Caleb Case of Spencerville, Indiana (great-great grandfather), who reported himself born in New York circa 1803 in the census, has certainly led me on a winding genealogical path these past few months. Who was his father? I thought I knew, based on a will of Caleb Case, Sr., which I acquired long ago in my research. Then I looked around at other people's research and some connected that man with sons named Caleb who moved to Michigan and Wisconsin. How could I be sure that I was making the right connections?
First, here is the will of Caleb Case, Sr. of Whitestown, New York, dated 1814:
Oneida County, New York
"The last will and testament of Caleb Case of Whitestown in the county of Oneida and state of New York, I, Caleb Case, considering the uncertainty of this mortal life and being of sound mind and memory, do make, ordain, publish and declaire this my last will and testament in manner and form following
First, I give and bequeath until my beloved wife, Charlotte Case, the one third part of the reasonable _? of all my real estate of which I am in lawful possession of at my decease.** I also give and bequeath to my said beloved wife the one third part & improvement of my dwelling house & out houses, also two cows, one horse and twelve sheep, said stock to be kept on the premises which is to be considered as part of the Rents above mentioned to be allowed her. The privilege in the house and other buildings also to be considered part of the Rents. I also give and bequeatn to my said beloved wife, Charlotte Case, all my household furniture, also my wearing apparel and necessary fuel for the fire as long as she remains my widow." (**Charlotte's dower rights - see link)
"Then I do hereby commit the guardianship of my four youngest children, viz. Iantha Case, aged twelve years, Caleb Case, Jr, aged eleven years, Hiram Case, aged nine years, and Dela Case, aged seven years**, until they shall respectively attain the age of twenty one years, until my said wife, Charlotte during her life, if she should so long continue my widow and form and after her decease, or if she shall marry again, then in that case, I do constitute, ordain & appoint my beloved son, Zacheus Case, his executors and assigns, and I do hereby declare that the expense and maintenance and education of my four above named children shall be paid & borne by my said wife, by and out of the privileges & property given and bequeathed to her in and by this will."
(**I believe Charlotte was Caleb Sr.'s third wife with whom he had these four young children: Ianthe, born c. 1802; Caleb Jr., born c. 1803; Hiram, born c. 1805; and Dela (Delia), born c. 1807.)
Then, I give and bequeath to my eldest son, Horrace Case, thirty five dollars
Then, I give and bequeath to my three daughters, viz. Elizabeth Mark (March?), Sarah Case, and Rhoda Kellogg, the sum of thirty five dollars each.
Then, I give and bequeath to my two sons, Caleb Case, Jr. and Hiram Case, the sum of three hundred dollars each in manner hereafter pointed out
Then, I give and bequeath to my two daughters, Ianthe and Dela Case, the sum of two hundred dollars each which said several legacies or sums of money I will and order to be paid by my Executors hereafter by me made to this my will.
Then I give and declare to my two sons, Zaccheus Case and Philemon Case, to them then thus their assigns forever, all my Real Estate, together with all my personal estate, being, lying and remaining in the town of Whitestown in the county of Oneida in the state of New York or elsewhere. Now to them, the said Zaccheus Case & Philemon Case, their heirs and assigns forever to be equally divided between them, and further my will is that Horace Case, Elizabeth Mark, Sarah Case and Rhoda Kellogg, all receive the legacies above willed to them at the expiration of two years after my decease and it is my will that my two sons, viz. Caleb Case Jr. and Hiram Case shall receive the Legacies allotted and willed to each of them at the age of twenty one years and also that the legacies be paid to Ianthe and Dela Case, above mentioned, when each shall arrive at the age of twenty one years.
And lastly, as to all the rest of my personal estate goods and chattels of what kind or nature not heretofore bequeathed, I give & bequeath equally between my two sons, Zaccheus Case and Philemon Case, whom I hereby ordain, constitute and appoint Executors of this my last will and Testament hereby revoking all former wills by me made. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal the ninth day of August in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and fourteen."
The will was signed on the 9th of August and it was presented in court on the 29th after Caleb Sr.'s death. From this will, we gain the names of his children, which I believe were from three different wives. Horrace was the oldest son, but apparently he had already been compensated sufficiently as he was given $35. Caleb Sr. gave his real estate to two other older sons, Zaccheus and Philemon. He had probably given the older girls a dowry when they married, so he might have thought that was enough, giving them now just $35 at his death. (Sarah Case was married to a Case.) But the four youngest children got substantial amounts of money for the time, 1814. A currency calculator valued the $300 Hiram and Caleb and their sisters received as worth about $4,000-$5,000 in 2013.
So it makes sense that when Caleb and Hiram came of age and collected their inheritance, having received no land from their father, they would have headed west where land could be had for $5.00 or less per acre. Caleb came to Indiana in about 1842 and Hiram to Trumbull County, Ohio sometime in the 1840's. (More on Hiram in the next post.)
Caleb Jr. married Sophia Camp who was from Waterville, NY, just about 15 miles from Whitestown. Close enough to visit and court.
So the proximity of these two places supports the possibility that the two Calebs might be related.
But the biggest connection I found between our Caleb Jr, this Caleb Sr. and his brother,Hiram, came through Hiram's son, Isham.