In A Quaker Migration to Southwestern Ohio, Jack Hutchinson list’s the children of Joshua Carter and his first wife as Samuel Carter (c.1802 – ? ), Sarah Carter (c. 1805 – c. 1835) and Fenton Carter (? – deceased by May 1831). He also notes that “Living with Samuel in 1850 was a Beulah Carter, aged 59.” and asks, “Was she a sister of Samuel?”. Hutchinson’s evidence appears to be based solely on Joshua Carter’s probate record, the guardianship papers for the children of Fenton Carter, and the 1850 US Census.
Unlike his brothers and brother-in-law, Joshua died without leaving a last will and testament which would have listed his heirs, and because births were not recorded by the government until much later, an alternative record had to be found to produce a definitive list of his children and heirs. In this case, that document was the deed of sale for Joshua’s property after his death.
The deed is the sale of the property by the heirs of Joshua Carter to their brother, Samuel Carter, who was apparently living on the property at the time of his father’s death. It lists Joshua’s heirs as follows: Joshua Carter and Sarah his wife, William Carter and Rachel his wife, John Carter and his wife Nancy, Josiah Carter and Elizabeth his wife, and James Wills and Sarah [Carter] his wife.
The deed did not include Fenton Carter, who had died a few months earlier, or his heirs; nor does it mention Beulah Carter. Beulah was listed in the 1850 census as an “Idiot” and in the 1860 census as “Dumb”, so, therefore, may not have been considered competent, and her consent to the sale would not have been required.
Fenton Carter had died months before his father and during my research, I found he was survived by his wife, Rebecca Barnes and two children, Elizabeth and Joshua. On 11 May 1831, Rebecca was awarded guardianship of her children by the probate court and should have represented her children in the sale the following September, since they would have been entitled to a share of the proceeds. Why they were not represented may never be known; however, because of the guardianship records, we know that Fenton was the son of Joshua Carter.
From these records we can determine that Joshua Carter had the following eight children who, except for Fenton, survived him:
The children are listed in alphabetical order and their birth and death dates are beyond the scope of this article.
So far, only the branches of Joshua’s sons, Josiah and William, have been confirmed by the DNA project.