Early in my research, I was unaware that my 3rd great-grandmother had two husbands with whom she had children and that I descended from her first marriage. There was a clue in their estate records. A big one.
The 3rd great-grandmother and her husband died a few years apart and their estates were settled separately. The notice of “impending probate” listed more heirs for the 3rd-great-grandmother than the one did for her husband. A daughter and children of a deceased daughter were mentioned in her probate, but not in that of her husband. No heir or family member died between the death of the 3rd great-grandmother and her husband.
At the time all heirs should have been notified. The fact that they had different heirs, technically “heirs-at-law,” was a clue that all of her children were not all of his children–particularly the daughter who was only mentioned in the 3rd great-grandmother’s estate and the deceased mother of the grandchildren who were also mentioned in the 3rd great-grandmother’s estate.
They weren’t “forgotten” from her husband’s estate. They were not mentioned because they were not his children.