All the recent snow has kept us away from working on our inventory project out at the warehouse and stuck in the office. Since our intrepid interns completed our microfilm project, they have started to inventory our boxes of Estate files from the late 1800s and early 1900s. We are focusing on some of the oldest files first and creating finding aids to help researchers explore this collection.
Estate files are a part of Probate and later Superior Courts, and oversee the process through which the assets of a deceased person are properly distributed to the heirs or beneficiaries. They are invaluable to those researching family history, looking for heirs, and searching to see how property was divided. Often they can include information such as decedent’s date of death, names of his or her spouse, children, parents, siblings, in-laws, neighbors, associates, relatives, and their places of residence. Because debts were often paid, they are also a record of Evansville’s businesses, businessmen, and community leaders.
By cataloging the decedent, executive/administrator/petitioner, and dates issued and disposed in our database, we hope to make the information easier to find and use.