This is pretty rambling, but I hope someone with the last bit of information to lock it up stumbles across this post.
A Work in Progress
I am writing this both to get my own research and thoughts in order and to solicit any assistance anyone can provide.
This quest starts with Joseph Applegate’s probate file. The LDS church recently made scans of many early 20th Century probate files from Kings County (Brooklyn, mostly), New York available online. I have downloaded all the files that seem to be for Applegate estates. The largest file I found was for Joseph L Applegate. It was the only one I found with a real probate fight documented in it.
The probate file is Liber 393, P. 98 in the Kings County Surrogate’s Court. Unfortunately, the will itself is not in the file.
Joseph died on 6 May, 1907. Probate was started with a petition filed by the executors of the will on 6 May 1907. The will was admitted to probate on 6 December 1907, but the challenge to it kept the estate tied up until 1April of 1910.
The estate was very large–in excess of $400,000 in 1907.
Joseph was married to Iantha. I have not been able to find a record of their marriage.
Joseph and Iantha had no children of their own. From the proceedings in the Surrogate’s Court, it appears they informally adopted Iantha’s grand-niece, Ida Tillot. While Joseph and Iantha did not adopt Ida, they did participate in a legal name change by to use the name “Applegate”.
By the time Joseph died, Ida had married ______ Drake, and is known as Ida Applegate Drake throughout the file.
Joseph’s will gave the bulk of his estate to Ida (his “adopted” daughter) and his wife Iantha’s sister, Jerusha Jarvis, who lived with the family until her death. Legacies were also given to other members of his wife’s family.
The will also left smaller legacies to the descendants of Joseph’s brother Josiah. Specifically: Frank D Applegate of Brooklyn; Ethel May Applegate DuBois of Brooklyn; Kate Applegate (who predeceased Joseph) and Harold Griffith Applegate of Sonoma County, California. Harold Griffith was incompetent and resided at the California Home for Feeble Minded Children. He was represented by a special guardian.
Frank died in 1909 during probate and his wife took over his share of the case. His very short probate file is also available. It identifies his wife Alice and infant daughter Murial Burton Applegate.
Harold Griffith Applegate also died during probate and Alice (Frank’s widow) was appointed his Administrator in the dispute over Joseph’s estate. In her petition, Alice says that here sister-in-law Ethel May Applegate DuBois was living in Santa Cruz County, California, and had seen the body of the deceased Harold Griffith Applegate.
In the end, the will was accepted for probate, the challenges denied and the funds distributed.
At this point, we know:
Joseph Applegate was married to Iantha _______.
Joseph Applegate had a brother named Josiah
Josiah had grandchildren named Frank E Applegate, Harold Griffith Applegate, Ethel May Applegate DuBois, and Kate Applegate.
Frank, Harold, and Ethel are siblings.
I also have the probate file for Iantha, which is quite simple–she left everything to her husband Joseph.
One more tidbit from the Surogate’s files: The probate file for Josiah, who died intestate in 1889 in Brooklyn. His administrator was his grandson Frank (the same Frank as above), who identifies himself as “a son of Henry Applegate a deceased son of decedent.” So now we have the father of the challengers to Joseph’s will–some guy named Henry Applegate.
Enough of probate files for now. To the US Census!
Joseph and Iantha are in the 1850 Census for New York County, New York.
Joseph Applegate, 36, Male, b. NY, Mahogany Dealer
Iantha “ 33, Female, b. NY
Joseph and Iantha are in the 1870 Census for Kings County, New York
Joseph Applegate, 55, Male, b. NY, Coffin Manufacturer, real estate value 14,000
Iantha “ 50, Female, b. NY
also in the household is Jerusha Jarvis, who we know is Iantha’s sister
Joseph is also in the 1900 Census for Kings County, New York
Joseph Applegate, b. September 1812 in NY, no occupation
also in the household is Jerusha Jarvis.
His address was 492 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, which is the address Ida his adopted daughter used in the probate.
The only new information here is Joseph’s birthdate, September 1812 in NY, and his occupation as a mahogany dealer and coffin manufacturer.
Using Google to search for the rare name, “Iantha Applegate” , I found a very interesting book: Report of the Committee Appointed by the Board of Trustees, Consisting of the Mayors of the Cities of New York and Brooklyn, together with the Report of the Accountants to Said Committee, in the Matter of an Examination of the Financial Affairs of the New York and Brooklyn Bridge, December 31, 1883 (Brooklyn: Eagle Boook and Job Printing Department: 1884). This book seems to be the final report of all the expenses involved in building the Brooklyn Bridge, including the cost of purchasing land. The entries are very detailed. Several are of interest here.
JOSEPH APPLEGATE and IANTHA, HIS WIFE, and JOSIAH H. APPLEGATE and CATHARINE, HIS WIFE
TRUSTEES OF THE NEW YORK AND BROOKLYN BRIDGE,
Consideration, $19,000, by deed dated April 27th, 1878, conveying parcels of land in Brooklyn bounded as follows:
Beginning at a point on the easterly side of Main street adjoining land late of John Fay, deceased, which point is distant 32 feet 8 inches northerly from northeasterly corner of Main and Prospect streets; thence running northerly along Main street 32 feet 8 inches to land late of Samuel Bach, deceased; thence easterly along said last mentioned land 111 feet 3 inches to Stewart street or alley; thence southerly along said street or alley 64 feet 4 inches to Prospect street; thence westerly along Prospect street 23 feet to land late of John Fay, deceased; thence northerly along said last-mentioned land, 32 feet 7 inches to land of said Applegate hereby conveyed; thence westerly still along land late of John Fay, deceased, 88 feet 9 inches to place of beginning.
(note: Recorded in Register’s office, Kings County, in Liber 1318 of Conveyances, page 114, May 11th, 1878)
This gives us the name of Josiah’s wife, Catharine.
The next transaction is also of interest
BRIDGETT FAY (Widow)
TRUSTEES OF THE NEW YORK AND BROOKLYN BRIDGE
Consideration, $27,000, by deed dated April 30th, 1878, conveying parcels of land in Brooklyn, bounded as follows: Beginning at corner formed by the intersection of northerly side of Prospect street with easterly side of Main street; thence running northerly along Main street 32 feet 8 inches to land of heirs of Josiah Applegate; thence easterly along said land 88 feet 6 inches to other land of heirs of said Applegate; thence southerly along said last mentioned land 32 feet 7 inches to Prospect street; thence westerly along Prospect street 88 feet 6 inches to place of beginning.
Being same premises conveyed to John Fay by Michael McNamee and wife and by City of Brooklyn, by two deeds, one (the former) dated April 27th, 1866, recorded in Register’s Office, Kings county, in Liber 705 of Conveyances, page 24, and the latter dated May 24th, 1870, and recorded in Liber 954 of Conveyances, page 175, and by said Jno. Fay devised to said Bridget Fay.
(note: Recorded in the Register’s office, Kings County, in Liber 1317 of Conveyances, page 105, May 4th, 1878)
You don’t have to follow all the metes and bounds to realize that the first parcel (the one owned by Joseph, Ianatha, Josiah, and Catharine) is referred to as land owned by the heirs of Josiah Applegate in the description of the land next door being sold by Bridget Fay.
We now know the probable name of the father of Joseph and Josiah–it’s Josiah Applegate!
On page 273 there is another transaction that I will not retype in full here because it involved a formal condemnation. The relevant portion of the property description is as follows:
Beginning at a point on easterly side of Main street, adjoining land belonging to heirs of Josiah Applegate, which point is distant about 65 feet northerly from northeasterly corner Main and Prospect streets; thence running easterly along said land 110 feet to Flint street; thence northerly along said street 25 feet to land late of Peter Weigel; thence westerly along said last mentioned land 110 feet to Main street; thence southerly along said street 25 feet to place of beginning.
Again, the Applegate property is referred to as land belonging to the heirs of Josiah Applegate.
With a full name for Josiah H Applegate, I gave Google another try and was rewarded with what I thing is the obituary of their mother.
HOUGHTON.–In Brooklyn, on Sunday morning, Dec. 5, Mrs. Ann Houghton, wife of Theophilus L Houghton.
The relatives and friends of the family, and of her sons, Joseph and Josiah H Applegate, and of her son-in-law, Henry J Marsh, are respectfully to attent her funeral, this day, (Tuesday) at 1 1/2 o’clock P.M, from her late residence, No. 5 South 8th st., Brooklyn, E.D.
New York Times, December 7, 1858
So, where are we?
I think we have
Josiah Applegate m. Ann (after Josiah’s death, Ann married Theophilus Houghton)
The had at least three children:
Joseph (b 1812-1815) m. Iantha
Josiah m. Catharine
UNKNOWN (f) m. Henry Marsh.
Let’s get some dates for Josiah.
I had no luck in the Census for New York. The only Josiah I found was in the 1870 Census was living in Glen in Montgomery County, NY, age 62, living with Rachel, age 60. Wrong wife, wrong place.
I remembered all the grandkids mentioned in Joseph’s probate file that lived in California, so I looked there.
I think I have some hits.
In the 1870 Census in San Francisco, CA, there is a Josiah Applegate:
Josiah H Applegate, age 53, lawyer, born in NY, real estate 12,000, personal 600
Kate Louisa Applegate, age 44, keeps house, born NY
I found Henry, the purported son of Josiah H, in 1870 living in San Francisco. He was 26 and born in NY and a clerk. With him is Nellie, age 23, born in Massachusetts, and Frank, age 2, born in California.
I found their grandson Harold G in the Home for Feeble-Minded in Sonoma County in 1900. He was an inmate, born in September 1881; his father was born New York, and his mother was born in Massachusetts.
The timing seems right for Josiah to have joined the 1849 Gold Rush.
The finagrave site gives birth and death dates for several of these people and places there burials in Lone Mountain Cemetery, San Francisco, CA (no pictures, unfortunately):
Josiah H Applegate, b. Oct 21, 1816, d. Oct. 12, 1899
Nellie R Applegate, b. Dec. 12, 1844, d. May 1, 1886
J Henry Applegate, b. Jan. 15, 1845, d. Oct. 6, 1896
With a bit of effort, I can probably track down their descendants.
So . . . .
We have Josiah Applegate m. Ann
They had sons
Joseph b. 1812-815
Josiah H b. abt 1816
The names Joseph and Josiah place this pair squarely in 5D4 land. Their father Josiah was probably born between 1780 and 1790 going by their ages. They might be children of Josiah 5D4C or perhaps of Josiah 5D4C1.
Various documents place Isabella (Essible) Applegate 5D4B in NY. Her brother John 5D4D also spent a lot of time in New York–he seems to have been the New York agent for his brother William’s mercantile business. Josiah (the father of Joseph and Josiah H) may be the additional white male over 16 living with John Applegate in the 1790 Census for New York. That might make him on the old (but not too old) end of potential fatherhood and explain how his wife Ann was left a widow.
I’m not confident enough yet to assign Josiah the elder a Voress number, but I’m really close.