Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Ohio Probate Records on Family Search - Tuesday's Tip

If you have Ohio ancestors, be sure and check out the Ohio probate records available on the FamilySearch site. The information is arranged by county and is in the form of images of the actual probate book pages. There are wills, estate settlements, guardian's bonds, naturalization records and other types of court records. The images are not searchable, so here are a few tips for browsing them.
  • Many of the volumes have a separate index book that lists names alphabetically. If you find an ancestor in the index, the entry will point you to the volume and page number for the actual record. 
  • If there is no index volume, each book usually has its own alphabetical index in the front.
  • Some of the collections have multiple volumes in one set of images. If this is the case, the page numbers start over for each volume and there is a separate index in the front of each volume.
  • If you are certain of a date and don't find an entry in the index, try browsing the volume for that date anyway. I found one estate settlement that did not have an index entry.
  • Each image is usually a photo of two pages in the ledger, so be sure and pan around to see everything.
  • The image numbers do not match the page numbers, so it takes some trial and error to find a specific page.
  • The pages on the website listing the volumes for a county have a scroll bar on the right-hand side. I missed this the first time I was looking and didn't realize there were quite a few more books available.
  • For estate settlements, there may be entries in different years for partial and final settlements.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Patrick Creedan's Will - Amanuensis Monday

Patrick Creedan was born around 1814 in Ireland and lived in Clinton County, Ohio for many years. He died on June 19, 1883 and is buried in the Gaddis Cemetery in Wilmington, Clinton County. I believe that my gg-grandfather Timothy Creeden is Patrick's son Timothy named in the will. Timothy was named guardian of Patrick's daughter Roseanna shortly after his death and continued as her guardian when he moved to Mercer County, Ohio. I found the will in the FamilySearch Ohio Probate Records in the volume for Wills 1886-1889 Vol 3-4.

Following is Patrick's Last Will and Testament as filed in the Clinton County Probate Court.

Last Will and Testament of Patrick Creedan of Wayne Township, Clinton Co. Ohio.

In the name of God, Amen.
     I, Patrick Creedan, being of sound mind and memory, make this my last will and testament, to wit:- After all my just and lawful debts are paid, I will and devise that all my property, real and personal, shall be transferred into the possession of Timothy Keefe and held by him as trustee to be dispersed by him as follows. viz; After my decease all of my personality shall be sold to pay my funeral expenses and all other legal debts. Also all my real estate to pay the residual  of my debts in case the return from my personality should be insufficient and having full and certain confidence in the said Timothy Keefe. I entrust to him (and without bond) the management of my possessions real and personal to be disposed of in the manner herein mentioned.

     Two Hundred Dollars shall be appropriated for my funeral expenses, including my daughter Phebe Catherine, deceased, funeral expenses and also masses for soul and those of my deceased family.

     2nd After the above mentioned claims are duly paid the balance of my funds in the hands of my executor Timothy Keefe shall be divided into eight equal portions and devised as follows. viz; Two portions shall be paid to my son Timothy. One of which is his own legal right, and the other being the legal right of my daughter Julia, (who is now a religious in the Convent of the Sisters of Charity) but if my said daughter Julia should demure to this transfer of her right in favor of her full brother Timothy, then she shall have full control over her legal portion.

     One portion to be to my son John being his legal share.  One portion to my daughter Hanna Jane being her legal share; One portion to my son Patrick William being his legal share and two portions to my daughter Rosanna in consequence of her feeble mental condition. I bequeath said Rosanna a double portion. Finally I bequeath to my grand-child Elija Bernard the son of my daughter Johanna deceased one portion the legal share of my said deceased daughter Johanna.

     In witness hereof I hereby put my hand and seal in Sixteenth day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand eight-hundred and eighty three in the presence of       Patrick Creedan

 The will is witnessed by Michael O'Donoghue and Bridget Keefe.

Amanuensis Monday is a daily blogging theme which encourages the family historian to transcribe family letters, journals, audiotapes, and other historical artifacts.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday Madness - Cracks in my Irish Brick Wall

One of my first posts was about my Irish Brick wall for my great-great-grandfather Timothy Creeden. The only records I have for him are after his arrival in the US and they just state his origin as "Ireland". I knew that there were other Creeden families in Clinton County, Ohio where I found my first records for Timothy, but I couldn't find any definite links to the other families.

The family I thought had the best possibility of being related to Timothy was headed by Patrick Creedan in the 1860 US Census for Clinton County, Ohio.

Timothy was born in 1846 and this says that a daughter Johanna/Joanette was born in 1846. The Timothy listed here was born in 1853 and the place of birth was listed as Ohio. I didn't think this was the right Timothy at first, but kept it open as a possibility.

The 1870 census shows that Johannah was born around 1851, so what if Timothy and Johannah's ages had been switched in the 1860 census?

Timothy moved to Mercer County in the mid 1880s and Patrick's son John lived there in his later years. I also saw a Roseanna Creeden in the Mercer County census listings for 1900-1920, but her death certificate didn't have her parents' names. She was in the Mercer County Infirmary during that time and listed as insane.

I have been unable to find Timothy's death certificate or an obituary. The church records were destroyed by fire, so I thought there might be some information in the funeral records. A couple of researchers in Mercer County found that those had also been destroyed, but mentioned that there was a probate record for a Timothy Creeden that was the guardian of a Roseanna Creeden.

I knew that FamilySearch had added Ohio Probate Records a few months ago, but I hadn't made much use of them yet. The records are not searchable, but I found that many of the volumes had an index of names. According to FindAGrave, Patrick Creedan died in June 1883, so I decided to try and find his will.

The Probate Records I found established a fairly certain link between my Timothy and Patrick's family! Patrick's will left shares to his sons Timothy, John, Patrick William and to his daughter Hannah Jane. He also left his daughter Julia's share to Timothy as her "full brother" and due to Julia being a "religious in the convent of the Sisters of Charity". He left two shares to his daughter Rosanna "in consequence of her feeble minded condition" and left his grandson Elija Bernard his daughter Johanna's share due to her being deceased.

I followed a trail of Settlement Records, Testamentary Records, and Guardian's Bonds that showed Timothy was named guardian of Roseanna shortly after Patrick's death. According to one record, the case was moved to Mercer County when Timothy moved his family and ward there around 1885. I also found the corresponding probate record in Mercer County that showed he was guardian of Roseanna.

I think this is a pretty good case that Patrick Creeden, born 1814 in Ireland is Timothy's father. The only Creedens I've found in Mercer County are Timothy, John, and their families and Roseanna. I have a note from another researcher that Patrick married Hannah Jane Hoover in 1851, so if that is correct, she was Patrick's second wife and is not the mother of Timothy or Julia. I still don't know a location in Ireland or the identity of Timothy's mother, but it is exciting to finally have a few family members for him!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sunday's Obituary - Anna Lee Pulskamp Creeden

This obituary for my grandmother was published in the Immaculate Conception Church Parish Monthly for February, 1935. The church is located in Celina, Ohio.


   As the year of 1934 was nearing its close, the Messenger of death once more summoned away from our midst a well known and highly respected member of

   the parish. Mrs. Robert Creeden, Anna Lee nee Pulskamp, passed away from this earth unexpectedly and in the prime of her life, December the second, 1934. However she was well prepared, having received all the Sacraments for the dying.
   Left to mourn her sudden departure from our midst, is her bereaved husband, Robert Creeden and son to whom she gave birth November 21st, 1934, her parents Mr. and Mrs. George F. Pulskamp, her brothers Andrew, Hugo and George and her sisters Mrs. Bernard Rapien, Mrs. Robert English and Mrs. Clarence Art and a large number of relatives and friends.
   Her funeral took place in the Immaculate Conception church, December the fifth, Reverend Geo. Hindelang offered the Mass for the departed, Rev. Albert Gerhardstein was deacon, Rev. Augustine Halter, subdeacon, and Rev. Joseph Biegler was master of ceremonies. The pastor delivered a short, consoling sermon. Father Augustine performed the last rites at the cemetery.
   While she was taken away from our midst, she will long be remembered by all who knew her, and we kindly ask all to pray for the repose of her soul.
   Mr. Robert Creeden and little son are now making their home with his parents Mr. and Mrs. Charles Creeden where the child is being taken care of by Mrs. Creeden.