I love probate files. They are just loaded with tons of good stuff. Take for instance the one above. There is so much good information to be found, and its usually free for the looking. Shall we take a few minutes to explore this document?
- If this paper is found then there is a will somewhere. Granted the names you'll find in the will should be here, having the actual will is a very good thing as well.
- Death date is given. Hard to miss that, it very clearly states "...died on the 11th Day of November 1944". Same paragraph prior gives place of death as well.
- Names of direct line descendants - along with their age & relationship to the deceased.
- Addresses of descendants. Great info for digging on city directories for more info. Helps if you have some idea of where they lived.
- Whether or not the spouse survives is also found on this form.
- Not on this one, but another in my file, bottom back has "Ohio Estate Tax Return". No dollars given on this little form, BUT it does give the cause of death and confirms the death date and her residence at time of death. Also listed was a full date of birth & place as well. Not a bad return on my .15 cent copy fee eh?
So taking the time to find the Application for Probate of Will, Application for Letters of Admin., or Application for Release of Estate from Admin., can all provide you with valuable genealogical information. Sometimes filling in holes with dates or other information you can't get anywhere else.
Probate files & paperwork - its a good thing!