Thursday, September 10, 2015

Winner!! Probate Records for Sever Torgerson Leland (1804-1889) of Dane County, Wisconsin

Like many of my geneablogging colleagues, I have been rummaging through the Ancestry collection of Wills and Probates.  Today I found something I've always hoped to find - the probate records of Sjur Torgerson Leland of Deerfield, Dane County, Wisconsin.

I searched the Wisconsin, Wills and Probates, 1800-1987 database for the surname Leland:

Before I clicked on the "Search" button on the screen above, I clicked on the "Choose" dropdown box to see which Wisconsin counties are included in this collection at this time.  Not every county was listed (for instance, not Dodge County), but Dane County, where the Leland family was, is included.

There were 13 matches for the surname Leland, including the name Sever Torgeson Leland (the 4th one down the list below):

"Sever Torgeson Leland" (1804-1889) is my wife's second great-grandfather, who was born in Norway, and migrated to Wisconsin in the 1850s and settled in Deerfield, Dane County, Wisconsin with his wife Brita and several of his children.

I clicked on his name and noted that there are 35 images for him in this collection.

However, no will is listed, as this was an intestate estate.  I saved about half of the records in the file to my computer File Folder for the family. I was interested in information about Sever Torgeson Leland's death date the name of his administrator, real estate information, inventory contents, names of heirs and their locations, and the administrator's account.

Here is the Petition for Administration of the estate by T.S. Leland, which defines the death date of Sever Torgeson Leland of Deerfield as 29 March 1889:

This document also lists the heirs-at-law at the bottom of the page as:

*  T.S. Leland, a son of age, residing at Deerfield
*  Ole Leland, a son of age, residing at Deerfield.
*  Mrs. Isabella Dykesteen, a daughter of age, residing at Deerfield.
*  Mrs. Anna Woelfer, a daughter of age, residing at Deerfield.

Another document in the file is this "Order Paper" that closes the estate:

In this order, another heir is identified - the widow "Betsey S. Leland" of Deerfield.

Each of these heirs received one fifth of the estate, which totaled about $2,800, but was not itemized.  The administrator was identified as Torger S. Leland ("T.S."), who was the eldest son.  

There is no information about the real estate of Sever Torgerson Leland, which may have gone to the eldest son, or may have been sold to one of the sons before the death of Sever Leland.  

Again, there was a bonus in this specific search:

*  There is a probate file for Anna T. Leland in 1911 in Dane County, Wisconsin, who was the wife of Torger Sjursen Leland, and daughter of Elling Erikson Natvig.

*  There is a probate file for Elling Erickson Natvig in 1896 in Dane County, Wisconsin, who was the father of Anna T. (Leland) Leland, wife of Torger Sjurson Leland.   

A source citation for this probate file (using the Probates, case files (online images) template in RootsMagic 7):

Dane County, Wisconsin, Dane County Probate Records, Box 112-Box 113 Sever Torgeson Leland estate file, 1889 (images 386-420 of 1293); "Wisconsin, Wills and Probates, 1800-1987," digital images, ( accessed 9 September 2015); citing original data in Wisconsin County, District and Probate Courts.

There are at least 647 Boxes of these Dane County Probate Records (which appear to be the original papers in the estate files), and even more with different titles.  However, not all of the Wisconsin Counties are included in this database, and not all of the probate records in each county are digitized and indexed.

So I feel like a WINNER today.  I found another record that for one of my wife's ancestors that names his heirs.  I will transcribe some of these records in an Amanuensis Monday post in the future (I have a long list of them to do now!).

Have you searched for probate records for your ancestors in Wisconsin yet? 

What state should I look in next?

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