Monday, October 18, 2010

Clinton Hoffman 'Inherits' 33 dollars!

Ok, we don't know for sure it was $33.00. And I'm sure the attorney took at least a couple dollars to file the proper papers!

Let me explain.

S. C. Hoffman had already moved to Texas before this 'inheritance' happened. Before he left home in Illinois, his mother had died in about 1875 and his father died in 1877. He was 18 years old at this time. He and his older brother, Andrew Worth Hoffman, went to Texas and are found living with the James Kennedy family in Dallas County in the 1880 census (going by their middle names). He also had one younger sister, Eugenia, who was 'adopted' by her Aunt Sarah Perry's family after their parents died. The Perry family lived near the Kennedys and Eugenia Hoffman is found with them in the 1880 census as a 15 year old niece.

By 1881 all three of these children had married folks that were part of the close-knit Baptist community in the Farmers Branch area, just north of Dallas. All three signed papers saying that they were the children of John Hoffman, and that they had received their portion of this inheritance. (see the Sept 23 post)

Here is the paper filed on behalf of our g-grandfather...

Clinton Hoffman
To release Deed Filed Nov. 30th [1888] at 4 o’clock PM
Michael C. McMahon

Know all men by these presents that Clinton Hoffman widower of the county Dallas and State Texas for and in consideration of one dollar and for other good and valuable considerations the receipt whereof is hereby confessed do hereby grant . . . and quit claim unto Michael C McMahon of the county of Greene and the State of Illinois all the right . . . whatsoever I may have as one of the heirs at law of John Hoffman deceased by virtue of a certain Deed of William Hoffman to William A Hoffman bearing the date the 11th day of June AD 1870 and recorded in the recorders office in Greene County Illinois in Book SS at page 383 in and to the described real estate situated in the County of Greene and State of Illinois to wit the north half of the north east quarter and the southeast quarter of the northeast quarter of Section one (1) in Township nine(9) north Range Twelve (12) west 3rd PM in Greene County Illinois and I hereby acknowledge the receipt of my portion of the money directed in said Deed to be paid to John Hoffman now deceased. Witness my hand and seal this 15 day of July AD 1884.
Clinton Hoffman (seal

I don't quite understand why the document says 'one dollar'. There were at least 10 other similar documents filed by other folks who also received a portion of this inheritance. Some of the papers say 'one dollar', and some of them specify the exact amount the person was paid. Maybe our family attorney could answer that question (Tim?).

What we do know is that there were only three heirs of John Hoffman who filed papers related to this land, so it seems that they must have been paid $33.33 each (one third of the hundred dollars that was to go to John Hoffman). It is possible that there were other heirs with whom this $100.00 was shared, but no other living children of John and Jane have been identified in 1880 or later.

As I said before, there are other important details which confirm that this is 'our' Clinton Hoffman. He was married to Carrie Perry in 1880, using the name Sylvester Clinton Hoffman in the Dallas marriage register. She died in 1881 after having one daughter. Thus, when he states that he is a widower, living in Dallas, these details fit the other historical documents and family history as passed down through our family and the Perry family.

To a family historian, these types of papers are a true gold mine. The next post will list several of the other folks who claimed a portion of the money paid by William A. Hoffman in compliance with his inheritance.

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