It was the responsibility of the state as administered by the county Orphans' Court, to oversee the welfare of orphans and the protection of the property of minor who came into the possession of property of significant value. The court was concerned with not only children whose father died but also children who inherited legacies from other persons such as a grandfather. Thus a child's father might be appointed as his guardian. Guardians were appointed by the Orphans' Court for minors under the age of 14. At the age of 14 the minor could choose his or her guardian. Boys reached majority at age 21 and girls at age 18. Other guardians might include the husband of wife who was a minor; the mother of the child whose husband had died, and other relations and non-relations. Thus these records are replete with valuable genealogical data. Relationships are stated or implied throughout. Ages are evident, sometimes exact and other times approximate. Approximate dates of death can be inferred. Add to this clues to relative wealth.
Mary Marshall Brewer
2003, 5½x8½, paper, index, 178 pp.