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Samuel Grove 1822 Estate File Documents

Introduction and Summary

The transcripts for the estate documents of Samuel Grove Sr. were prepared from the original documents which are in the York county archives in York, Pennsylvania.

Samuel Grove Sr. and his wife Catherine (Ensminger) Grove and their family played an important role in the family history of Paul Jünger and his family for several reasons.  Most significantly, one of the daughters of Samuel and Catherine Grove who was also named Catherine married the youngest of three known sons of Paul Jünger, Martin Yinger.

At the time of Samuel Grove’s death in 1822 his estate file documents indicated that he and his wife, Catherine, had 6 daughters and one son.  The documents name the children in order of their birth, presumably, as Elizabeth, Catherine, Christina, Susan, Mary, Ann and Samuel Grove Jr.  Another daughter, Margaret, is named in the estate documents and seems to have predeceased her father.

Martin and Catherine (Grove) Yinger had two known children.  They were both sons named Samuel and Paul Yinger.  Samuel Yinger was probably named after his grandfather Samuel Grove Sr. and/or Uncle Samuel Grove Jr.  Samuel Yinger took up the profession of his grandfather and uncle when he became a gunsmith. 

The estate file for Samuel Yinger who died prematurely in 1816 as a young adult is covered in another section of this web site.  Those estate file documents indicate that for part of his short tenure as a gunsmith he was a partner with his uncle Samuel Grove Jr. in that occupation.

The Inventory and Appraisement of Samuel Grove’s Estate

The inventory for Samuel Grove’s estate is dated April 19, 1822.  It was filed with the Registrar’s office in York on May 14, 1822.  The document specifies that it is for the estate of Samuel Grove, the elder to distinguish him from his son Samuel Grove Jr. who was the administrator for his father’s estate.

The first items listed in the inventory are a variety of tools of the gunsmith trade in which Samuel Grove Sr. labored.  From various written sources, it is regularly asserted that Samuel Grove Sr. was taught his gunsmith skills while in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania before he relocated to Newberry Township of York County, PA.  Furthermore, the Ensminger family from whom Samuel’s wife Catherine descended was prominent in Lancaster County before some members of that clan also relocated to York County.

The Pennsylvania rifle had its origins in Lancaster County from the hands of German artisans.  Lancaster County was a base for the development of other important early American frontier icons like the Conestoga wagon.  The Pennsylvania rifle was the forbearer of the Kentucky Rifle.  In another section of this web site more historical insight regarding the gunsmith profession in Colonial Pennsylvania will be presented.

Also listed in the inventory of Samuel Grove’s estate are several German books including song books and a German Bible.  The presence of these books strongly indicates that Samuel Grove was German speaking and therefore a descendant of German immigrants to Colonial America.  A search in the immigration databases indicates more than a few German immigrants with the family name “Grove” who appear on ship lists and are therefore documented in the publications of I. Daniel Rupp and Strassburger & Hinke.

An item of high value listed on the inventory is “an eight day clock and case” for $50.00.  No other item on the inventory is near this value besides the gunsmith tools listed first also valued at $50.00.  Unlike modern clocks, cases and the clock works in Samuel Grove’s day were frequently separable.  They were often separate components to allow the owner to exercise his preference for both the clock works and the case in which it was installed.  The total value of the inventory as filed amounted to $211.54 ¾. 

The Petition of Samuel Grove Jr. for Sale of Real Estate

When Samuel Grove Sr. died in 1822 his debts exceeded his personal property listed in his inventory.  Those debts were owed primarily to his son Samuel Grove Jr.  Nevertheless, as a result, the real property needed to be sold to satisfy all debts owed by Samuel Grove Sr.  The petition to the Orphans Court of York County was filed by Samuel Grove Jr. to seek approval for the sale of the real estate.

One of the important genealogical insights about the makeup of Samuel Grove’s family can be gleaned from this otherwise mundane document.  According to a paragraph in the Petition for sale of real estate:

        “That the said deceased left to survive him seven children viz. Elizabeth, intermarried with Samuel Brady, Catherine, intermarried with William Cline, Christina, intermarried with Philip Danner, Susan, intermarried with David Brown, Mary, intermarried with Tobias Tanner, Ann, intermarried with one Cole, and your petitioner – and Abraham, Elisa, intermarried with Amos Clark, Mary children of his daughter Margaret who was intermarried with George Grubb.”

This paragraph illustrates that one never knows what important genealogical facts and insights may exist in improbable places. 

Previously it was observed that Samuel and Catherine (Ensminger) Grove’s daughter also named Catherine married Johann Paul Jünger’s youngest known son Martin.  However, in the recitation excerpted above Catherine is said to be married to William Cline.  Why the inconsistency?

The short answer is that it is very likely that Martin Yinger died in early adulthood.  Martin Yinger does not appear by name either on the 1790 census or 1800 Federal census in Newberry Township where his brother Anthony is located.  No appearances have been detected in any other townships of York County either for those first two census periods. 

Martin seems to have married Catherine, produced two male children, Samuel and Paul Yinger in the 1790’s and then died before the 1800 Federal census was taken.  That is what the circumstantial evidence suggests that I have considered so far.  Catherine as a relatively young widow went on to marry William Cline after her first husband Martin Yinger died.

The Order to Sell Samuel Grove Sr. Real Estate

The Orphan’s court approved the petition of Samuel Grove Jr. to sell his deceased father’s real estate to pay the debts of the estate and issued an order to sell the property.  The description and location of the property is repeated from the petition document as being a “tract or piece of land situate in Newberry Township adjoining Peter Hoffstaught heirs Isaac Kirk Esquire and the town of Lewisberry containing one acre with the appurtenances.” 

An amendment at the bottom of the document indicates that Samuel Grove Jr. sold the property at public auction on July 10th 1822 to a man named Robert Lewis for $1,000.  The terms of the sale specified a down payment of $100 with the balance to be paid by August 12, 1822. 

Administration Account of Samuel Grove’s Estate

Samuel Grove Jr. as administrator for his father’s estate filed one administrative accounting dated January 17, 1823.  The main source of funds to pay debts of the deceased was the $1,000 received for the sale of Samuel Grove Sr.’s real estate. 

The most material disbursement of the estate was to reimburse Samuel Grove Jr. $996 for a “Debt due accountant for building a large stone house on deceased's lot in the town of Lewisberry.”  Another significant disbursement also made to Samuel Grove Jr. in the amount of $350 was “For a debt due accountant for boarding, washing and clothing deceased for 3 1/2 years.”

A variety of other lesser disbursements from the estate were paid for things such as grave digging, coffin making, physician services, attorney fees and expenses associated with the vendue (public auction of the deceased’s effects).  In total disbursements were $1,575.29.  It seems from the document that a shortfall of funds available from all sources in the amount of $325.29 was charged to the “accountant” who was also the administrator, Samuel Grove Jr.

A big picture look at the accounting document emphasizes the reality that in his old age, Samuel Grove Sr. was looked after and cared for by his only son Samuel Grove Jr.  In the absence of social programs like Social Security and Medicare, families stepped up to completely care for their parents when they were unable to care for themselves. 

Social Security to provide a minimal level of income to Americans in their retirement years was not introduced until the 1930’s by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration.  The Medicare program intended to address medical needs for Americans 65 years old and above did not come into existence until the 1960’s under President Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration. 

Inventory, April 1822 Samuel Grove Sr. Estate

Real Estate Sale Petition, May 1822 Samuel Grove Sr. Estate

Order to Sell Real Estate, August 1822 Samuel Grove Sr. Estate

Accounting, January 1823 Samuel Grove Sr. Estate

 

 

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