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Thursday, May 17, 2018

4 Big Clues for Genealogists #virginiapioneersnet


4 Big Clues for Genealogists

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Your ancestor may not have left a last will and testament, however, the estate may be recorded at the court house. After a death, an administrator was appointed, inventory made, and other records began to accumulate. Of most important note is the Annual Return which was filed every year until the last heir was paid. The first return records payments to funeral directors and miscellaneous expense leading to the funeral. Postage is even purchased where relatives from other areas were contacted. If you think is trivial, take note of were the letter was sent. This is your First Big Clue of other places to search. The name listed on the annual returns and the amounts should be carefully gone over because they were neighbors who owed your ancestor debts, or relatives being reimbursed for a number of interesting items. Eventually, there is a substantial amount listed beside a name. That is the Second Big Clue. This is a payment to an heir. All heirs are not paid at once or listed on the same page. There is property to be sold which is not necessarily the home place, rather additional farms, and is listed on the inventory of the estate, the acreage and the name of the county. That is the Third Big Clue where to search next. One continues year after year with the examination of the Annual Returns. Surnames other than that of the ancestor appear on each page. That is the Fourth Big Clue. Each name should be carefully examined and determined whether or not it was a friend, or an in-law. To learn the latter, go to the county records and determine if that person was married to one of the daughters. Married daughters could not inherit in her name: it has to go to their husband who was responsible for her legal affairs!


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1 comment:

  1. This is a weird question, but, what is the baskety thing in the photograph at the top right?

    ReplyDelete