02 December 2006

Working the message boards

An earlier post mentioned my search for James Neill in Butler County, KS. A respondent to a post I made on the Butler County, KS message board at Rootsweb sent me two death notices for James.

The good news is they found them and now I have the date of death. The even better news is that James never married and no children are listed. This is excellent because James left no nieces or nephews either. His only heirs would have been his first cousins.

Why do I care?

Because James is a first cousin to my great-grandfather, Charles Neill.

I don't always track down all the first cousins of each ancestor, usually because I just don't have the time. But this situation is a little different.

James and Charles were sons of two Irish immigrant brothers, Joseph and Samuel. These two brothers were born in the 1830s and emigrated from Ireland in the 1860s. Story is that there were other siblings of Joseph and Samuel. I have no clue where they emigrated to, or if they stayed in Ireland. If there were siblings and they had children, they would also be first cousins of James and also heirs. If there is an estate settlement for James...all his first cousins might be listed. It is worth a shot.

So I'm going to see if there is a probate and I'm keeping my fingers crossed.