came under John Shuman’s guardianship in August, 1789 when she was 17 years old.
A payment for 2 shillings was made from the George’s estate to a Mary Yinger. This is very intriguing because she may have been a sister to George, Anthony and Martin or this may be a clue to the name of their mother, Johann Paul’s wife. Anthony and Magdalena did have a daughter they named Mary who in adulthood married a David Fetrow. However, she probably was not even born yet in 1791. So this Mary Yinger is either Johan Paul’s wife or his daughter not elsewhere detected.
Second Administration Account of George Yinger’s Estate
The second accounting for George Yinger’s estate is dated January 2, 1793. Items worthy of note include a reference to the fact that the accountant, Anthony Yinger, owes the estate for a tract of land he purchased from his brother George before his death. This reference is probably an allusion to the approximately 45 acre portion of George and Freney Yinger’s 140 acre farm which Anthony Yinger bought from George just before his death.
In 1813 Anthony Yinger and George and Freney’s only child, Ann (Nancy) Yinger Fetrow, formally and legally documented this agreement and transfer of land and division of the original 140 acre plantation into two sections; the 45 acres for Anthony and Magdalena and the remaining 95 acres for John Fetrow and his wife Ann (Nancy) Yinger Fetrow. A complete transcript of this agreement is included in a separate section of this web site.
In the second accounting further payments are made to Martin Miller possibly in respect to his wife’s dower (Anna Broband Miller). Also significant payments continue to be made to John Shuman and Gotlieb Fisher for their guardianship over the youngest three daughters of Jacob and Anna Broband. Another spelling variation for the Broband family name is indicated this time as “Browand”.
Third Administration Account of George Yinger’s Estate
The third accounting for George Yinger’s estate is dated January 8, 1794. The most significant item to note is that the financial amounts that Anthony is obligated to George’s estate for regarding the 45 acre portion of George and Freney’s 140 acre farm is quantified. According to the third accounting document, bonds are payable to the estate by Anthony on April first of 1791 for 20.1.1 ¼, in 1792 for 12.0.0, in 1793 for 24.2.8 ½, and 1794 for 24.2.8 ½. Also accrued interest on these bonds amounted to 22.17.4.
Clearly Anthony was significantly indebted for the 45 acre portion of George’s farm he agreed to buy just before George’s death. Once again, stress must have been a constant burden for Anthony to bear as he attempted to persevere in holding the family and farmland together while meeting the obligations that had been financially committed to. The great news is that, unlike his older brother George, he was able to pull the challenge off successfully and raise a large family and preserve the 95 acre portion he did not agree to buy from his brother for George and Freney’s only child, Ann (Nancy) Yinger Fetrow, to have and to hold in her adulthood with her husband John Fetrow.
This would not be the last time Anthony and Magdalena would have to face very challenging and trying circumstances. However, the lives and times of Anthony and Magdalena and their family are presented in a separate section of this web site.
Fourth Administration Account of George Yinger’s Estate
The fourth accounting for George Yinger’s estate is dated January 8, 1795. In this accounting significant additional payments to John Shuman are indicated as paid from George Yinger’s estate in connection with the guardianship of John Shuman for the Broband (Browand) children in his care.
By far, the most important reference in the fourth accounting is regarding an allowance “prayed” (requested) by Anthony Yinger for
“articles which were of Paul Yinger, deceased, the father of
the said George and which the said George Yinger took in
his lifetime, for the purpose of supporting and maintaining
Yinger the widow and relict of the said Paul during her
natural life, which is now neglected since the decease of
the said George, on account of which, the said widow is
now left in very indigent circumstances…”
From this reference several important conclusions can be drawn. First Paul Yinger, (Johann Paul Jünger) was the father of George and Anthony Yinger, as well as Martin Yinger. Second, Paul was deceased before George died in 1790 since George had used some of Paul’s assets to support George, Anthony and Martin’s widowed mother. Third, Paul’s widow was still alive on January 8, 1795 when the fourth accounting was prepared since the clause extracted above speaks of her in the present tense with the word ‘now’.
Fourth, sadly, the economic realities of life for immigrant Johann Paul Jünger’s widow must have been tenuous and dependent on her children to provide and care for her after her husband died. This statement of her indigence in the fourth accounting also further supports the assertion that Paul never owned his own property. If he had, it could have been passed on to his heirs or sold to help support his widow.
Fifth, the very appearance of this statement in the accounting gives some hint into the likely possibility that Anthony must have been facing pressure from heirs, or guardians of heirs, of Jacob Broband to come forth with more payments which were due them under the land purchase agreement George and Freney Broband Yinger had committed to. The issue of whether any assets of Paul still were available to help meet the estate obligations seems to be a logical reason this statement was included by Anthony in the fourth accounting.
In effect Anthony admits that George had used personal property of Paul while George was alive to help support their needy widowed mother. However, those assets were used up supporting her and their mother is now in very indigent circumstances. Therefore, she is without any resources to help meet the estate’s obligations from assets of her deceased husband Paul.
This statement in the fourth accounting was both saddening and exhilarating when I first read it. It made me sad to contemplate the circumstances my ancestors were facing at the time. However, it was also very exciting to locate such important documentation of family relationships and connections.
Fifth Administration Account of George Yinger’s Estate
The fifth accounting for George Yinger’s estate is dated February 12, 1798. Additional payments are indicated to John Shuman as guardian for the minor children of ‘Jacob Brovant’ (Broband). The only other noteworthy observation is that it took 8 years for Anthony to work through the administration of his older brother George’s estate.
Orphans Court Guardianship Documents for Ann (Nancy) Yinger
George Yinger died on March 1, 1790 according to his estate file documents. Two months later on April 28, 1790 George’s widow, Freney elected to have their only child and daughter, Ann appointed to a neighbor, Gotlieb Fisher for her guardianship. She was 6 years old at the time according to the document. Therefore, she must have been born in about 1784.
Gotlieb Fisher died in 1792 and it was necessary, therefore, for a replacement guardian to be appointed. On May 26, 1793 the Orphans Court appointed John Nichols as the replacement guardian for Nancy (Ann) Yinger who was ‘about 9 years old’.
From these two brief documents it can be surmised that Freney elected not to raise her daughter by herself after her husband George died. This seems very sad and bewildering to us in the present day when so many children are raised by single parents. However, in those days and times, widows were much more vulnerable in such circumstances than today.
No life insurance existed. Women were generally ‘keepers of the home’ not equipped to also carry the challenging physical burden of farming without the help of their husbands or fathers. This is not to say they did not also help with farm chores because historical references say they did help outside with many duties, especially the German immigrants. However, they supplemented the primary male duties to ‘work the land’. Overwhelmingly, they could neither read nor write and, therefore, left legal and business affairs to their husbands.
Freney did what was best for her young daughter though it must have been very traumatic to give her to another family to be raised under a male headed household. It must also have been very traumatic for her daughter Ann (Nancy). Her father George died when she was only 6 years old. Then her first guardian, Gotlieb Fisher died just three years later when she was about 9 years old. She lived in three different homes before she was 10 years old.
These documents clearly indicate that she was first named Ann probably after her maternal grandmother, Anna Broband. Later she was called Nancy. I am told that these two personal names were often used interchangeably somewhat like Robert and Bob. She married John Fetrow and they had a son they also named John.
Indications from Fetrow family genealogies I have seen indicate they had only one child, John. If this is true it is interesting that low fertility may have been passed on from Sophpronia (Freney) Broband Yinger to her daughter Ann (Nancy) Yinger Fetrow. More information is presented elsewhere in this web site about Ann (Nancy) Yinger Fetrow, her husband, John Fetrow and their family, lives and times.
Copyright © 2009-2011 Samuel E. Yinger. All rights reserved.