A key piece of evidence was found buried in this long court case file. The whereabouts of John J. VanRenssalaer after 1849 was not known. This document revealed that he died in California in the gold rush.
Transcipt of this portion of the case file image:
"...and this defendant, Enoch Hibbard, Severably Answering Says that he is informed and believes that said John J. VanRenssalaer died intestate in the State of California in the year 1854 leaving no wife or child, or any next of kin residing in the State of Illinois...."