Monday, April 25, 2016

Making Progress on My Auble Cousins - Post 1: Finding Elizabeth's Will

I have started to receive Ancestry Hints for the Wills and Probate Record databases for the various states for persons in my Ancestry Member Tree on  That's great - they are serving me useful records.

Here is one I received over the weekend:

While Elizabeth Auble (1814-1899) is not my ancestor, she is my second great-grandaunt, a sister to my 3rd great-grandfather, David Auble (1817-1894).  I thought it was worth looking at the record just in case it can shed light on the rest of the Auble family.

I am really glad I did.  Elizabeth Auble did not marry, and died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with a significant estate (I finally found a rich relative!).

Here is the record summary for the probate records of Elizabeth Auble in the Pennsylvania Wills and Probate Records, 1683-1993 database:

There are 27 images in Elizabeth's probate file, including cover pages, will papers, petition papers, inventory papers, and administration papers.  Here is the first image - the cover page:

I downloaded all 27 pages of this estate file.  Elizabeth's will, with two codicils, was six pages typed double-spaced.  The inventory pages indicated the estate was worth more than $40,000.  She left a life estate of her home to her brother, Hampton Auble, and after he died to Hampton's daughter, Miami (Auble) Geary, and then to Miami's daughter, Florence Geary.

She named all of her living relatives, including three siblings that I did not have a record of.  I have spent several hours today in the genea-cave searching for these heirs and adding their data, and source citations, to my RootsMagic database.  I still have much more to do.

I will transcribe Elizabeth's will later this week so that I can get the information online with the hope that cousins will find it at some point in time.

There is also a family mystery which I need to sort out for one of the newly discovered siblings.  The mystery involves a William Auble - see the newspaper article in Nuggets from the Newspapers  (posted 26 October 2007).

Before this find of Elizabeth Auble's probate record, almost all I knew about the children of John and Anna (Row) Auble was from David Auble's obituary and whatever vital, census and other records I could find.  I published David Auble's 1894 obituary in 52 Ancestors - Week 21: #28, David Auble (1817-1894) (posted 23 May 2014).  Apparently, because some of David's siblings had died before 1894, they were not mentioned in his obituary.  

Why do I care about these siblings of my 3rd great-grandfather?  Because they are relatively close cousins.  A person my age descended from one of Elizabeth's siblings would be my 5th cousin.  They may have more information about the Auble family.  They may be a DNA match to me.  There are no Ancestry Member Trees that connect these newly discovered siblings to their parents because there are no records that provide that information.  The FamilySearch Family Tree does not have these newly discovered siblings yet.  By defining the complete Auble family, I can add information to the knowledge base in online family trees for other searchers to find and utilize.

Lastly, this will and the information it contains reinforces a point I make in my Probate Records presentation - that one of the best sources of family information is the probate record of a person who never married - the maiden aunt and the bachelor uncle, or a sibling whose spouse has died and has no children.  If they have an estate, the heirs will usually be their siblings and their siblings descendants.


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Janice Harshbarger said...

Isn't it a kick to find new information that hasn't been noted before? Congratulations and have fun!

Darren Price said...

I thought someone descended from a sibling of your 3rd great-grandparent, thus having 4th great-grandparents as common ancestors, would be your 5th cousin.

Randy Seaver said...


You are correct, of course. I didn't count on my fingers like I usually do! I have changed the text.

Thank you -- Randy