Index of Monroe County 

Estate Files

 Submitted by Janet Flynn  

    While these drawers are called “intestate” estate files by clerks in the Circuit Court Clerk’s office, when I got into them I found some that were actually from estates that I knew had wills. The “files” are mostly bundles of receipts for costs of burial and settlement of the estate. There are also estate appraisals and other documents in them. I found a store receipt for my 4th great grandfather (Jacob Clark), which detailed the material for his shroud and gloves and stockings to complete his burial attire, and another for his coffin and grave opening and closing. In a file for a 3rd great grandfather, John Tolin, was a doctor’s receipt detailing visits, medicines, etc. Although some files are boring and do not yield much genealogical information, they are definitely worth looking at, particularly from a historical point of view and give a glimpse into the times of the event.
    The files are in alphabetical order, then, theoretically, filed by the date of final settlement of the estate, but this is not always the case. Sometimes there will be a second or even third settlement as the unexpected can, and often does, happen. Some estates took as long as 10 years to settle, especially if there was a dispute. On the newer files there is a space on the cover for final settlement. However, on the older ones this is not the case. Therefore, I use the title “File Cover Date” and this is the date I found on the file cover (if any) or on a document inside the file.
 
   Janet Flynn

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April 23, 2012