Will of William McClanahan

Contributed by Liz Moore on 24 Sep 2006
 

THE McCLANAHAN PUZZLE

Liz Moore writes: While I was at the Florence Courthouse in Lauderdale Co, Alabama doing research on another family I came across some important documents about the McClanahan Family. One WILLIAM McClanahan had died in 1835 in Lauderdale County, Alabama and his will is on record.

 

Will of William McClanahan Book A Page 4 and 5 May 2nd 1835 Orphans Court. Given during his last sickness called us to express in substance as follows:


Elizabeth Wife Property till her death then, 3 orphaned daughters of Catherine Riddle
Angelina Manervia Riddle
Martha Louisa Riddle
Parca Elizabeth Riddle
proven by witnesses on September 22, 1835
David Houston
Catherine Riddle

 

By 1848, his wife Elizabeth was dead and members of his family were contesting his will. A deposition was given from 3 men in Bedford County, Virginia. This deposition is on record at the Lauderdale County, Courthouse in Florence. It reads as follows:

 

The State of Alabama
to Charles S. Cobbs Esquire-Greeting


BE IT KNOWN, that you are appointed a Commissioner, to examine Witnesses, in a cause pending in the Orphans Court of said State, for the County of Lauderdale, between DAVID McCLANAHAN, STEPHEN McCLANAHAN and JAMES SAWYERS in right of his wife LUCINDA SAWYERS formerly LUCINDA McCLANAHAN plaintiffs
and
WILLIAM P___Y ? , ADMINISTRATOR of WILLIAM McCLANAHAN deceased. 
defendant therefore, you are hereby requested , that at such time and place, as to you be convenient, you cause to come before you JOHN C. NOELL, MOSES _____? E. __________? , RICHARD SALE, RICHARD BURKS, JULIUS HATCHER, BENJAMIN FALLS, CALONS? HATCHER, and PHILLIP TURPIN. Witnesses on the part of the plaintiffs and that you examine them upon their corporal oath to be by you administered, touching their knowledge, or remembrance of any thing that may relate to the case aforesaid, and having reduced the deposition of the witnesses so taken by you, into writing, you send the same with this Commission enclosed, under you hand and seal, to said Court, to be holden for the County of Lauderdale, at the Court House in the town of Florence, on the Fourth Monday in April 1848, to be read as evidence in said cause.


Witness WILEY T. HAWKINS Clerk of our said Court, at office, this 6th day of March in the year of our Lord, 1848 and of American Independence.


TEST, W. T. HAWKINS CLERK
The Plaintiffs will give the deposition at least 15 days notice of the time and place of taking the above deposition.
TEST, W. T. HAWKINS CLERK

DEPOSITION
Pursuant to the announced commission to me direct__? I have caused to come before me on this 29th day of MARCH, 1848, given above in the County of BEDFORD and in the STATE of VIRGINIA. 


BENJAMIN FALLS, JOHN C. NOELL, and PHILLIP TURPIN three witnesses in said Commission specified who being by me duly sworn on this  corporal to speak the true, the whole true and nothing but the truth, touching the matter in controversy between the said parties dispose and say as follows to wit:

 

BENJAMIN FALLS
Question : Are you acquainted with the Parties?
Answer: I have been.
Question: How long have you known them?
Answer: I have known them between twenty five and thirty years. 
Question: Did you know the parents of Wm. McClanahan
Answer: I did
Question: How many brothers and sisters were there of the family and what were their names?
Answer : Seven Brothers to wit : John, Thomas, William, James, Stephen, Alexander, and David. And by the last wife one daughter Lucinda.
Question: What became of them?
Answer: John and James are dead. Thomas I have not heard of for eighteen years. Alexander removed to Missoura and I have not known or heard anything from him for ten years.
Question: What became of William?
Answer: He removed from this County more than twenty years ago, in company with John Tate. I think to the South.
Signed Benjamin Falls

 

JOHN C NOELL. Deposeth and saith
Question: Which of the family were you acquainted with?
Answer: Thomas, James, William, Alexander, Stephen, and Lucinda. 
Question: How long since you heard from Thomas, James and Alexander?
Answer: I have not heard from Thomas for more than ten years. I have not heard from Alexander for fifteen years, James moved to Lap__? Indiana with his family and has been dead more than seven years.
Question: What became of William
Answer: I think he went to Alabama about twenty five years ago. 
Signed John C. Noell

PHILIP TURPIN Deposeth and saith,
Question: Are you acquainted with the McClanahan family?
Answer: I am acquainted with Thomas, James, William, Alexander, and Lucinda.
Question: How long since you heard from Thomas, James and Alexander?
Answer: I have not heard from Thomas for more than ten years, I have not heard from Alexander for Fifteen years, I have heard James has been dead more than seven years.
Signed Philip Turpin
I do certify, that the foregoing depositions, were taken by me at the time ad place mentioned in the __sstion?, that the ___? was reduced to writing by me in words of the witnesses as nearly as may be in my presence and by them signed in my presence, and that the same was not out of my possession until sealed. In witness where of I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 29th of March 1848.
Charles S. Cobbs ( seal)
Comm.

Also on record at the Lauderdale Co, Courthouse I found the following documents:

Know all men by these presents that we Belinda McClanahan, Harriet? McClanahan and James McClanahan of Laporta County, in the State of Indiana, adult heirs of William McClanahan and children of James McClanahan do hereby constitute and appoint Sterling A. M. Moore of Florence in the State of Alabama our true and lawful 
Attorney for us and in our name ____? and ____? to _____? any money due owing or belonging to us or ______? of_____? in the State of Alabama and especially any money belonging to us from the Estate of William McClanahan in the Orphans Court of the County of Lauderdale in the State of Alabama and for us and in our names plan and __? to ____? any and all proper receipts ____? and _____ for any money received or _____? that said Attorney may do in the ____? by ______? of these presents.
In Witness whereof ______ law hereunto our hands and seals this Twenty First Day of February A.D. 1850 
Belinda McClanahan
Harriet McClanahan ( looks like Harriet?)
James McClanahan
Executed and delivered in
presence of ___________
______________________?
James Moore.


State of Indiana 
Laporta County,
I Thomas P Armstrong Clerk of the Probate Court in and for the County of Laporta in the State of Indiana do hereby Certify that Benjamin Butterworth has been duly appointed by the Probate Court of said County Guardian of the Estate of Joseph McClanahan and Emily McClanahan and the said Benjamin Butterworth having duly qualified and given bond as such guardian is duly authorized to take upon himself the performance of the duties of the trusts of such guardianship according to Law.

 
Witness my hand and the seal of said court this Twenty Second day of February, Eighteen Hundred and Fifty.
Thos P. Armstrong Clerk


State of Indiana 
Laporta County,
I Thomas P. Armstrong Clerk of the Probate Court of said County do hereby Certify the foregoing to be a just and true copy of the letters issued to Benjamin Butterworth in the above cause. 


In Testimony whereof I have herunto set my hand and the seal of said Court at Laporta.
This 22nd day of Feby (SIC) 1850
Thos P. Armstrong Clerk


Know all Men by these presents that I Benjamin Butterworth guardian of the Estate of Joseph McClanahan and Emily McClanahan of Laporta County in the State of Indiana do hereby constitute (?) and appoint Sterling A. M. Moore my true and lawful Attorney for me and in my name ___? and ___? as such guardian to receive any money due to said Joseph and Emily McClanahan in the State of Alabama and especially to receive any money belonging to them a_____? of them from the Estate of William McClanahan in the Orphans Court of Lauderdale County, in the State of Alabama. And for me as such Guardian to ______? all proper receipts acqu__? and __? for any money so received or collected. Hereby satisfying and confirming all and __gular? that my said Attorney may do in the _____? by _____? hereof.
Witness my hand and seal this Twenty Second day of February A.D
1850. Benjamin Butterworth (Seal)
Attest
James Moore
State of Indiana Feb. 22, 1850 ______________________ Benjamin Butterworth 
Laporta County known by me_________________________________________
_____________________________________________________
James Moore J.P ( Seal)

 

Now the puzzle. This is what we know from the above.
A Family from Bedford County, Virginia had the following children: 
1. John McClanahan who had died by 1848
2. Thomas McClanahan who had not be heard from 10-18 years
3. James McClanahan who moved his family to Laporta County, Indiana. James had died by 1841. He had children : Belinda McClanahan, Harriet McClanahan, and James McClanahan, possibly a son named Joseph McClanahan who had a wife named Emily and they too were dead.
4. Stephen McClanahan . He was still alive in 1848 and one of the Plaintiffs in the William McClanahan Estate.
5. Alexander McClanahan. He had moved to Missouri and had not been heard from in 10-15 years.
6. David McClanahan. He was still alive in 1848 and one of the Plaintiffs in the William McClanahan Estate.
7. Lucinda McClanahan. Was still alive in 1848 and one of the plaintiffs in the William McClanahan Estate. Was married to James Sawyers by 1848. 8. William McClanahan. His Estate was the one in question. William left Bedford County, Virginia at least by 1823. Which I have found to be correct. William McClanahan witnessed another document on record in Lauderdale County, Alabama on June 1, 1820. We also know he was married to Elizabeth, and that he did not list any children.

 

Who Catherine Riddle and her children are I do not know. One Catherine Wood married John Riddle in Lauderdale Co, Alabama on Jan 20, 1819. If this is the Catherine Riddle mentioned above, I do not know.


Other marriages in Lauderdale Co, Alabama I could find.( looking under all spellings)
Betsy McCallahan -m- George Stanford 7/15/1821
Polly Callahan -m- William Romine 8/1/1821
William McClanahan -m- Mary York 12/21/1835
Elizabeth McCallahan -m- Sherrod Anderson 10/26/1836
Eli J. Calahem/Callahan -m- Clarinda Davis 12/31/1838.

 

On the 1830 census of Lauderdale County, Alabama is:
Mary McClanahan.
1 male 0-5 Born 1825-1830
1 male 5-10 Born 1820-1825
1 male 10-15 Born 1815-1820
1 male 20-30 Born 1800-1810
1 female 10-15 Born 1815-1820
1 female 15-20 Born 1810-1815
1 female 20-30 Born 1800-1810
1 female 50-60 born .

 

1840 Census, Lauderdale County, Alabama
M. McClanahan 0 0 0 2 - 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 1 
2 males 15-20 Born 
2 females 20-30 Born
1 female 60-70 Born

 

1850 census of Lauderdale County, Alabama
Mary McClanahan 70 Ireland
Jane 35 TN 
Catherine 31 TN ( Married Elisha White in 1853) 
Robert 27 TN Constable (Born March 16, 1823 died November 29, 1855) .
This Mary had a son, William McClanahan, who married Mary York.

 

Now the puzzle, who was the husband of Mary McClanahan? My guess and it is only a guess is the Thomas McClanahan who had not been heard from in 10-18 years. 


I did go to some of the Cemeteries and have a look around to see if I could see any tombstone for a Thomas McClanahan, but my search was all the more confusing.

 

This is what I found:
Lexington Cemetery, County Road 101, Lexington Alabama.
M. McClanahan died Apr 28, 1832 R. McClanahan b. March 16, 1823 died Nov 29, 1855. (This is Robert McClanahan Probate Records Robert McClanahan Book C pages 40, 41, 42, and 43. Also pages 143-146. Son of Mary McClannahan and brother to William 1808)


E. White ( nothing else) I believe this to be Elisha White who married Catherine McClanahan, daughter of Mary McClanahan C. White born 1816 died March 7, 1864