Do you research your distant cousins? If so, have you ever found a will for one of them in the newspaper?
While researching the descendants of my 3rd great grandfather, John Lewis Ricketts, I just stumbled across a mention of a will for his son, Charles Wesley Ricketts in the 24 September 1948 issue of Lafayette Indiana’s Journal and Courier newspaper. The article names the heirs and tells how the property was to be dividded.
Grace E. Fisher, Hammond and Joseph L. Ricketts filed a $20,000 bond yesterday in the Circuit court as joint executor of the estate of their father, Charles w. Ricketts. Heirs named in a will drawn Sept. 20, 1946, are Lulu Ricketts, widow; Paul G. Ricketts Hammond, La., son; Grace E. Fisher, daughter, Hammond and Joseph L. Ricketts, Frankfort. By the terms of the will all the household property, the auto and $500 in cash are given the widow in fee simple. The remainder of the property including real estate and farms is given to the three children, share and share alike, but to be held in trust only by the children during the lifetime of their mother who is to have the profits from the real estate. At the death of the widow, the children are to have equal shares in the remainder of the estate.“Ricketts Estate,” Journal and Courier (Lafayette, Indiana), 24 September 1948, page 6; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : viewed online 26 November 2021).
For me, finding this will was a good reminder that newspapers carry a wide variety of family information.