Newly Discovered Hancock County Records

….. Board of Police and Probate Records
         Thanks to the continued awareness of employees at the County Clerk’s office, two other original documents have been found. Both of these were dated beginning in 1853.
          These documents are important to researchers attempting to reconstruct the early history of Hancock County. Significant in the collection are wills and estate inventories of many of the leading citizens of the time.
          In addition, Civil War documents are significant by their absence. In point of fact there are large gaps for the years 1861 to 1865. As noted elsewhere, official activity, including such as record keeping, must have severely curtailed.
 
First book
          One book is partly devoted to Treasurer’s reports of the Hancock County Board of Police and other organizations, and partly for reports of the Hancock County Probate Court. It numbers, in total, 208 pages, and contains financial records covering the years 1853-1860, and probate records from 1866 through 1870.
 
Second book
          The second is entirely devoted to the minutes of the County Probate Court, covering no less than 767 pages. Records from years 1853 through 1859 are included.
 
          These constitute an important addition to the original Police Court Records previously reported, which had been rescued from a private collection. That document has now been turned over to the County Clerk. It is the subject of an article on this website called “Minutes of Hancock County’s Police Court, 1863-1866.”
 
 
          The earliest years covered in the two newly discovered books is the same as that of Deed Books A and B, specifically 1853.  This is not by coincidence. A reader may need to know that a courthouse fire in Gainesville occurred in 1853, destroying many county records. A serious attempt was made afterwards to record both deeds and probate records from that date.
          It is clear that in the case of the deed records, many documents were re-recordings of earlier transactions, allowed by a special act of the legislature.
           This is not so for the probate records. Most of the first 300 pages of the total 767 in the second book are dated 1853. They do not include any wording indicating they are “re-recordings” as in the case of deed re-entries. Still, that may be a reasonable assumption in that there were so many dated 1853. As the next 400 pages span the years 1854 through 1859, it is evident that the average entries per year would have been much lower
          It should be noted that where there are large gaps in page numbers it indicates that several records in succession bear upon the same matter.
 
 
Contents of the first described book:
First 31 pages:
Treasurer’s report, Sept. 1853, County Bd. of Police
Includes school fund
 
School fund report, March 1854
This seems to show financing done by promissory notes from prominent people. Some were owed interest going back to 1846.
 
Treasurer report – Sept. 1855
School fund – Sept. 1855
 
Report of 16th section fund
 
Report of Hancock/Harrison “Three percent fund” – Sept 1855
Includes cash in finances of $1,655. 58 as “amount of judgment, estate of Isaac Graves”
 
List of Insolvent taxpayers
 
Report of finances of Bd. of Police, Sept 1856
 
Finances of 16th section – March 1857
 
Common School – March 1857
 
Finances of 16th section – October 1860
 
Next 177 pages
From this point on, book pages are numbered, once again beginning with page 1.
 
The first page is Probate Court report of the January 1866 term. Then, there follow the probate records through the January 1870 term, ending with page 177.
 
The rest of book is blank.
 [NB: 177 pages when divided by 5 years shows an average of less than 40 pages per year. This might be contrasted with almost 300 pages for the year 1853.]
 
 
Contents of the second described book:
          This book contains information that would be of more general use to those studying our county’s history and to genealogists, and therefore a complete list of its contents will be found below.
          For simplicity, what is offered here are simply page dates and a brief description of each document. Researchers may want to see the entire piece by visiting the County Clerk’s office, or for a limited time, the Historic Society.
 
p. 1: Estate of Heloise Marcos
 
p. 4: Lands of David R. Guex
 
p. 7: Petition of Emelia Lasassier, widow of Carlos
 
p. 9: Guardianship of Doby (d’Aube) minors, Thomas, Estelle, Jose, Elizabeth, and Elodie
 
p. 10: Samuel White’s account of guardianship of minors Howard W. and Sidney H. Wilkinson, sons of W H Wilkinson
 
p. 12: Sam White’s investments for Wilkinson children, above
 
p. 14: Annual statement by White as administrator of Wilkinson estate
 
p. 16: Will of François Ladner 
 
p. 17: Petition of Mary Ladner, widow of Francois
 
p. 20: Estate of Eulalie Casanova
 
p. 22: Distribution of Jesse Cowand estate
 
p. 43: Will of John Williams
 
p. 44: Guardianship of William Wise, minor
 
p. 45: Guardianship of Alfred, Margaret, and James Farr, minors
 
p. 54: Appointment of Sam White as administrator of Doby (D’Aube) estate
 
p. 60: Sam White appointed guardian of children of Howard and Sidney Wilkinson
 
p. Estate of Amelia Russ
 
p. 61: Petition of Samuel Favre to show that he is one of heirs of Augustine Favre
 
p. 62: Petition of Mary Jerold to report death of Henry Jerold  [Jarrel?] who died intestate
 
p. 64: Inventory of estate of Andrew Seal
 
p. 67: Will of Mary Butler – 1844
 
p. Appointment of guardian of Charles Seal, minor heir of Andrew Seal
 
p. 77: Will of Antoine Bayard
 
p. 98: Estate of DF Guex
 
p. 107: Appointment of guardian of minor heirs of James Farr
 
p. 111: Susan and William Seal to make inventory as administrators of estate of Andrew Seal
 
p. 113:  Appraisers of estate of Henry Jarrell appointed
 
p. 117: Will of Ward Brock
 
p. 122: Inventory of estate of Calvin Merrill
 
p.127: Guardianship of minor heirs of PRR Pray, George and Theodosia
 
p. 128: Guardianship of minor heir of Jesse Cowand
 
p. 131: Petition with regard to death of Matthew who had died some years before; he died intestate
 
p. 134: Estate of Carlos Lesassier
 
p. 135: Estate of Eulalie Casanova
 
p. 137:  Estate of C. Lewis
 
p. 138: Guardianship of Charles Merrill
 
p. 140: Guardianship of heirs of George Mitchell
 
p. 142: Estate of Augustine Favre, Onezin Favre administrator
 
p. 143: Guardianship of Henry Seal
 
p. 146: Estate of John Patrick
 
p. 154: Estate of David Guex
 
p. 155: JB Nicaise vs J R Landier re: estate of Guex, above
 
p. 156:  Estate of Domingo de la Lanza; will in French
 
p. 164: Estate of Claude Vuillumet
 
p. 167: Guardianship of James B. Parker
 
p. 169: Estate of Ira E. Dupree
 
p. 173: Estate of William Korne
 
p. 181: Estate of Auguste Lafitte; includes will. Executrix was Mary Lafitte, who was daughter of Francois Ladner.
 
p. 187: Guardianship of Georgiana Nicaise
 
p. 189: Guardianship of Augustine Favre et al, children of Augustine Favre
 
p. 191: Guardianship of minor heirs of James Farr
 
p. 196: Guardianship of Lafayette Parker, minor heir of John Parker
 
p. 198: Petition regarding estate of James W. Taylor
 
p. 201: Estate of Henry Jarrell
 
p. 208: Guardianship of heirs of Carlos Ladner
 
p. 209: Guardianship of minor heirs of Charles Seal
 
p. 212: Estate of Andrew Seal
 
p. 214: Estate of PRR Pray; Sam White to make final statement as administrator
 
p. 216: Estate of James Mitchell
 
p. 221: Petition of Cornelius Newman to partition his land
 
p. 222: Guardianship of heirs of Doby, Sam White administrator
[NB: Slave sold for as high as $1355.]
 
p. 227: Guardianship of Charles Nicaise
 
p. 229: Guardianship of heirs of Andrew Seal
 
p. 233: Estate of Antoine Bayard – 1849. Includes will.
 
p. 252:  First annual account of estate of Jesse Cowand
 
p. 265: Estate of Matilda Fayard
 
p. 265: Estate of Thomas Pharis
 
p. 270: Estate of Dilga Perry
 
p. 270: Estate of RG Stephenson
 
p. 270: Estate of Ira Dupree
 
p. 271: Inventory of estate of Jesse Coward
 
p. 278: Will of James W. Taylor
 
p. 287: Appraisal of assets of Cadet Lafontaine; includes Schooner Southern
 
p. 290:  Estate of Charles Merrill; report of guardian of Charles
 
p. 295: Estate of William Neinhoffman
 
p. 297: Estate of Calvin Merrill – annual report
 
298: Estate of GW Robinson
 
p. 299: Guardianship of children of Daniel Cotrill
 
p. 300: Guardianship of Jesse Cowand, infant son of Jesse the father
 
p. 301: Statement of debts of estate of Jaequez [Jacques?] Edward Saucier
 
p. 303: Estate of Jacob Stokes
 
p. 317: Will of Jacques Saucier
 
p. 326: Estate of John William Gause. Mentions Wootan and Carroll plantations; Wootan said to be an old Gause plantation.
 
p. 341: Guardianship of children of James Mitchell
 
p. 345: Guardianship of William P. Wise, child of Curtis and Mary Wise.
 
p. 346: Sale of lands of Eulalie Casanova
 
p. 356: Estate of Jacquin Robira
 
p. 363: Inventory of estate of Alfred A. Farr
 
p. 364: Estate of Elisha Benjamin
 
p. 367: Inventory of estate of Ann E. William
 
p. 368: Estate of James Mitchell
 
p. 371: Estate of Ward Brack
 
p. 376: Petition regarding Samuel Ladner, Jr. – minor child
 
p. 379: Petition regarding Rodney Clark Jarrell, heir of Henry Jarrell
 
p. 382: Guardianship or John A. Russ, son of Sempronius Russ
 
p. 385: Estate of Thomas Doby
 
p. 386: Estate of Jacques Saucier
 
p. 389: Estate of Matthew Landrum 
 
p. 396: Estate of JJ Jourdan, who died about 1833
 
p. 404: Guardianship of Charles Merrill
 
p. 409:  Will of Marceline McArthur
 
p. 416: Estate of PRR Pray
 
p. 419: Petition by EF Russ with regard to estate of Jesse Cowand
 
p. 422: Authority to appraise goods and chattels of Thomas Pharis
 
p. 426: Partition of lands of Melite Lasassier
 
p. 444: Estate of Genarve Nicaise
 
p. 446: Estate of John E. Jones
 
p. 449: Estate of George W. Robinson
 
p. 449: Guardianship of WP Wise, minor
 
p. 450: Guardianship of heirs of PRR Pray
 
p. 451: Estate of Ira Dupree
 
p. 451: Estate of John Patrick
 
p. 452: Guardianship of Charles Merrill
 
p. 452: Guardianship of William Wise
 
p. 454: Marie Robira vs. Juan Rosetto
 
p. 454: Estate of Thomas Doby
 
p. 456: Guardianship of Rhody E. Jarrell
 
p. 457 Appraisal of assets of John E. Jones
 
p. 459: Estate of Samuel J. Peters
 
p. 467: Estate of Henry Jarrel
 
p. 469: Estate of Calvin Merrill
 
p. 472: Estate of Samuel Peters
 
p. 475: Guardianship of William Wise
 
p. 476: Third annual report with regard to minor heirs of James Farr
 
p. 476: Investments of monies for minor heirs of William Wilkinson
 
p. 477: Guardianship of Julia and Charles Cowand, minors
 
 p. 479: Guardianship of Samuel Ladner
 
p. 480: Estate of Jacob Stokes
 
p. 482: Estate of John C. Jones
 
p. 503: Guardianship of Matilda Landrum
 
p. 506: Annual statement, estate of Thomas Doby
 
p. 507: Estate of Ira Dupree
 
p. 510:  Estate of Genave Nicaise
 
p. 512: Guardianship of James Austin Leonard, minor
 
p. 513:  Estate of Jaquin Robira
 
p. 516: Final settlement, estate of Auguste Lafitte
 
p. 519:  Settlement of estate of Samuel Peters
 
p. 522: Estate of Thomas Pharis
 
p. 523:  Settlement of estate of Genave Nicaise
 
p. 525: Settlement of estate William C. Mackie
 
p. 527: Guardianship of Henry Seal, a minor
 
p. 528:  Estate of Bazile Ladner, Sr. –includes will
 
p. 533: Estate if Jacques Saucier
 
p. 535: Petition of John W. Russ with regard to finances of ward, John A. Russ
 
p. 536: Report of assets of estate of William Mackie
 
p. 538:  Guardianship of Charles Nicaise, a minor
 
p. 538: Estate of Nancy B. Arnold
 
p. 541: Estate of Genevieve Nicaise
 
p. 544: Guardianship of Joseph W. Pendleton
 
p. 547:  Estate of John W. Gause
 
p. 549: Guardianship of heirs of Jesse Cowand
 
p. 550:  Guardianship of William P. Wise, a minor
 
p. 552: Guardianship of heirs of Cowand.
 
p. 553: Estate of Genevieve Nicaise
 
p. 555: Final settlement of estate of Jesse Cowand
 
p. 556: Estate of Marceline McArthur
 
p. 558: Estate of NB Arnold
 
p. 563:  Estate of Bazile Ladner
 
p. 565: Estate of Nancy B. Arnold.
 
p. 569: Guardianship of Rodney C. Jarrell
 
p. 570: Guardianship of minor children of RA Arnold
 
p. 572: Guardianship of William Wise, a minor
 
p. 572: Guardianship of heirs of D. Cathel
 
p. 573:  Guardianship of heirs of Wm H. Wilkinson
 
p. 574: Guardianship of minor heirs of Andrew Seal
 
p. 575: Estate of David C. Hincks
 
p. 577:  Estate of Genevieve Nicaise
 
p. 578: Estate of John W. Russ
 
p. 580: Guardianship of John A. Russ, minor child of Sempronius Russ
 
p. 583: Petition of John Thornton, a free mulatto, born in 1827
 
p. 583: Guardianship of minor heirs of PRR Pray
 
p. 584:  Settlement of estate of Antoine Bayard
 
p. 585:  Settlement of estate of Mathew Landrum
 
p. 586:  Sale of negroes from estate of Genevieve Nicaise
 
p. 587:  Guardianship of John A. Russ
 
p. 589:  Guardianship of James Seal, minor
 
p. 590:  Inventory of estate of John W. Russ
 
p. 595:  Will of Deliliah Farr; petition of A. Farr
 
p. 599:  Estate of John W. Russ
 
p. 604: Estate of Genevieve Nicaise
 
p. 606: Guardianship of Georgina Nicaise
 
p. p. 607: Sale of lands of JJ Jourdan [14 pages of documents]
 
p. 620: Guardianship of William Wise
  
p. 621: Estate of John Calvin Jones
 
p. 623: Jacques E. Saucier
 
p. 630: Estate of John W. Russ
 
p. 632: Estate of Florentine Netto; includes will
 
p. 636: Estate of James Byrd
 
p. 641: Estate of David O. Hincks [Hinks}
 
p. 653: Estate of JJ Jourdan [16 pages in addition to previous entry]
 
p. 669: Guardianship of minor heirs of RA Arnold [Includes “Sale of Valuable Lands at Bay St. Louis]
 
p. 678: Will of Clarice Lafitto [Laffito]
 
p. 682: Estate of James Byrd
 
p. 685: Estate of John Mazilly
 
p. 688: Guardianship of minor heirs of James Farr
 
p. 689: Estate of James Byrd
 
p. 693: Guardianship of Samuel Ladner, a minor
 
p. 693: Guardianship of minor heirs of William H. Wilkinson
 
p. 695: Estate of Delilah Farr
 
p. 698: Heirs of James Byrd
 
p. 701: Estate of S. Blanton Pierce
 
p. 704:  Petition of John A. Russ, heir of Amelia Russ
 
p. 707: Guardianship of W P Wise
 
p. 708: Estate of John W. Russ
 
p. 710: Petition of Thomas McArthur, minor
 
p. 712: Guardianship of Celina Nicaise
 
p. 715: Estate of Marceline McArthur
 
p. 716: Estate of John Mazilly
 
p. 720: Estate of Ira Dupree
 
p. 722: Guardianship of James Seal
 
p. 722: Estate of David Hincks
 
p. 724: Estate of Delilah Farr
 
p. 724: Appointment of appraisers for estate of Seth Blanton Pierce
 
p. 728: Provisions for Susan Russ and her three children, widow and children of John W. Russ
 
p. 729: Estate of Genevieve Nicaise
 
p. 730: Estate of John Mazilly
 
p. 736: Settlement of estate of John W. Russ
 
p. 737: Estate of Delilah Farr
 
p. 737: Estate of Marceline McArthur
 
p. 739: Guardianship of minor children of Eugenie and Julius Beugnot
 
p. 743: Estate of John Graves
 
p. 742: Guardianship of heirs of James Farr
 
p. 743: Report of guardian of minor heirs of William H. Wilkinson
 
p. 745: Guardianship of minors Alfred, Charles and Julia Cowand
 
p. 749: Fourth annual report of guardian of children of Andrew Seal
 
p. 750: Third annual report of guardian of Rodney Jarrell
 
p. 751: Petition of executor of will of Florentine Netto
 
p. 751: First account of estate of John Mazilly
 
p. 752: Inventory of estate of heirs of Daniel S. Cottrell
 
p. 753: Estate of John Graves
 
p. 755: Estate of Delilah Farr
 
p. 759: Guardianship of heirs of James H. Byrd
 
p. 760: Estate of Seth B. Pierce
 
p. 761:  Estate of John W. Russ
 
p. 765: Guardianship of heirs of W. H. Wilkinson
 
p. 767:  Estate of Bartholomew Gusman