Thursday, January 7, 2010

Estate records of WASHBURN sisters

Ever since I heard about the Hamilton County (Ohio) Probate Court's release of digital documents, I have been scouring it to find mentions of my ancestors. Earlier this week, I wrote about finally obtaining the marriage certificate of my brickwall ancestor, George E Hillis. Although I didn't find any new information in this document, it was something that I had been meaning to find.

I also searched through the estate records. There was nothing on George (who probably died in Indiana) or his wife Mary WASHBURN (who died a widow in Cincinnati in 1919). They probably didn't have any property in Ohio and could possible have estate records in Indiana. I also didn't find any estate records of Mary's father, Francis Marion WASHBURN (one of my civil war ancestors).

What I did find were the estate records of Mary's sisters, Sylvia Cynthia WASHBURN and Myrtle Iona WASHBURN WATERS. These records were rich in family details.

Sylvia was a spinster. She left her estate to her sister Myrtle and her nieces and nephews. Myrtle had one son and the rest of the heirs were all HILLIS children (well they weren't children by then, but you know what I mean). My great grandmother Alice HILLIS BASCOM was to receive $800 dollars after Sylvia died. I wonder if she got her full inheritance. I'm sure it would have been a great help in 1934 during the depression. Sylvia also left money to her niece, Sylvia CLEMENTS. This was the first time I encountered the married name of Alice's sister Sylvia (probably named after her mother's sister).

Myrtle's will set up a trust fund for her only grandchild (her son had already passed away when Myrtle died in 1951). In the case that her grandson died before he could inherit the trust fund and he left no heirs, the money was to be paid to various relatives and institutions. Among the heirs, she named my grandmother, her sister and brother. She also named 3 CLEMENTS children. As far as I know my grandmother never received this money, so Myrtle's grandson must have survived or produced heirs.

Armed with Sylvia's married name and the names of 3 of her children, I was able to find them living in Kenton county, Kentucky in the 1920 and 1930 censuses. Sylvia's husband Sidney Sayers CLEMENTS died in 1940. I have not found a death record for Sylvia yet, but at least now I have some more information about her. Hopefully, her information will help me break down my brick wall.

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