Orphans of J. Y. Hemphill


Earlier this year, I mentioned finding a guardianship bond for the children of my 2nd great-grandfather, J. Y. Hemphill.  Here’s what I learned.


Georgia  Murray County.

Know all men by these presents:

That we Mary E. Hemphill principal and T. M. Hemphill & J. D. McEntire sureties are bound  unto W H Ramsey Ordinary of said County and his successors in Office in the sum of Two Thousand dollars for payment of which we bind ourselves, our heirs & assigns jointly and severally.  Signed sealed & delivered this 6th day of October 1890.

The condition of the above bond is such that if said Mary E. Hemphill the natural Guardian of her children Kate Y., Annie G. & James A. Hemphill to whom a surety there has been given by James Y. Hemphill dec. a pecuniary legacy of one thousand dollars, shall well and truly demean herself according to law as Guardian of such funds. Where will by her there the above bond to be used and paid else to remain in full force.

………………………………………………………………………………Mary E. Hemphill {seal}
attested & approved by                                                                   T. M. Hemphill   {seal}

W. H. Ramsey, Ordinary                                                                  J. D. McEntire    {seal}

Filed in Office & Recorded
Oct 6 1890   W H Ramsey


  • The “natural guardian” of a child is the father if alive, or the mother if the father is deceased.  Naming Mary as the natural guardian is the equivalent of naming her as the mother of the minor children.2 
  • T. M. Hemphill, one of the sureties, is J. Y.’s eldest son by his first wife, Rhoda, which makes him Mary E.’s stepson and nephew (Rhoda and Mary were sisters).
  • J. D. McEntire – he must be some relation of Mary’s, but who is he?
  • Three of J. Y.’s and Mary’s children are not listed in the bond:  Walter Patton (he would have been 22 at the time, and thus, not a minor) and Mary Emma and Judson Clements, both of whom died in infancy.

Next Steps

  • Determine the identity of the J. D. McEntire who was a surety on the Hemphill guardianship bond.
  • Murray County Probate records at FamilySearch – Inventories and appraisements 1885-1914.  Look for records pertaining to J. Y. Hemphill’s estate.
  • Murray County Probate records at FamilySearch – Year’s support 1882-1918.  Look for a record for Mary E. Hemphill in 1890.
  • Murray County Probate Court.  Look for letters of administration & letters of guardianship related to J. Y. Hemphill’s estate (this file on FamilySearch only goes to 1874 & J. Y died in 1890).



  1. Murray County, Georgia, “Georgia Probate Records 1775-1967,” guardianship bond for orphans of J. Y. Hemphill, 6 Oct 1890; adminstration and guardian bonds 1844-1896, digital images, FamilySearch (http://www.familysearch.org : accessed 30 September 2012); the Hemphill bond is imaged as p. 210 of the Murray County bonds.
  2. Orville A. Park, Park’s annotated code of the state of Georgia, 1914: embracing the code of 1910 and amendments and additions thereto made by the General Assembly in 1910, 1911, 1912, 1913, and 1914, together with complete annotations from the judicial decisions through those contained in the 139 Georgia reports, 12 Georgia appeals reports, 212 Federal reporter, and 230 United States Supreme Court reports. Volume II Civil Code (Atlanta: Harrison Co., 1915), 1496; digital image, Google Books (books.google.com : accessed 30 September 2012.

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