Question regarding the Chronology of a Hardwick, Worcester Co, MA probate in 1757.
My ancestor, Samuel Church's estate was probated in April 1757; He died intestate..
Circumstantially, it would seem that my ancestor Samuel Church died the year before “while in service” in the French and Indian War in Capt. Samuel Robinson’s Company which served in the Crown Point Campaign. This company served from February 18-December 24, 1756.
In colonial Massachusetts, how long did it take the court to begin the probate of the estate of the deceased? If a person died, was it immediate?
If a person, such as my potential ancestor, died in service during a campaign in the French and Indian War, could there be a delay in the probate process? I guess what I am trying to say is it unreasonable to think that a man dies away from home in a campaign in up state New York in say September 1756. His company does not return home until December. The details of his death are made known to the court and finally, 4 months after the deceased’s company returns home, his estate begins the probate process? Is this possible
Would a more likely scenario be, a man dies in service, say September 1756. A letter is sent home by the deceased’s commander. The deceased’s widow, or “next of kin” immediately notifies the court and the “probate process immediately proceeds?”
Any thoughts, links, ideas on this would be greatly appreciated. Currently, all I have is circumstantial evidence This evidence suggests the following:
- Samuel Church, age 40 (b. 1716) joins a company of men to fight the French in 1756 which served from Feb-Dec 1756.
- Samuel Church died during this campaign. Perhaps (for timeline convenience, towards the end of the campaign, Oct-Dec1 1756)
- By the time the news gets back to Hardwick, Worcester, MA, the widow/next of kin notify the busy court but winter and being busy etc, the court waits until April 1757 to being the probate proceedings?
Is this hypothesis realistic? Or is it more realistic that the court, upon hearing of the death of a person, would IMMEDIATELY being the probate proceedings? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Cheers, Nate