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Wednesday, February 19, 2014


     WILLIAM PROCTOR 1796-1841
Valerie J. Thompson
     William Proctor died in Gallatin County, Illinois in 1841. Two sources provide his death date, his Probate papers and a newspaper article. From Shirley Cummins Shewmake's book, Gallatin County, Illinois Newspapers, Vol. 1 (1841-1843)  "Saturday, December 11, 1841, Died this place on the 8th inst. William Proctor, aged about 45 years." [The Illinois Republican] The news post also provides a birth year. From Probate Box/Drawer 76 Gallatin County Circuit Court is the following bill for the coffin and grave garments for William Proctor.

Wm Proctor death 8 December 1841
     There was no will amidst the Probate Box Papers. This conflicts with the findings in the Proctor Connection, 1978 and the DAR application papers of Mrs. June Head, 1995.   Surely there is a will, I insisted, speaking with the clerks at Gallatin County Circuit Court. I have two sources, one a book and the other a DAR member, whose gedcom reads "Niece and nephews inherited because William had no children of his own. The Sarah Proctor would have been a daughter of John, so all of William's brothers and all children of John Proctor were the heirs. Will mentions L. M., Nicholas, John, Ephraim, Silas Cloud Proctor and Sarah Proctor Cloud."
Again, I was told there was no will.

Reading over the Probate Box Papers, I find another statement from the Administrator of William Proctor's Estate, Samuel L. M. Proctor, which reads:
Shawnee[town], Sep 3rd 1847

W. Davenport, P. Justice, Sir

I know of no objection or defense against the notes given by my INTESTATE Wm. Proctor, Dec'd
to William Cockrell Oct 16, 1829 being 10 percent interest & having a credit on it of Fifty dollars paid June 13, 1836. Note being on its face for one hundred dollars.
[Signed] S. L. M. Proctor

Wm. Proctor intestate


         Apparently, there were proceedings regarding the estate of William Proctor from the time of his death in December 1841 until 1856. His personal property was inventoried 14 December 1841, and sold at public auction on 22 January 1842. Samuel L. M. Proctor was Administrator.   Various notes and receipts dated from 1838 to 1856 are also contained in the Probate Papers of Box 76.
     From Gallatin County Deed records filed 17th February 1852 a deed is conveyed from the Commissioner John Hall to Samuel L. M. Proctor, Administrator of William Proctor, deceased, for $15.00, the upper and north half of Lot No. 1129 & 1130 in Shawneetown.
"Whereas at the September term of the Circuit Court of Gallatin County, Illinois in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty one on a bill for title filed in said court by William Proctor in his lifetime against James M. Jones and John Docker who have also since deceased the following order was made, Samuel L. M. Proctor Adm'r of William Proctor, deceased vs John W. Norton, Attawa Norton, Elenor Jones, Harrison Jones, Alexander W. Jones, Merrit Scott Jones, Heirs at law of James M. Jones deceased."
 Obviously, there should be more papers in the Gallatin County, Circuit court records. Hopefully, they will explain more about what happened with William Proctor's estate.
From Newspapers of Gallatin County, Vol III, page 154 by Shirley Cummins Shewmake:
PETITION TO SELL LAND - State of Illinois, Gallatin County, court, June Term 1856. Samuel L. M. Proctor, Adm'r vs. Nicholas Proctor, Samuel L. M. Proctor, John Proctor, Ephriam Proctor, Silas Cloud and Sarah Cloud, heirs at law of William PROCTOR,  dec'd. April 9, 1856. [Southern Illinoisan]
The above named persons are assumed to be the children of John Proctor and Mary "Polly" Moore according to the Proctor Connection by Shirley Ross and the DAR application papers of Mrs. June Head.
Here is where a lot of questions arise. How were the children of John Proctor proved? Are all of these persons named in the Petition to Sell Land children of John? Could any of them be children of William? Some report William never married. Who is the woman and child with William on the 1830 Census of Gallatin County, Illinois. Some report that he married Louisa Wilson 1827 in Gallatin. If so, what happened to her? Why are John Proctor's children the heirs of William Proctor when John survived his brother by more than a decade? John and Mary Proctor  made a statement in 1854 when   Catherine Proctor, widow of Nicholas Proctor, applied for his pension.  
A death record for John J. Proctor is included in the DAR application papers of Mrs. June Head, a descendant of John J. Proctor, believed to be the son of John Proctor, who was the son and heir of Revolutionary War soldier, Nicholas Proctor. The death record does not state the names of John J. Proctor's  parents. A tombstone photo is included giving the birth and death dates for John J. Proctor. This does not provide information about his parents. A marriage record is included in the DAR papers, but again there is no parental information on the marriage record. So how was it proved that John J. Proctor was the son of John Proctor? None of the Circuit Court records, or the newspaper post, Petition to Sell land, were included in the DAR papers.  There was included a page from Shirley Bodersen Ross's book, The Proctor Connection. No will of William Proctor was provided, nor any of his probate papers.
Hopefully, there will be some answers to these questions in the Circuit Court papers. If so, this will be continued.

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