$50 to Move Two Bodies in 1920

May be an image of text that says 'Oct. 23, 1920, By cash paid Charles A. Long, in full of expense for moving body of decedent and her husband, from Barnes Cemetery to Mo Sន Ridge Cemetery, incl ud ing digging graves at Moss Ridge Cemetery, 50.00 list of disbursements from-estate of Metha M.-Fecht, Final Report and Settlement, dated and filed October 1921; Hancock County, Illinois, Probate case file packets; Box 447.'

Periodic accountings and disbursements of estate administrators may tell you a great deal about your ancestor. The illustration from 1920 indicated that the deceased whose estate was being settled was moved (along with husband) to a nearby cemetery. The “move” was shortly after she had been buried in the original cemetery.

These accountings can clarify relationships (by documenting the actual amounts they received), provide details about how the family actually lived, give insight into the family’s financial status, and occasionally help to document when other individuals were alive.

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Not Everything Works for Everyone

Periodically I get emails from readers indicating “that didn’t work for me,” “that doesn’t work in England,” or “that doesn’t apply to my family.”

I understand that. Different locations are different. Different time periods are different. Different families are different. While there can be similarities from one location to another, one time period to another, and one family to another, details do matter. It’s hard for any suggestion to apply to ever situation.

Our suggestions are meant to get you thinking, to remind you of something, or to make you aware of something you did not already know. If it “doesn’t seem to apply to you,” ask yourself:

  • Is there something similar (a record or a legal process) for the time and place of my problem?
  • Is there something I may be overlooking?
  • Does this idea or approach not apply to my family at all and why does it not?
  • Have I reached out to others with similar problems to see if thy have suggestions that may be helpful?

Try a Genealogy Search on GenealogyBank.

Reunion Writeups Can Clarify and Confuse

1962 was the 25th year members of the Trautvetter and Schildman clans gathered in Warsaw, Illinois, for a day of food and festivities.

The writeup of the reunion in the local newspaper serves to remind of several things about reunions and the writeups that sometimes resulted.

Reunions can easily encompass more than one family. The Trautvetter and Schildman families had a joint reunion because two Trautvetter brothers married Schildman sisters and a joint reunion made sense. Most of the Trautvetter attendees descended from the brothers who married the Schildman sisters or siblings of those two brothers. A few other Trautvetters who attended were descendants of first cousins of those brothers.

Not everyone in attendance is named. The reference to my grandfather, Cecil Neill, says that “Cecil Neil and family” attended. It is not certain exactly who “and family” referred to, but based on the rest of the writeup, it at least included his wife and oldest grandson.

Not everyone who attended is necessarily a relative. The Mrs. Ola Hawes (actually “Howes”) was neither a Trautvetter or a Schildman either by birth or marriage. Her mother’s oldest sister married a Trautvetter nearly 100 years before the reunion and many of her cousins would have been in attendance.

Did a Second Cousin Twice Removed Do Some Work for You?

Your relative may have worked on their genealogy in a way entirely different from you. They may never have completed what they set out to either.

A maternal relative worked on compiling the descendants of her grandmother–my great-great-grandfather’s sister. The relative never completed her work. There is not compiled genealogy. But her notes and letters are extant and those items were a great help in actually completing her work. Her notes outlined all the children and grandchildren of her grandmother. The letters and envelopes helped me to track down additional members of her family–although the work was never finished.

Make certain you’ve reached out to all the extended members of your family to see if they have similar materials.

Before It Fades

If you’ve been at genealogy for several decades, what non-digital reproductions of records are sitting in your files that need to be preserved in another way?

When I started my research back in the 1980s, copies from microfilm were often not considered permanent and researchers were told to use them as a temporary means of capturing the text and that the item should be transcribed before the image faded from the paper.

Not all images fade. The image used to illustrate this post was made in the early 1980s and is still legible enough to read, but it was stored in a safe environment in terms of humidity, temperature, and minimal exposure to light.

What do you have that needs to be converted to another format?

Making It Clear What You Have

I do not have the original handwritten copy of this 1933 “class will.” What I have is an apparent photocopy of the will that someone likely gave to my Grandfather Ufkes sometime before his death.

I need to make that clear in the commentary I add to the digital images I have created from the copy. The text explaining what the item is needs to reflect that I do not have the original will in my possession. I had to read the description a few times before I felt what I wrote truly reflected what I actually had. Make certain your descriptions and citations truly reflect what you actually have in your possession or what you actually saw.

The Back Has More Clues than Just a Name

This is one of two photographs I have of my maternal grandmother when she was a child. I suspect there are other pictures of her, but I have been unable to locate them. Grandma is identified on the reverse of the photo twice.

Once she is listed (in pencil and apparently printed) as “Doty” and once she is listed in script as “Dot Habben.” The script I recognize as my grandmother’s writing and the ink appears to not be contemporary with when the photograph was taken.

Based on the reverse of the photograph it appears that at one time it was in a photo album. The picture I had was loose in my grandmother’s effects. There was no album of pictures.

This begs the question: Were there other pictures in the album and, if so, what happened to them? That’s something I need to find out. Contacting relatives is in order.

Chronologize that Obituary

A great way to start analyzing an obituary is to put all the dates mentioned in it into chronological order.

List all people who were alive when the obituary was written or who apparently survived the deceased. List all people who predeceased the individual who died. Also indicate who was married before the individual died–marriages are sometimes suggested by spouses listed for heirs.

Sketch out other relationships if they are readily inferable from list of survivors.

Use the obituary to see what other records it suggests and remember that just because something is in print does not mean it is corret.

Went with a Prior Name?

I have a relative who was married three times, having survived all three husbands. She was married to her third husband some twenty years before she died and she survived him by several years. For reasons unknown to me when she died in 2012 she is listed in the statewide death index under her second husband’s name. She was married to him for five years and they had no children. She continued to use her third husband’s last name after his death.

Took me forever to find her.

Try a Genealogy Search on GenealogyBank.

Who Died and Made You Administrator?

If your relative died without a will and there was a need to probate the estate, an administrator would need to be appointed. The spouse and heirs usually have priority in being appointed to that office. Spouses can refuse their right of acting as administrator and children may or may not choose to accept the position.

Heirs other than children may be administrators or creditors may choose to accept the role as well.

But if the name of the administrator doesn’t “ring a bell,” research them to find out (if you can) what their relationship was to the deceased person whose estate they are being appointed to administrate.