As many readers know, I have been seriously climbing my own family tree for a long time. I have learned strange things, had childhood beliefs completely upended, and have enjoyed the journey and all its frustrations immensely
And then there is this.
Today, while checking on a new clue of my 2nd great-grandmother, Mary Ann Shea, the mother of my great-grandmother Burke, of my maternal Burke family line, whom I hardly knew because we were in Jordan while I was growing up <Interesting side note: on one of our home leave periods, hers was the last funeral I ever attended>, I learned some interesting facts from her last Will that I think will keep my investigative juices running a long time.
- She gave me the names of her children, names I have never heard before. Keep in mind, she died in my hometown of Wilton, New Hampshire, in 1901, more than 48 years before I was born.
- She gave me the name of a sister who does not appear on my family tree. (Yay!!)
- She gave me insight into the feelings she had for a couple of her children and for a couple others.
- She bequeathed a daughter, Hannah E. Brennan, the sum of one dollar;
- She bequeathed a son, John B. Shea, the sum of one dollar;
- She bequeathed a grandson, John Foley, whatever sum was left unpaid in her personal bank account. Presumably, this was more than $1.00.
But to her daughter, Maggie Cain, she left "all the rest and residue" of her estate, both real and personal, specifying only that the sum of $100 be set aside for "an appropriate" headstone and burial. She left the decision-making up to Maggie, whom she also selected as executrix of her Will.
Clearly, there were family issues of which I have only learned about this day. Since I have no previous record of any of these names, trying to find out what was going on in my not-to-distant relative's family to make this happen will occupy my time!