Alexander Barclay’s Heirs in 1906…

Sometimes when someone does not marry, they really help in the research of a family because they give their estate usually to their siblings, nephews and nieces.  Alexander did just that however, he did not have a will so the estate went into probate because he had money and land.

Alexander's estate

Alexander’s estate

In the above note written by my Aunt Miriam she was correct in stating there were eleven heirs to Alexander’s estate.

In the post “John Barclay’s Two Families” dated April 3, 2010 on this blog, I listed the children both from the 1st and 2nd family of John Barclay the father. I gave a little information about each sibling but didn’t go into each in-depth.

The probate packet of Alexander A. Barclay’s estate consisted of 35 documents. The probate process began sometime in December 1905 and ended April 23, 1907. The total value of the estate was $5500.00. There were two pieces of real estate one in Lakeville, a farm and one in Farmington which consisted of lots. These were sold since no one was interested in the property. There were mining stocks that were distributed and transferred to the heirs.

I found this add for the sale of A.A. Barclay’s lands in the local newspaper.

The Sale Ad of Alexander Barclay's Land in Farmington

The Sale Ad of Alexander Barclay’s Land in Farmington

It reads:  Farm for Sale Cheap: I offer for sale, subject to the approval of the Judge of Probate for Dakota County, Minnesota, 105 acres of farming lands in section 34 township 114, range 20 in Dakota County, State of Minnesota, at $40.00 per acre.  Also the building on the corner of Third and Elma Streets, belonging to the estate of A.A. Barclay – Deceased. Inquir of H.N. Rogers, administrator, Farmington, Minn.  11-45. 

Here is a review of those who were identified as heirs of Alexander’s estate.

Part of the Heirs at Law form for Alexander Barclay's Estate

Part of the Heirs list, Petition for Administration, by Grace McDonald, for Alexander Barclay’s Estate

The first family of John Barclay and Margaret:

1.  John Avery Barclay born about 1836. He was presumed dead according to an affidavit of the sister Sarah Agnes Blinn.  So his portion of the estate would go to his two children:

“John A. Barclay, aged 70 years, not heard from by relatives during the past 30 years, supposed to be dead, who is a brother. In his place John Avery Barclay, son and Sarah Ellen Barclay Sears were awarded a share each as the only surviving children of the first son.”

1) John Avery Barclay born 1867.

2) Sarah Ellen Barclay Sears born 1869.

2.  James A. Barclay born about 1838 died in 1906 during the probate of Alexander’s estate.

“James A. Barclay, aged 68 years, residing at 1444 Stratford Ave., Bridgeport, Conn. who is a brother.”

3.  Sarah Agnes Barclay Blinn born about 1840.

“Sarah Agnes Blinn, aged 66 years residing at 1375 [New] Dalles Ave, Alamirda, Cal., who is a sister. Note: I think they mean Alameda, California.”

4.  Mary J. Barclay Ford born about 1841.

“Mary J. Ford, aged 65 years, residing at Bristol., Conn., who is a sister.”

5.  Alexander Barclay the deceased, would fit here in the ages of the children.

6.  Martha M. Barclay Ford born about 1843.

“Martha M. Ford, aged 65 years residing at Fruitvale, Cal., who is a sister.”

7.  George Angus Barclay born 1844 died 1898. Grace his daughter would be the one to inherit from Alexander.  Grace started out as the Administrator of the estate but because she was pregnant with Miriam at the time she could not attend to the legal process and another person was appointed.

“Grace A. McDonald of the Village of International Falls, in the County of Itasca and the State of Minnesota, respectfully shows that Alexander A. Barclay was a resident of the Village of Farmington in the County of Dakota and State of Minnesota, died on the 9 December, A.D. 1905 at the City of Rochester in the County of Olmsted, State of Minnesota, leaving estate therein and without leaving any last Will and Testament to the knowledge, information or belief of your petitioner. That the name relationship, ages and residences of the heirs of said deceased, as far as known to your petitioner, are as follows….”  

“Grace A. McDonald, aged 28 years, residing at International Falls, Itasca Co., Minn who is a niece (daughter of Geo. A. Barclay brother of deceased).”  Note: Grace was born 1882 so she would be 23 years old.

Here we list the half-siblings from John Barclay’s second marriage to Ellen:

8. Charles Barclay born 1860.

“Charles Barclay, aged 45 years, residing at Shakopee, Minn., who is a half-brother.”

9. William Barclay born 1863

“William Barclay, aged 43 years, residing at Pony, Madison Co., Montana, who is a half-brother.”

10.  Mary E. Barclay Clark born about 1864.

“Mary Clark aged 42 years, residing at Bridger, Carbon Co., Montana, age 42 years, who is a half-sister.”

11. Anna Elizabeth Barclay Carter  born 1870.

“Annie E. Carter, aged 36 years, residing at 2050 11 St. Marinette, Wis, who is a half-sister.”

It cost me a small fortune to obtain the probate file of Alexander Barclay but it was worth it.  I have always known that Alexander would be of great help to me.

In the next posts I will share some of the highlights of Alexander’s probate and discuss in more detail the heirs of his estate and what I know about each of them. I have already shared what I know about Alexander in this blog, so I won’t repeat his story.  Remember these individuals are also George A. Barclay’s siblings and half-siblings.  Did George communicate with his siblings and half-siblings? I have no knowledge of how close to them he was.  I do know about his relationship with Alexander.  Did Amarilla know them, I don’t know. Grace seemed to be aware of her aunts and uncles so maybe there was some communication.

Source: Probate File of Alexander Barclay, Dakota Co., Minnesota, December 1905. Petition for Letters of Administration, 11 January 1906, Submitted by Grace A. McDonald. 

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Grace Barclay McDonald as Administrator of Alexander’s estate…

Grace was pregnant with Miriam at the time of her uncle Alexander’s death. Giving birth in January of 1906. She took action and petitioned the court for the administration of Alexander Barclay’s estate about January 11, 1906. Alexander did not have a will.

farmingtoninternet

Grace was unable to travel because she was pregnant with Miriam.  By the time the testimony was given below was presented she had given birth, so the court was delayed in getting started.  Grace sent Charles W. Stanton as her representative:

Charles W. Stanton called and being duly sworn says (about March 14, 1906)

“My name is Charles W. Stanton.  I am the Attorney-in-Fact for Grace A. McDonald, the same person who made the petition for letters of administration shown me in this matter.  The other instrument shown me is my Power of Attorney executed by Grace. A. McDonald.  She was unable to appear at this hearing on account of delicate health.  On or about February 1st Mrs. McDonald gave birth to a child and has not as yet, regained sufficient strength to warrant a journey from International Falls to Hastings.  The distance according to the present means of travel, being over 700 miles.

I am a resident of the Village of International Falls, Itasca County, Minnesota.  I am well acquainted with Grace A. McDonald, wife of Ronald S. McDonald.  She is also a resident of the Village of International Falls, Itasca County, Minnesota.  I have known her since about the year 1890.  I also became acquainted with George A. Barclay, the father of said Grace A. McDonald about the year 1890.  Grace is now about 25 or 26 years of age.  I was, at that time, visiting in the Pine River, Cass County, this State and have visited there since then many times, at the home of George A. Barclay and his family.  I know from my own knowledge of the family and from information received relative to said family that Grace A. McDonald was a daughter and the only child of George A. McDonald.

 George A. Barclay was shot at Pine River, Cass County, Minnesota some few years ago, and was survived by his wife and daughter, Grace A. Barclay, (who has since been married to said Ronald S. McDonald).  Mrs. Barclay, the widow of said George A. Barclay, has since inter-married with a certain man, and is now Mrs. Daws.  I never heard any mention of their being any other children in their family.  I have never seen any family record of their family, do not know that they kept any such record.  I do not know where Mrs. McDonald was born, although she may have told me. I do not recall now. 

 I know that said George A. Barclay is dead of my own personal knowledge and know that he was killed, as before stated.  He left some estate both real and personal.  I believe the personal property was divided amicably between his wife and daughter after his death.

 I did not know that there was such a person as Alexander A. Barclay prior to the death of George A. Barclay.  I have heard Mrs. McDonald speak of him since.  She also told me of the interest he took in the trial of the alleged murder of Mr. George A. Barclay.  She said the deceased assisted them financially many times during the lifetime of her father and has also assisted her mother since his death by loaning her money.  Mrs. McDonald visited Mr. Alexander A. Barclay, during his lifetime, while she was attending school in St. Paul or Minneapolis.  He (the deceased), visited them many times also, particularly during the trial and investigation of the murder of George A. Barclay.  Of my own personal knowledge, I do not know that the loans of Mr. Alexander Barclay to Mr. George A. Barclay were paid, or whether they were not, but have been informed by Mr. W. A. Gray of Farmington, Minnesota that they were paid in full.  Mr. Gray knew all about the affairs and business connections or transactions of Alexander A. Barclay, with the exception of some mining stock owed by the deceased.  Dr. Rogers of Farmington, knew and was well acquainted with the deceased prior to his death and knew all about the mining stock owned by the deceased at the time of his death, knows what companies they are invested in and also knows the amount invested by the deceased, which was, I believe $2300.00.  I made inquiries of both these men and think they can give and gave all of the necessary information relative to the estate of Alexander A. Barclay, deceased, that was in their possession. 

When I went to Farmington, which was on the 10th day of January, this year, I was not acquainted with anyone, but had a letter of introduction to Mr. George R. Taylor, who is Cashier in the Bank at Farmington.  He told me what he knew of the deceased’s financial and referred me to Mr. Gray and Dr. Rogers, from whom I obtained the information stated in the petition for letters that I made as attorney in fact for Grace A. McDonald, in this matter.  From information obtained from Mr. Gray by me, I believe the value of the personal property is about $2000. and consisted of  a mortgage of $1400; a chattel mortgage on a Blacksmith shop at Farmington, for $300 an another note executed by a party at Pine River for $100, on all of which there is probably some accumulated interest.  There was a check in the Bank of $50., some personal effects, etc., aggregating in all, about $2000.  The present value of the mining stock for investments, I know nothing about a personally, but was informed they are unlisted stock and in my opinion, not worth very much, perhaps about $1000.

I visited the real property owned by the deceased at Farmington, which consists of a house and lot, worth probably $800.00.  The Lakeville farm, I did not see, but it consists of 105 acres of agricultural land, and taking into consideration the answers to inquiries I made about it, it is worth between $4000. and $5000.  I know of no other real property owned by the deceased at the time of death.

George A. Barclay was engaged in Hotel business at Pine River, also the delivery and stable business at one time, but I have never heard anything about the deceased having any interest or partnership in any of the aforesaid business of said George A. Barclay, although he loaned him money at different times, according to Grace A. McDonald.

I know nothing about the other heirs of the deceased, although I have heard Mrs. McDonald speak of them perhaps.  I do not recall anything to the affect now.

The petition for letters asked for the appointment of Dr. H. N. Rogers, and we still desire this appointment.”

This testimony of Mr. Stanton is probably the best piece of information I could have found.  I now feel confident that my research on the Barclay’s is true and good. I wonder what other stories Mr. Stanton or the others may have had to share.  Sigh!

Apparently there were other reasons for delay and Dr. H.J. Rogers was not appointed administrator till about March 13, 1906. The bond was $5,000.

Dr. H.L. Rogers also was called to testify:

Dr. Rogers called, and being duly sworn, says: –

 “I reside at Farmington, Dakota County, Minnesota.  I knew and was well acquainted with Alexander A. Barclay, prior to his death.  I know the real property he owned at Lakeville and Farmington.  The property in Lakeville consisted of a farm of 105 acres of agricultural land and that at Farmington of house and lot.  I knew something of his financial affairs and his personal property to the best of my knowledge, consisted of something like $1800.  In notes, most of which are secured and $50. in certificate of deposit & $1000 shares of mining stock.  I know that Mr. Barclay paid for the mining stock and I am familiar with the kind of stock.  I would not attempt to place a value on this stock, as it is all unlisted stock but will give the Companies and the most of the stock of Mr. Barclay.

Dr. Rogers gives a detailed list of about 7 stocks and their total $2812.50

 In addition to the above the deceased had some “Shamrock” shares…I know of no other personal property belonging to the deceased, except two old trunks, containing cloths, which are of no particular value.  There may be papers of value in those trunks.  The farm implements and farm property owned by deceased, were disposed of sometime prior to his death.  The house and lot at Farmington is worth about $800.00.  His farm is valued at about $50 an acre.

My knowledge of the heirs of the deceased was obtained from him, and through correspondence with his heirs before and since his death.  I have no personal acquaintance with but two of the deceased heirs, viz: Charles Barclay at Shakopee, Minnesota, and Grace A. McDonald at International Falls, Minnesota.

Grace A. McDonald is the only child of George A. Barclay, who was killed a few years ago at Pine River, Minnesota, and who was a brother of Alexander A. Barclay’s.  I am not acquainted with the other heirs of the deceased named in the petition, but from what I have learned believe, that John A. Barclay named in the petition died prior to the death of the deceased, and that John A. Barclay left surviving him two children, who were his only heirs, viz: Sarah Ellen Sears and John Avery Barclay.  I believe John A. Barclay had no other children, except Sarah Ellen and John Avery.

 I know of the deceased death and arranged for his funeral at Farmington, and attended his funeral.  He died at Rochester, Minnesota, December 9th, 1905, at the State Hospital for the Insane.  At my request his remains were prepared for burial at Rochester, and shipped to Farmington, where he was buried.”

You never know what you will find in a probate file.  In this case, I had copies of the packet which I paid a high price for.  I did not have the court clerk books which might shed light on the process of the probate court.

The Brothers Find Father!

Minnesota 1857 Census

By 1857 George and Alexander are living with their father John Barclay in Eagle Creek, Shakopee, Scott County, Minnesota.

On Line 20 we find John Barclay age 46, male, white, born in Scotland and a farmer.  Below him is Alex age 16 born in Connecticut and then there is George age 14 born in Connecticut.

Here is the beginning of evidence that points to Connecticut as Alexander and George’s birthplace.

The question is how did they get from Connecticut to Minnesota?

The Logsleds to Snowmobile Book by the city of Pine River gives this statement:

“Sometime before the Civil War his mother died, and George and his brother, Alexander, were placed in different foster homes.  George ran away from his “turf family,” found his brother, and together they enlisted on August 13, 1862 in the Union Army.” page 104.

What a great and wonderful adventure these two young men would have had.  I often ponder it, wondering what route they took, what sights they saw.  How did they know their father was in Minnesota?

I have been to Enfield and drove from Enfield to East Windsor where the 1850 Census places these brothers living near each other.  I was curious as to the distance.  It is close and took about 5-10 minutes to drive it.  Two young boys without means they would have had to walk to get to each other unless they talked a good story to someone and hitched a ride.  It is doable.

Based on the 1850 Census which I have discussed in past posts (April 11, 2010) we have seen that Alexander was in East Windsor and George was in Enfield, Connecticut.

I have a theory.  There was an older brother name John Avery Barclay who would have been about 20 or 21 years old in 1857.  I talked about the 1850 Census for Enfield in which I found a John Bartley about the right age living in Enfield (April 18, 2010 post).  Alex was 16 and George 14 when they were with their father in 1857.  Maybe this is a little more involved than is realized?

Their older brother John Avery Barclay takes up residence in Silbey Co., Minnesota in the 1860 Census.  He is living in Kelso and farming.  He is 25 years old.  The only evidence that this John is a brother is from Alexander’s probate file.  I will talk more about this brother and his family in future posts.

Of course this is idea that they all came together is speculation on my part.

As for the comment about the Civil War, well it is not quite right.  Alexander enlisted first and then George followed him a year later.  I will discuss the Civil War service of Alexander, George and John Barclay Sr. in future posts.  Each person was involved in very different ways and all survived to live for many years beyond.

Note: This John Barclay born about 1836 was a son of John Barclay born 1801. The son names his son John Avery Barclay after the grandfather of the wife Minerva Parks.

John Barclay’s Two Families

John Barclay, my great great grandfather, was introduced to me by my Aunt Miriam in her family history notes, so I knew about him.  I also had a copy of the book by the city of Pine River, celebrating their first 100 years, and he is mentioned in that book: 

  “…not far from Shakopee where George’s father chose to live “because it reminded him of his native Scotland.”  Apparently the father, John, remarried and had other children…”  

John Barclay had two families.  He was first married to Margaret.  When he married Margaret is not known and where she is buried is also unknown.  She probably died in Connecticut but so far a search of records reveal only one possibility of a Margaret Barclay dying in Enfield in 1848 of about the right age. 

continuing the quote above…” because at the time of Alexander’s death in 1906, there was quite a bit of difficulty in locating all the Barclay heirs from “both families.”” pg. 105 

In my Aunt Miriam’s notes she mentions Alexander’s probate: 

Alex's Probate

 

My great-uncle Alexander Barclay has been very good to me.  I secured his probate file at some expense from the Dakota County Courthouse in Minnesota and it opened up a very big genealogical door!  

From this first marriage came seven (7) siblings that were listed in Alexander’s estate file.  There wasn’t a will so some of the information is carefully taken from the probate file.  Other information such as census searches and indexes were also used.  I am slowly gathering the facts together on the siblings and will present more at a later time. 

1.  John Avery Barclay born abt 1836, died – unknown.  According to Alex’s estate file he disappeared and was presumed dead as stated in an affidavit of his sister Sarah Agnes. He appears in deeds, land records, and court documents in Silbey Co., Minnesota till about 1880.  He may have gone to California.  John Avery Barclay was probably born in Scotland per census information and other sources but that is not yet proven.  John married Minerva  Parks on 3 July 1865 in Henderson, Sibley Co., Minnesota.  Since John Avery Barclay was considered dead his two children where his heirs and they are mentioned in the estate file.  The couple actually had four children:  

1. John Avery Barclay II born 23 July 1867 in Sibley Co., Minnesota and died 8 March 1951 in Seattle, King Co., Washington.   

2. Sarah Ellen born 29 March 1869 in Sibley Co., Minnesota.   

3 and 4. There were two other children twins: Albert and Alice born 1870 Silbey Co.,  Minnesota but it is looking like they didn’t survive.  Some of this information was supplied by another cousin.  

2.  James A. Barclay born about 1838 in Connecticut, he died about 1906 in Bridgeport, Fairfield Co., Connecticut during the probate process of Alexander’s estate.  He married a Maryanne Stewart and had children.  

3.  Sarah Agnes Barclay born about 1840 in Connecticut.  She married Porter Blinn about 1860 in Connecticut.  He was born about 1842 in Connecticut.  They had 6 children and it looks like they stayed in Newington, Hartford Co. , Connecticut. 

Update:  May 26, 2010 – I was at the Family History Library researching when I discovered that the Sarah that I thought was Sarah Agnes Barclay in the census married to Porter Blinn was the Sarah I should be studying for the Barclay’s.  Turns out she is a Griswold and her father is Henry Griswold.  So back to the drawing board on #3.  This is why it is so important to check other sources like marriages and birth records and not totally trust the census. 

4.  Mary J. Barclay born about 1841 in Connecticut and died 28 March 1917 in Bristol, Hartford Co., Connecticut.  I have her estate file.  She married a Jerome B. Ford and had 3 daughters.  Jerome was born about 1846 in Connecticut. 

5. Alexander A. Barclay was born September 1842 in Hartford, Connecticut and died on 9 December 1905 at the Rochester Hospital for the Insane in Olmsted Co., Minnesota.  He apparently suffered in the end with dementia.  He was only in the hospital about 6 days before he died.  He was buried 17 December 1905 in the Corinithian Cemetery in Farmington, Dakota Co., Minnesota. 

6.  Martha M. Barclay born about 1843 in Connecticut and died around 1920 or later in California.  She married a Jeremiah Ford in about 1859 in Connecticut.  I do not know if Jeremiah and Jerome were brothers.  Martha and Jeremiah had two daughters.  

7.  George Angus Barclay was born 18 August 1844 probably in Connecticut and died on the 28th of October 1898 in Pine River, Cass Co., Minnesota.  George is the subject of our blog and more information will be forthcoming on his life. He married Amarilla Spracklin in 1878 and they had 2 children. 

The second marriage of John Barclay was to Helen in Scott Co., Minnesota.  I have not been able to find their marriage in Minnesota records but it happened prior to 1860 per the census and from this marriage their were four (4) children born. 

8.  Charles Barclay was born about January 1860 in Eagle Creek (Shakopee), Scott Co., Minnesota.  After the death of his mother in 1907 he seems to have moved from Shakopee and might have gone to Minneapolis and died about 1938.  Charles didn’t marry as far as I can determine from census and other documents. 

9.  William Barclay was born about 1863 in Eagle Creek (Shakopee), Scott Co., Minnesota and died 7 Dec 1937 in Gallatin Co., Montana.  He married a Clara E, probably in Minnesota.  She was born about 1859 in Wisconsin and died about 21 March 1919 in Madison Co., Montana.  They had one child name Foster born 1891 and probably died by 1907.  

10.  Mary E. Barclay was born about 1864 in Eagle Creek (Shakopee), Scott Co., Minnesota and died 19 February 1930 in Cascade Co., Montana.  She married Charles B. Clark probably in Minnesota for he was born there about 1856.  He died 28 February 1932 in Deer Lodge Co., Montana.  They had at least one child named Ruth Clark who was born about 1895.   It is interesting that there are two Mary’s named in John’s family a good 20+ years apart. 

11.  Anna Elizabeth Barclay was born 15 April 1870 in Shakopee, Scott Co., Minnesota and died 4 August 1955 in Menominee, Menominee Co., Michigan.  She married David Maurice Carter on 9 July 1885 in Eagle Creek (Shakopee), Scott Co., Minnesota.  David was born 9 January 1860, Marinette, Marinette Co., Wisconsin.  The information for this family was supplied by a cousin and has not been verified.  Anna had 4 children. 

The person that initiated the probate process for Alexander was his niece, my grandmother Grace A. Barclay McDonald.  She was pregnant at the time and lived in International Falls.  She was unable to attend the court sessions because she had the baby and was “indisposed.”  The baby was my Aunt Miriam. 

Book: Logsleds to Snowmobile’s, Pine River Centennial Celebration, 1873-1973, Written by the Citizens of Pine River and edited by Norman F. Clarke, Pine River Centennial Committee, 1979.  A copy is available at the Family History Library.