Further research in the probate records on FamilySearch produced this document about William. It's a guardianship record. My records indicate that William was born around 1848. This record was dated 14 October 1858, so William would have been around ten years old at the time.
Transcription of Probate Document
Probate Court Athens County Oct 14th 1858
In the matter of Wm Wesley Rardin Minor child of Samantha Rardin. On motion to the Court It is ordered that Daniel B. Webster be appointed Guardian of Said Minor and that he give Bond in the sum of Five hundred Dollars with Daniel B. Stewart Surity, conditioned according to Law, and thereupon the Said Guardian, having first filed the statement of the Estate of his Said Ward according to Law, appeared in open Court, accepted said appointment, gave Bond accordingly, & having been sworn as the Law directs. Letters of Guardianship were issued to him.
Calvary Morris Prob JudgeWilliam Wesley Rardin's appointed guardian was Daniel B. Webster. William's mother had a brother named Daniel Bromley Webster. So, I think it's safe to assume that William's guardian was his Uncle Daniel.
My knowledge about probate records is not what I'd like it to be. I had questions about guardianship law in Ohio during this time period. I tried to find answers online on my own, but couldn't seem to find the answers I was seeking. So, I turned to Facebook. I belong to several genealogy Facebook groups and asked my questions in two of those groups - Genealogy Bloggers and Genealogy! Just Ask!. I also asked my questions in my own timeline as well. Within a very short time, wonderfully helpful fellow genealogists were coming to my aid. I wondered about the circumstances that would require guardianship of a minor child. For example, would the guardianship mean the child was orphaned?
These wonderful genealogy friends of mine answered my questions. Several people said that no, the child does not have to be an orphan to have a guardian. A couple of interesting links were shared with me as well. Here they are ~ Guardians for the kids? by Judy G. Russell and Ohio Probate Records in the FamilySearch Wiki.
Probate records really are fascinating. They give us an interesting glimpse into the lives of our ancestors.
I found additional probate records that pertain to William Wesley Rardin and will share those in future posts.
Thanks for reading!
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1 "Ohio, Probate Records, 1789-1996," images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-1971-27661-22836-43?cc=1992421 : accessed 1 October 2015), Athens > Probate journals 1852-1871 vol 1-2 > image 218 of 597; county courthouses, Ohio.↩