Tuesday, May 11, 2010

1907 Will of Samuel Etherington Appleton of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

In booklet form, the will of Samuel E. Appleton, well-known minister at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, completed in December 1907, about two years before his death in 1909.  Codicil dated November 1908.

In pencil, on the front cover, as you can see, is handwriting: "Mother's enclosed" or "Mother's uncle".  Unfortunately, by the time this item ended up in my possession, there was no longer anything enclosed.

This is what I have gathered from online research: [if you spot errors, please let me know!]
Samuel Etherington Appleton, and his twin Edward Webster Appleton, were born 30 March 1834 in Bedford Springs, Pennsylvania, the sons of Christopher and Elizabeth (Hewetson) Appleton, who had emigrated from England.  The twins became noted ministers.

Samuel E. Appleton married Jane Augusta Stout, born in 1833 in New Jersey, the daughter of John Wilton & Eliza (Woodruff) Stout.  There is mention of a Samuel E. Appleton, Jr., in the will, so I assume this is their son, though he doesn't show up on the 1860, 1870, 1880 or 1900 censuses in their household.  He could have been born between 1880 and 1900.  Or perhaps adopted.

There's a woman mentioned in the will before mention is made of Samuel Jr., and it's possible that this woman, Sarah J. Speer, is Samuel and Augusta's oldest surviving child, or is the sister of either Samuel or Augusta.  Also named are Edward W. Appleton Jr. and  George E. Appleton, son of Hewetson Appleton; Hewetson may have been a brother of Samuel and Edward, as that is the maiden name of their mother Elizabeth.

Samuel's twin, Edward Webster Appleton, [photo below] who predeceased him in 1901, married Sarah Newell Mayer, the daughter of George Louis and Esther Cox (Clarkson) Mayer.   Edward and Sarah aparently had at least one son, Edward Webster Appleton, Jr., mentioned above.

Samuel Etherington Appleton, whose wife had predeceased him by the time this will was made, was a man of means, as this will shows.  He was very generous to institutions, relatives and friends.  In addition to the mysterious Samuel E. Appleton, Jr., Samuel names several nieces and nephews.

Here is a list of people and institutions mentioned in the will:

Mary, widow of his brother Edward W. Appleton
Harriet W. Culin, devoted friend of his deceased wife Augusta
Hospital of the Protestant Episcopal Church, Philadelphia
Edward W. Appleton, D.D.
Mary H. Spalding
M. Caroline Spalding
Annie A. White
Theresa G. White
Samuel A. White
Elizabeth A. Douglas
Elizabeth Appleton
Vivia B. Appleton
Grace McKey
Fannie MacLean
Percy W. Appleton
Sarah J. Speer, Jr.
Anna E. Sedberry
Ella M. Speer
Laura S. Lund
Margaret B. Speer
Sarah J. Speer
Samuel E. Appleton, Jr.
Edward W. Appleton Jr.
George E. Appleton
Hewetson Appleton
Christine Appleton
G. Lee Stout
Fidelity Trust Company, Philadelphia, Executor
S. Henry Norris, Witness
G. Heide Norris, Witness
William P. Gest, Witness
Charles F. Toomey, Witness
G. Lee Stout, Sr.
John W. Howell
G. Lee Stout
Mary Appleton, widow of his brother Edward
John & William Hewetson
Sarah Jane Speer
Mary H. Spaulding
Annie A. White
Mary Caroline Spaulding
Elizabeth Appleton Spaulding Douglas
Percy W. Appleton
Vivia Belle Appleton
Mary Elizabeth Appleton
Grace McKey
Anna E. Sedberry
Fanny McLean
Josephine Appleton
Bessie Kellogg
Amelia McI Meyer
Margaret McI Seabury Cook
John W. Howell
Harriet West Culin
Rev. N. S. Thomas, beloved Rector and friend
Church of the Holy Apostles
James Tyson, M.D., friend and physician

I hope you find a familiar name in this will.  If you have any insights to add, please leave a comment or contact me.  Thanks for stopping by!

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Leslie Appleton QuirozMay 4, 2018 at 3:50 PM

    This is EXTREMELY interesting. I am a direct descendent of Christopher Appleton and Elizabeth Hewetson. My maiden name is Leslie Appleton, and I have been looking for information about this line for a long time. From some of my research, I understand that Christopher and Elizabeth actually had 14 children, although I have only been able to account directly for ten of them. Sarah Ann was one of their children, born in 1817 in England and immigrated with them to the United States. I recently ran across the name Hewitson Etherington Appleton and wondered if he was a son of Samuel and (Jane) Augusta. Like you, I have found no evidence in the census records, but there is no doubt that he did exist and the name would fit if he was their son. THANK you for posting this. I'm just sorry it took me so many years to come across it!

    1. You're very welcome. Please don't take what I've put in the post as gospel, as it all should be verified and sourced. This post is one of my early attempts and needs to be redone. If you have information to add, I'd be very appreciative.

  2. Leslie Appleton QuirozMay 6, 2018 at 10:45 AM

    I've been working on the family tree for about 15 years now and have actually sourced and verified a LOT of the names listed in this will. To be more specific, I'll have to work my way through the tree and write it all down in a clear manner. I will get back with you as soon as I have something that doesn't wander all over the place, as our Appleton tree had a tendency to do! It will take me a while between work and working again at home, grandkids and all that, so please be patient with me. I'm really excited to add what I can to this and possibly expand my tree more in the process. At the very least, I now might have a starting point on Sarah Ann Appleton, and I had NOTHING before. Women are so much harder to trace up until the 1850's because the census data prior to that only listed the name of the male head of household and then how many other people of specific sexes and ages were in the household. Again, I thank you for providing some possible leads that I had run into dead ends on. My email address is appleton3094@att.net in case you would rather communicate in that manner. Either way, I am soooo excited!!!!