Casefile Clues

04 June 2013

My Oldest Brother is About Fifty

Often we can predict with some certain what information will be contained in a record.

And other times we cannot.

The image in this blog post is part of a petition to begin the process of administration upon the estate of Melinda/Belinda Newman who died in Linn County, Iowa, in 1867. I neglected looking at the records for years because I really didn't think that her probate file would provide me with any significant information. 



The form of this document was unexpected. A listing of her heirs was no surprise. To find their approximate ages was.

Melinda's husband Augusta died in White County, Indiana, in 1861. Many of her children had left Indiana by then and within a short time after her death, she moved to Linn County, Iowa. I had concluded she lived with a child and that she would really have no estate to probate. I also assumed that she did not purchase any real estate.

She owned a little farm and actually had one of her sons build her a home on the property--all of which is documented in the estate file.

And there's a few other neat details as well.

Stay tuned.