Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Petition to Remove Guardian 1816

It wasn't uncommon for a guardian of minor children to be removed from his duties.  Maybe the guardian felt the children should be apprenticed to learn a trade or maybe one of the parties had died or perhaps proper care was not being given to the children.  That is what happened in the family of Jacob Foreman.

When Jacob Foreman died in late 1815 or early 1816 in Livingston County, Kentucky, he left  several  children, including sons Carter and Jesse. Foreman's widow, Isabella/Isabel Foreman, and James Glass were appointed administrators of the estate[1] and James Young was appointed guardian[2] to the young boys.

Apparently Isabella Foreman was unhappy with the  James Young's care of her two stepsons and she petitioned the court with her concerns. She gave three reasons for her request for guardianship of the boys: (1) She didn't think Young would treat the boys well.  (2) The boys had an antipathy towards Young. (3) Her late husband would have preferred that she have the  care of his sons.

She wrote the following in her petition:

"To the Honourable Court of Livingston    
To wit,
I was left the care of two children  boys the sons of Jacob Forman my husband at his death untill his brother who lives in Carolina comes for them, I have kept them without any expectation of any benefit therefrom, and willingly would use my best endeavors to give them such education as is to be had in the county; only I am detered by James Young who has had the youngest one some short time, having been appointed (I presume without proper consideration) guardian for them both. After he had taken the boy into his care he instead of putting him to school forced him to work in the corn field in a short time he came back to me since which I have cloathed him and put them both to school which when Young understanding went and forced him (the youngest) from school preventing me from giving them schooling  the oldest having been frightened by his threats to have him bound to some man would not stay but came home. "

I think it a hard case that the two children should be parted being very much attached to each other, it is the choice of them both that I should be their guardian, the only one has a right to choose for himself yet I believe I have a right to the guardianship for both as their step Mother as long as they are treated properly by me. If I have a right agreeably to our laws I claim now the attention of this honourable court and petition for the guardianship of the two boys but if the court should think proper not to grant  this my petition, and determine that I have no lawful claim to the office of a guardian,  I petition that James Young may not be appointed or continued their guardian ... "[3]

The court agreed with Isabella's petition. James Young was removed as guardian of Carter and Jesse Foreman and Isabella was appointed in his place.  When Isabella married James Williamson in Illinois[4], they also became guardian for William Foreman, another  orphan of Jacob Foreman dec'd.

[1] Livingston County, Kentucky Court Order Book F, p. 3, 15 Jan 1816.
[2] Livingston County, Kentucky Court Order Book F, p. 6,  19 Feb 1816.
[3] Loose County Clerk's Papers 1815-1816 Box 4, Isabella Foreman vs James Young} Petition, Livingston County Clerk's Office, Smithland, Kentucky.
[4] Judy Foreman Lee & Carolyn Cromeenes Foss. Pope County, Illinois Marriage Books A-# 1813-1877, Vol. 1, p. 2, James Williamson and Isabell Foreman 28 Jan 1819.

Published 4 May 2016, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

No comments: