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By the Honorable SAMUEL HENSHAW, Esq. Judge of the Probate of Wills, &c. for and within the County of Hampshire, in the Commonwealth aforesaid. To Mrs. Persis Sheldon of Deerfield in the County and Commonwealth aforesaid.

TRUSTING in your care and fidelity, I do by these presents, pursuant to the power and authority to me granted, in and by an act of the General Assembly of the said Commonwealth, nominate and appoint you to be Guardian unto Seth Sheldon & Polly Sheldon minors children and heirs of John Sheldon late of Deerfield in said County, deceased, with full power and authority to ask, demand, sue for, recover, receive and take into your custody, all & singular such part & portion of estate as accrues to them in right of their Father

or which by any other way or means whatsoever doth of right appertain or belong to them and to manage, employ and improve the same for their best profit and advantage, and to render a plain and true account of your guardianship upon oath, so far as the law will charge you therewith, when you shall be lawfully required, and pay and deliver such and so much of the said estate, as shall be remaining upon your account (the same being first examined and allowed by the Judge or Judges, for the time being, of Probate, &c.) unto the said Minors when they shall arrive at full age, or otherwise as the said Judge or Judges, by his or their decree or sentence, pursuant to law shall limit and appoint.

In testimony whereof, I hereunto set my hand, and seal of the said Court of Probate. Dated at Deerfield the sixth day of January Anno Domini 1807.

Samuel Henshaw

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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A child was not thought to be an adult until he/she reached the age of 21. When John Sheldon died in August of 1806, the court of Massachusetts, on January 6, 1807, appointed his widow, Persis, to be the legal guardian of their 2 children, Seth, born in1787, and Polly, born in 1794. It is important to note that this was seen as a financial rather than an emotional relationship. The widow needed the official proof even if she was the children's real mother; it was not odd to appoint a male relative of the dead father as guardian.


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Guardianship Appointment to Persis Sheldon

creator   Samuel Henshaw
date   Jan 6, 1807
location   Deerfield, Massachusetts
height   5.5"
width   7.75"
process/materials   printed paper, ink with manuscript
item type   Legal Documents/Government/Society Records
accession #   #L99.176

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See Also...

Letter to Widow Persis Hoyt Sheldon

Will of Persis Sheldon

Silhouette of Persis Sheldon (1785-1804)

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