The Children of David and Mary/Polly Branscomb:
Please check the Author's Notes for an explanation of the numbering system I use for identifying individuals within any family.
The line of descent for Wesley Branscomb:
9. Wesley Branscomb
Wesley Branscomb was born ca. 1836 Ind., d. in Johnson Co. November 1862; did not marry. The 1850 census for Johnson Co. Shows him as “Wrisby”, age 23. The 1860 census shows him and his younger brother Edmund in the household of J. (James) Harpur (probably “Harper), age 31, next door to his sister Margaret Taylor and three doors removed from his father David. In the same household were David’s estranged wife Nancy Branscombe and her children. Harper’s wife Rebecca Rushing Harper was shown as the head of household 968, a few doors away. It is understandable that Nancy and her children would not be welcome in David’s house, but the reason for the presence of Wesley and Edmond in the same house with Nancy, a house which also involved a resident from a neighboring house, is puzzling. As a possibility I propose that with respect to Wesley and Edmond the answer might be a quarantine: Wesley as the ill individual and Edmond probably as his caretaker. Following is the evidence:
In 1862 William Perkins, assignee of William May, brought suit against Wesley Branscomb for payment of a demand note for $20.25. A summons was issued on 9 October 1862 for Wesley to appear in court on 18 October. When Wesley did not appear, the case was continued until 5 November. Again Wesley did not respond. The logical approach would have been to send someone to represent him in court, but whatever the reason, no one appeared on his behalf. Thereupon the court passed judgment, and Wesley was required to pay the stated amount of the note plus the cost of the suit. Wesley died less than a month later. It appears that he–or a representative on his behalf-- paid the required costs, because they are not listed as liabilities in settling his estate. Wesley’s brother James took the administrator’s oath and signed the necessary forms on 2 December 1862. L. W. Fern was the security.
The probate journal stated that Wesley died “testate,” but no will was found, nor was one mentioned in the probate file (Book B., p. 418). The estate sale was held on 20 December at the house of David Branscome:
- Isaac Branscomb bought a mare for $77.00.
- James Branscome bought a horse ($90.00), a sow and pigs ($4.00), and 10 bushels of wheat ($7.00). David Branscome bought a “lot” of tobacco ($46.12), a coat ($2.00), and an axe (0.50).
- Wesley’s sister Margaret bought a knife ($1.00).
- L. W. Fern bought a colt ($27.10).
- Other items included two steers, wheat, corn, a grain cradle, a scythe, a pistol, a rifle, an umbrella, and some clothing. The total for the sale was $448.47
The absence of household items is not surprising if Wesley was living in someone else’s house which was equipped with those items. The estate sale also gives evidence that Wesley was successful as a farmer until illness brought him to an untimely end. The absence of farming tools other than a grain cradle and a scythe is more puzzling; perhaps Wesley borrowed such items from his father whenever they were needed. Did he not also need tack for his horse?
As was the case for his father David, some outstanding debts were to be dealt with after his death:
- $24.50 :Wesley’s sister Margaret Taylor; $8.60 for burial money, $$15.00 for “work,” and $0.90 for “Money owed.”
- $15.75: W. Reynolds for purchases at his store; the amount increased to $17.32 before it was paid.
- $16.00: Dr. James B. Ray for medical expenses.
- $89.68: “Administrative expenses,” not otherwise described, but probably involving court activities.
- $145.93 total
Before his death in 1864 Wesley’s father David did not pay the $48.62 for the items that he purchased at the estate sale for his son Wesley. However, Wesley’s brother James did list the amount as a charge against their father’s estate. Attorney Fern probably had to attend court in order to take care of the matter: he had a debit of $3.00 for “attend trial with W. Branscombe estate.” The accounting stated that there were ten heirs to Wesley’s estate, including Sarah, the (presumed) daughter of David by Nancy.
I have not learned where Wesley’s body was buried.
(Note: CEB’s book, p. 61, shows Wesley, b. 1836, as the husband of Martha E. It is apparent that he confused Wesley with Isaac the son of Mary/Polly Branscomb and grandson of Thomas and Olive. Isaac was in Johnson Co.: he bought a mare at the estate sale. Also, he was the approximate age of Wesley; but it was Isaac and not Wesley who married Martha Elizabeth Vancleve.)
David Branscomb, son of John and Olive E. Branscomb
Children of David and Mary/Polly Branscomb
Frederick B. Tubbs
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