The Poor May Write Wills–But Probably Not

Don’t assume that because your ancestor was “poor” that he left no will. There may have been one remaining family heirloom that he wanted to give to someone or a small amount of money he did not want someone to have. An aunt lived from widow’s pension check to pension check and she left a will. Most poorer individuals did not leave wills, but it is possible that they did.

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3 thoughts on “The Poor May Write Wills–But Probably Not

  1. Patricia Regan

    I have found very few of the poor left wills, however there is often a Probate record at the Court House. So that is often a source of information that can be valuable identifying family members.

    1. michaeljohnneill Post author

      This is true and one should ALWAYS look as there may have been something that needed settled–even if there was not anything to disburse, someone may have been appointed to oversee the settling of what there was. I can think of two Civil War widows who were relatively poor that left probates–one because she had the smallest government bond you could purchase and the other had a few issues from her pension that needed to be dealt with.


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