Just poking around the Lapeer County, Michigan, Probate files and found one, File #456, for the minor children of Holdridge Murlin (I'm not related to this family). The name that initially caught my attention was Mrs. Minerva Fowler. According to this source, she was born Minerva Shaw.
In 1860 Holdrich and Minerva Murlin were living in Lapeer in the household of Samuel Murlin, age 72. Also living with them were Thankful (age 7) and Marietta (age 4) Murlin, as well as Peter Shaw, age 62. [Holdrige was living with his father in Lapeer in 1850]
The widow Minerva Murlin married William Fowler in Lapeer County on 3 April 1866. William Fowler was born in England, so he was not closely related to my New York Fowlers.
A hearing in the matter of Thankful Merlin and Diantha Merlin was held in Lapeer on 29 October 1869.
Inventory for the minor children consisted of property in Lapeer County (see the legal description of the property here and here).
The Petition of Minerva Fowler stated that she was the widow of Holdridge Murlin who died about November 8, 1862. On April 3, 1866, Minerva Murlin married William Fowler. She also stated that Joel Palmer presented himself to be appointed guardian of the two minor children, Thankful and Diantha (ages given) without her (the mother's) knowledge. Mrs. Fowler also indicated that her children were entitled to a pension from the United States. Petition for removal of guardian (and here and here).
United States, Civil War Soldiers Indexalso known as: Holdridge Murlin1st Regiment, Engineers and Mechanics, MichiganOriginal filed under Holdridge/Murlin
Holdridge, Martin, or Murlin, Holdridge, Lapeer. Enlisted in company I, Engineers and Mechanics, Aug. 28, 1862, at Lapeer, for 3 years, age 33. Mustered Sept. 17, 1862. Artificer. Died of disease at Bowling Green, Ky., Nov 8, 1862 Buried in National Cemetery, Nashville,Tenn. [Source: Archives of Michigan]
Thankful wanted Joel Palmer removed as guardian. Thankful's letter identified herself as Thankful Defrotes. On 9 October 1874 a letter from Denton County, Texas, stated that Thankful C. Defrotes was appointed guardian of Diantha C. Murlin.
A subpoena to appear 15 February 1870 in the case of Thankful and Diantha Murlin, plaintiffs, and Joel Palmer as defendant. Subpoenaed were: Robert Stiles, Elijah Stiles and Susan Palmer.
Notes regarding testimony: H. W. Shaw acquainted with affairs before Merlin died...has had the children at his place...was married about the time witness was appointed Guardian....
Henry W. Shaw heard they (the children) were in Yorkville, Illinois; Thankful is 16 and Diantha is 9 or 10 years old... Testimony of Elijah Stiles, February 15, 1870.