09 December 2008

Adams County, Illinois, Court Records Can't be Found


I was hoping to find details of this case in the Adams County, Illinois, court records. It was not to be. Volke Sartorius sued her father's estate in 1892 for money her former beau gave to her father, Ulfert Behrens, to pay for the care of Ulfert's granddaughter, who was the daughter of the beau as well.


The newspaper account of the case goes on, at great length, making the entire situation very much like a soap opera. It goes so far as to name the father of Volke's baby, Harm Habbus. So far, my initial searches for Harm have not located him.

I hired a researcher in Quincy, Illinois, the Adams County seat to research this court case. She has done work for me in the past. This time no record could be located. She provided me a list of records she had used, what she searched for and what was not found. She was frustated as well. I am just fortunate that the newspaper account provides as much information as it does.

Next on my list are to try and access the records of the church where the family attended. They probably had Fredericka baptized and I am curious what name is listed for the father. The Family History Library in Salt Lake City has the county's marriage records. I will wait until my trip to Salt Lake to locate the marriage record for Fredericka Behrens. According to the newspaper account she was raised by her grandparents, Ulfert and Fredericka Behrens. We will post more details as they are located.

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07 November 2008

Estate Squabbles


One of the most genealogically relevant court case is one where heirs are fighting over an estate. It is important to search court records for this type of actions, even when a probate file or will has already been located.


I have had a copy of Ulfert Behrens will for years, but never thought to look for court action regarding his estate outside of the probate court. A search of the Quincy, Illinois, newspapers on the library's website brought up this reference. We are looking for more details of this case, some of which were published in an earlier newspaper article.

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15 November 2007

The baby died at sea



The screen clips here are a little small, but parts are shown of two pages from the manifest of the Hermann, which arrived in New Orleans on 13 Oct 1857. The families of Herman and Ulfert Behrens are shown, along with their unmarried brother Claas. There is a notation on the entry for Heinrich Behrens that he died at sea (his entry is one of the last ones--with the lines drawn through it and with a comment in the last column). Clicking on one of the images will pull up a larger image.


This manifest is nice because it shows the last residence in Europe for the Behrens family--Ilowferehn--actually Ihlowfehn. Had I not known where they were from in Germany, this would have been a significant help.

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20 February 2007

Probate mentioned in the Papers



A search of the online Quincy, Illinois, newspapers located this mention of my ancestor's estate in The Quincy Daily Whig of 14 Aug 1889. I already had seen the will, but there are a few things about this worth noting:
  • in an earlier era, many newspapers published summaries of probate information--may be helpful if the courthouse can't find the record, burned, etc.
  • more and more newspapers are being put online and can be searched via OCR. If I had not already had the probate information this would have been a neat way to locate it.
  • if I did not have the probate information, I would want to contact the courthouse in order to locate it. This is only a summary of the information, the probate packet contains an inventory of the estate.
  • Newspapers sometimes get things wrong--granddaughter Ricka Iders is actually Ricka Ideus.

I descend from three of the people mentioned: Ulfert Behrens, Trientje Satorius, and Ricka (Reka) Sartorius. Reka Satorius Janssen is my great-great-grandmother.

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