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I am looking for information for Henry N. Capps b 1890 in Durham, NC
married Alberta (bertha) Sparrow b 1887 in Durham NC. Alberta's
parents were William Sparrow and Annie Burrow. I believe Henry's
father was Hezekial. Henry and Alberta had three children I know for
sure, and possibly a fourth according the 1920 census.
1) Junius Elmore Capps b 1920 at Watts Hospital in Durham NC he
married Rollon Mae Pierce b 1925 in Halifax Co NC.
2) Claiborne Capps (not sure of the spelling) no info known.
3) Latisha Capps (may not be correct name) no info known.
4) ? Bessie Capps was listed as a child on the 1920 census. No living
members have heard of a Bessie.
Tiffany Capps Birkner
Subj: Ancestry Daily News, 5 March 1999
Date: 03/05/99 7:17:52 AM Eastern Standard Time
From: Ancestry_Daily_News(a)anclist001.ancestry.com (Ancestry Daily
Ancestry Daily News
>From the publisher of "The Source" and Ancestry Magazine
GEORGE G. MORGAN: "ALONG THOSE LINES . . ."
"Relationships in Probate Records"
Some of the most interesting looks at an individual and his or her
can be found by looking at probate records. They will often tell you
something about the relationships that existed between the testator and
people on whom the estate was settled. Let's talk about relationships
in probate records in this week's "Along Those Lines . . ."
MAKING A WILL
Making out a will is an important step for any individual, and it was no
less important for our ancestors. Providing for the spouse and children
essential; dividing and passing ownership of property and effects was a
major consideration. A wise individual made a will and was therefore
to specify what bequests he wanted to make. Other people overlooked this
detail and their estates became a matter for the courts to appoint an
executor and administer the division and distribution according to
inheritance laws in force at the time.
Regardless of whether the person made a will or not, if a court was
involved with the settling of the estate, there should be a probate
for the individual. Make certain you're looking in the right courthouse.
Remember, boundaries changed over time and the records you seek may be
another county's courthouse if you're not careful.
INVENTORIES PROVIDE INSIGHT
You will almost always find an inventory of the estate in the probate
packet. The executor (or executrix) or administrator(s) of the estate is
first charged by the court to determine the assets, the debts and the
receivables of an estate in order to properly determine what needs to be
done in order to divide or dispose of it. The inventory often paints a
colorful picture of the way of life of the deceased. The type of
the presence or absence of books, farm equipment, livestock, real and
personal property listed all tell us what type of life and what social
status the person enjoyed.
If any of the assets of the estate were auctioned, check the auction
records. These are generally a part of the probate packet too, and may
been entered into the court minutes. Here you may find connections to
relatives of the same surname who came to purchase items.
THINGS YOU MAY FIND IN A WILL
A wife may have been provided for through a trust. It is not unusual in
older wills to see a bequest such as, "To my beloved wife, Elizabeth, I
leave her the house for her use for her lifetime, after which it is to
sold and proceeds divided between my children." One of the most amusing
bequests I've seen was, "I leave my wife, Addie, the bed, her clothes,
ax and the mule." What a generous husband!
Farther back, you will find that laws sometimes dictated that the eldest
son inherited all of the estate. During colonial times, this law of
primogeniture was in effect. Sometimes the eldest son is not listed in
will at all because this law dictated that all real property
came to him. In other cases, the eldest son may be named and may be
double share of the otherwise equally divided estate.
You will often see a father leave his daughter's share of his estate to
daughter's husband. Why? Often it was because a woman was not allowed to
own real property or because it was felt that she could not manage the
affairs of the bequest. Sometimes, because a father may have settled a
dowry on his daughter when she married, the father's bequest may be a
smaller one than to other, unmarried sisters. It is also possible that a
will may leave an unmarried daughter a larger amount than her sisters,
order to make them equal in their overall share of the father's estate.
Watch wills carefully for names of children. Don't make any assumptions.
One of my friends researched her great-great-grandfather's family and
convinced that there were seven children in the family. That was until
studied the actual will of the great-great-grandfather. In the will, the
names Elizabeth and Mary had no comma between them. This led her to
that there was one daughter named Elizabeth Mary, rather than two
daughters. Further investigation of marriage records in the county bore
this out as each of these daughter was married, one a year after her
father's death and the other two years later.
A father who did not possess a large estate may have made arrangements
the placement of a son as an apprentice or indentured servant. This was
common means of guaranteeing the care and education of a son when there
would not have been enough from the estate to support him. If you find
a statement in a will, investigate court records for the formalization
the arrangement. The guardian became responsible by law for the
The absence of a specific child's name may indicate that he or she is
deceased. It may indicate that the child has moved elsewhere and has not
been heard from for some considerable time. It is more likely, however,
that the testator would leave an equal part to that child and the court
would probably have charged the executor with locating the child.
Guardians are appointed to protect the interests of children and, in
cases, young widows. Remember that in many states, if the father dies
leaves a widow and minor children, the children are considered to be
"orphans." Most often, the guardians appointed by the court are
of the deceased or of the spouse. A different surname of a guardian may
a clue to the maiden name of the widow.
Witnesses are important. By law, they cannot inherit in a will, however
they may be relatives of the deceased. It is not uncommon to find an
as a witness. Bondsmen involved in the settlement of an estate may also
relatives too. If the wife of the testator is the executrix of the
the bondsmen are usually her relatives. (If you do not know the maiden
of the wife, check the surnames of the bondsmen carefully because one of
them may be her brother.)
Obviously, there are many things to consider when reviewing wills and
probate packet contents. The location, the laws in effect at the time,
religious affiliation of the testator, the size of the estate, the
or absence of a spouse, children, brothers, sisters, and parents --
are just a few.
If you haven't investigated the probate packet of one of your ancestors,
urge you to do so. They can provide a fascinating look into your
past, his lifestyle and his relationships with the family.
Barbara Farthing Bonham
Proud Supporter of Rootsweb
3.38 p.m. ET (2039 GMT) March 6, 1999
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) The Mormon church says it will put at least some
of its family-history archive the world's largest on the World Wide
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints posted a statement
plan on its official Web site, www.lds.org, on Friday.
One leader last year said the church has archived the names of 13
from 110 countries.
"There are millions and millions of records just in their International
Index alone, and millions more in their ancestral files, and both of
electronic databases,'' Karen Clifford, president and chief executive
Geneaological Research Associates, said in Saturday editions of The
The church said it is posting the information as a service that will
the way people trace their family history. A formal announcement is
the spring or summer.
The Mormon church has been involved in genealogy since its founding
years ago. The church amasses the records for its so-called baptism of
Mormons believe that such baptisms give the dead the opportunity to
Mormon church in the afterlife.
Barbara Farthing Bonham
Proud Supporter of Rootsweb