First let me say the Chester County Archives are full of incredible records and the archivist and all the staff were extremely helpful. I spent a day and a half there and felt that I was able to cull the best they had to offer because of how active they were in my research goals. I even got a great recommendation for dinner in West Chester from one of the staff.
So, of course one of the first things I asked to look at was the Orphan records – 22 pages of pure gold!
And here is what they said on May 11, 1865:
“ To the Honorable Judges of the Orphans Court of Chester County. The petition of Franklin P. Mattson, Salinda A Mattson and Jones P Mattson, minor children of Anthony W. Mattson deceased late of the Township of Schuylkill County of Chester by their grandmother Mary B. Mattson respectfully represents. That the petitioners are under the age of fourteen years and have no person legally authorized to take charge of their person and estate; they therefore pray the Court to appoint some suitable person their guardian for that purpose.”
And then in a later document filed by David B. Mattson on August 14, 1867:
To the Honorable the Judges of the Orphans Court of Chester County. The petition of Salinda A. Mattson and Jonas (Jones) P Mattson * by their uncle David Mattson respectfully represents; The the petitioners are minor children of Anthony W. Mattson alias William Thompson late of the Township of Schuylkill in the said County of Chester, deceased, under the age of fourteen years are residents within said county and have no guardian to take care of their persons and estates. John Rapp, the former guardian having died April 20th 1867. They therefore pray the Court to appoint a guardian for the purpose aforesaid- And they will be. Salinda A. Mattson and Jonas P Mattson by their uncle D.B. Mattson
Eureka – The fourth brother is Anthony W. Mattson alias William Thompson. And another mystery….why did he use an alias? Next steps are to order the pension file! (Maybe the government will be open when I am in D.C. next spring?)
The new Mattson Family Tree – It still holes to fill in, but we are getting closer to answers with every research trip!
* There is another petition for Franklin P. also asking for a guardian, but I believe he was separated from the other two siblings because he was 14. There appears to be specific laws governing orphans ages and the appointment of guardians.