I heard from a distant relative related through the Newville line. This of course sent me searching for more information on the line. I found several obituaries from Iowa newspapers for members that I had already in my database. My line came from New York so I searched for John Newville in New York state next. The story that I would find was concerning John Newville’s grandson Alexander C. Newville, born around 1817 in Onondaga, New York and died November 3, 1891. Alexander was the son of Abraham and Sarah Case Newville. His only sibling was Clemence Judson Newville.
In 1893 genealogy was alive and kicking…
The Herald, September 10, 1893
Found All the Heirs
Two Hundred Interested in the Partition of the Newville Estate
Ex-Judge Henry Riegel and Frank R. Walker have nearly reached the end of a case that has cost them between ten and fifteen dollars in postage stamps. It is a suit for partition of the estate of Alexander C. Newville, who died in November, 1891, leaving property estimated to be worth anywhere from $15,000 to $25,000. He also left a legacy of 200 lineal heirs to haunt the estate, and some of them have been exceedingly spookish to get at. About a year ago Elizabeth Newville, wife of Theodore A Newville, who was a cousin of the deceased, brought a friendly suit for the determination of the division of the property, and since then the attorneys have been busy finding “Leroy S. Newville and others.”
The property is 500 acres of land in Spafford, near Borodino. There are farm houses and barns on the land and a flour mill using the improved roller process, which cost originally $15,000. Mr. Newville died childless, having never been married; he never had a brother, and his sister had died years before him, also without issue. The search for heirs accordingly went back to the brothers and sisters of his father and mother. These were all dead, and the nearest heirs at law of the deceased were first cousins. The mother’s name was Case, sot he unmarried cousins were Newvilles and Cases. It is not very difficult to find the Cases, because they were largely residents of southern Onondaga and Central New York, and knew for the most part all about each other, so that the search along that line was very quickly finished. But the Newvilles were not only more prolific than the Cases but most of the cousins were dead, and those who had descendants did not know what had become of them.
The whole 200 have with two or three exceptions been traced out now, however, and in a short time a motion will be made in court to amend the complaint so as to substitute for the descriptions of the lost heirs the actual names and the procedure of partition will soon follow. Some of the heirs dwell in Canada, and one is Capt. Elbert G. Sean of Brunswick, Ca. His family live in Bridgeport, Conn. and the family tree extends to Denver, Col., where Stilman R. Slocum and his brothers and sisters live. The process of finding these Denver Slocums was quite interesting. It was known that one of the original cousins was Lydia Slocum, and it was supposed that she and all her descendants were dead. A Western relative wrote Mr. Walker to that effect and he had just decided to put them off his list, when somebody happened in one day and told him that Richard Slocum of Onendaga Valley knew all about the family. He wrote to Richard Slocum who called on him and referred him to Dr. Charles E. Slocum of Defiance, O. who was of another branch of the Slocums, and not a descendant of Mr. Newville’s cousins, but had made a genealogy of the Slocums and could furnish information. He put Mr. Walker on the track of the Denver people.
In one instance it was thought that trace had been found of the descendants of John Newville, one of the cousins, and a relative in Nebraska was discovered, who turned out not to be a descendant of John, but still another cousin, Peter Newville. Some relatives lived in Ireland, but are now in this country. One heir is Abraham Newville of Nunda, Livingstone county, and another is Abigail L. Willis of Angelica, Allegany county.
Among the Syracuse heirs are George H. H. Adams of the Courier and Charles A. Adams, his brother. They are descendants of Lydia Case Fuller. As may be imagined, none but the immediate cousins get very much out of it. There were sixty-seven first cousins, most of whom are dead, and in each case the cousin’s share is divided up numerously. John Newville, for instance, left nine children one of these was Nancy Deming, who left eight children. None of these has died leaving issue.
There were some debts in the accounts of the estate, and the personal property will not cover them. The letters written by Mr. Walker, as stated, cost nearly fifteen dollars in postage, and the tissue paper copies which he retained in each case are now a bound volume eight by six inches and one and a half inches thick.
I wonder where that book ever ended up.