One person’s view at one point in time.

It’s always advised to not look at a will in black and white. Like all documents used in genealogy it was created for a specific purpose. In the case of a will, it was to provide instructions for how the executor should dispose of the property of the deceased.

While a will may contain significant commentary about the individuals mentioned, that’s not the real purpose of the document. If an individual is not named in a parent’s will, it could be because that individual had already received property from the parent. It could also be because the writer of the will and the specific child had a falling out of sorts. That “falling out” could have been the result of the child, the will-writer, or both.

Situations are rarely black and white.

A grandparent may only list half of their grandchildren in their will. It does not necessarily mean that those grandchildren were their favorite. It is possible that they were, but one needs to be careful reading intentions into documents that are not there.

A will is meant to transfer the property of the deceased after they have died. A will can contain clues as to family dynamics, but care needs to be taken when using a will to draw conclusions about relationships between various family members.

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