One thing I don't like about blogging is that writing about an idea may ably make clear that more research is needed. Even though I feel pretty good that this person is who I think she is, more research is definitely required. It would be an odd coincidence that someone of the right name married someone who had an unusual name who appears in family documents. 

In 1870 Addison Lee was living in Penn Township, Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania.

Adison Lee age 34

Nancy Lee, age 30

Anna Lee, age 9

Clara Lee, age 7

Ira Lee, age 2

John Lee, age 3/12 (born in May)[1]

By 1880 the same family had moved to Monroe Township, Clarion County, Pennsylvania.

Adison H. Lee, age 44, occupation Miller

Lavina Lee, age 36

Annie Lee, age 20

Clara Lee, age 18

Ira N. Lee, age 12
Harry X Lee, age 1[2]

Although there is a change in the wife and the youngest child, the three oldest children are consistent: Anna/Annie, Clara, and Ira. Ira is my great-grandfather.

Addison died 10 December 1880 from a boiler explosion at Turney’s flour mill and Curllsville.[3] 

Probate proceedings were initiated, not because Addison owned a lot of property, but because he had a life insurance policy, and the fraternal organization needed assistance in identifying who should benefit.

The $2,000 fund was distributed to the guardians and divided as follows in April 1881:

Mrs. V.E. Lee Widow 1/6 $326.25

Annie Lee J.T. Lee Guardian 1/6 $326.25

Nervie Lee J.T. Lee Guardian 1/6 $326.25

Newell Lee J.T. Lee Guardian 1/6 $326.25

John Isaac Lee J.T. Lee Guardian 1/6 $326.25

Harry X. Lee G. T. Henery Guardian 1/6 $326.25[4]

On April 1884 Ira Newell Lee petitioned the court for a change of guardian:

“At an Orphans court held at Clarion in and for the County of Clarion the 25 day of Apr. 1884 was presented the petition of Ira Newell Lee respectfully representing, That the petitioner is a minor child of A H Lee late of the Township of Monroe in said county deceased. That on the twenty fourth day of January A D 1881 this Court appointed J. T. Lee guardian of petitioners person and estate the petitioner being then under the age of fourteen years. That he is now over fourteen years of age and prays the Court to admit him to make choice of a guardian for his person and estate and that his estate and that his estate consists of money and amounts to about two hundred and forty dollars. And he will ever pray &C.
And now April 28 1884 on reading the within petition the Court appoint Henry Seabold to give bond on the sum of Two hundred dollars to be approved by the Court.”[5]

There are other documents that include the name “Nervie Lee” as one of the children of Addison Lee.[6] Because all the other children are consistent with their names in the census, it seems clear that “Nervie” is the Clara of the 1870 and 1880 censuses.

A couple of weeks ago, I looked through my aunt’s DNA matches and their trees, and found one match with a dead-end line at Minerva Lee, born in November 1861 who was married to a Henry Seabold! There is much to investigate with this family. In 1900 Henry Seabold was living with his four children in Omaha, Douglas County, Nebraska. His marital status is given as divorced.[7]

It seems very likely that the Minerva Lee who married Henry Seabold in this family tree of a DNA match is the “Nervie” Lee of the Addison Lee probate file. However, searching in censuses would have failed to identify Minerva Lee’s prior location since she was enumerated as Clara. In the known records of the family in Clarion County, the probate proceedings are the only place where the name "Nervie" is apparent. The Orphans’ Court dockets where Addison Lee’s probate proceedings are recorded have not been microfilmed by the Family History Library/ Utah Genealogical Association.

The moral of the story is that sometimes other people have reason to have information that we do not have. Collaboration can result in findings otherwise undiscovered.


[1] 1870 U.S. census, Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Penn Township, p. 24, dwelling 164, family 172, Adison Lee family; NARA microfilm publication M593, roll1349.

[2] 1880 U.S. census, Clarion County, Pennsylvania, population schedule, Monroe Township, Enumeration District 73, p. 18, dwelling 162, family 165, Adison H. Lee; NARA microfilm publication T9, roll 1117.

[3] “Terrible Boiler Explosion at Curllsville — One Man Instantly Killed,” Clarion Democrat, 16 December 1880, p. 1, c. 1; microfilmed newspaper collection, Clarion Free Library, Clarion.

[4] Clarion County, Pennsylvania, Orphans’ Court Docket F:36-38, Distribution of Funds to Beneficiaries, 14 April 1881; Clerk of the Orphans’ Court, Clarion.

[5] Clarion County, Pennsylvania, Orphans’ Court Docket G:157, Petition of Ira Newell Lee for Change of Guardian, 25 April 1884; Clerk of the Orphans’ Court, Clarion.

[6] For example, Clarion County, Pennsylvania, Orphans’ Court Docket G:55, A.D. Lee Dec’d Petition for Removal of Guardian of Minor Children, 2 November 1883; Clerk of the Orphans’ Court, Clarion.

[7] 1900 U.S. census, Douglas County, Nebraska, population schedule, Omaha, Ward 9, Enumeration District 95, Sheet 9 A, p. 175 (stamped), dwelling 168, family 191, Henry A. Seabold; NARA microfilm publication T623, roll 925.


0 #1 Dana R Leeds 2018-01-14 03:11
Collaboration IS so helpful!

By the way, I love and was looking to see if I could find more on Clara. I didn't, but I did find a news article about Harry X Lee dying of the Spanish influenza in 1918 one year after he married. How sad!

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