Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Probate Records Can Include Rich Details for Researchers

The Indiana Genealogical Society's project to preserve and digitize Hendricks County, Indiana probate records has provided some examples of the detailed biographical information that can be found in probate records. We recently unfolded the 1874 estate case of Charles Spaulding and came across an affidavit from his widow that not only alludes to his apparent death during the Civil War, but also lists the names and dates of his children, as a means to proving their legal right to any assets from his estate:

[dated 26 January 1875]
State of Kentucky, Grant County
This affiant Lydia Ann May says that her maiden name was Lydia Ann Crammer, that on the 1st day of January 1861, in Grant County she married one Charles W. Spaulding, that they were married by [blank] McCaslend, that in the month of December 1863 he was killed and at the time of his death he was a soldier in the army of [the] United States, that at the time of his death he left this affiant his widow and one child who was born 26th day of October 1861 and it was a boy and its name was William Alfred, and she was at the time of the death of her said husband enciente and delivered of another child (a girl named Lula) on the 29th of April 1864, and that both of said children are now living and that John Pierce is their statutory guardian
[…]
Affiant further says that since the death of her said husband the said C.W. Spaulding and since the birth of her said two children (vz. William Alfred and Lula) she has since intermarried with one Tayler May with whom she is now living.

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