21 May 2013

Celim H. Porter: Last Will & Testament, 1898

Lac Qui Parle County, Minnesota
Will Records Volume A, 1886-1918; Will Books, pp. 122-123

File #400

In the matter of the Estate of Celim Porter  --  Deceased
Last Will and Testament

filed for record the 16th day of June AD 1898
John F. Rosenwald / Judge of Probate

In the name of God, Amen I, Celim H Porter of Big Stone City in the county of Grant and State of South Dakota, being of sound mind and memory, and considering the uncertainty of this frail and transitory life, do therefore make, ordain, publish and declare this to be my Last Will and Testament. 
First, I order and direct that my executrix, hereinafter named, pay all my just debts and funeral expenses as soon after my decease as conveniently may be. 
Second, After the payment of such funeral expenses and debts, I give, devise and bequeath to my wife Clara E., all my real estate, personal property notes goods, and any other valuable thing during her natural life, except that she shall pay to George C., my oldest son Ten Dollars to Frank F., Ten Dollars when he becomes of age, to my son Roy Bernard Ten Dollars when he  becomes of age, to my daughter Cora, Ten Dollars when she becomes Eighteen years of age, and to my son Willis L., Ten Dollars when he becomes Twenty one years of age, and it is further my will that Willis L., shall have the undivided one half of about Eleven acres of Land in Lac qui Parle County in the State of Minnesota as recorded in Book "U" on Page 261 [or is it 26 comma ?] and was deeded from Purlee Baker [Boke ? Boker? Bake?] a widower to CHPorter being the maker of this Will, on the condition that my son Willis L., shall remain with his mother Clare E., until he is Twenty one years of age, and for the faithfulness of his labors in her behalf he shall receive this 1/2 undivided above described Eleven acres. 
Third, I bequeath and give at the death of my wife Clara E., an equal division of all my property which may remain after her death to my Four herein named sons and my daughter Cora M. or to their heirs all of my remaining property 
Fourth - I hereby bequeath to my wife Clare E., all my right and interest whether it be in cash, notes, lands buildings or any thing else of any valuation or considerations, everything and anything that I may become heir to from my father, Homer before or after his death 
Lastly, I make, constitute and appoint my wife Clara E., without Bonds to be executrix of this my last Will and Testament, hereby revoking all former Wills by me made.
In Testimony Whereof, I have hereunto subscribed my name and affixed my seal, the Eleventh day of March in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Ninety Eight. 
[signed] Celim H Porter [word "seal" with looped circle around it]
This Instrument was on the day of the date thereof, signed, published and declared by the said testator Celim H Porter to be his Last Will and Testament in our presence, who, at his request have subscribed our names thereto as witnesses, in his presence and in the presence of each other.
M. McNamara residing at Big Stone City So Dak
SRGold residing at Big Stone City So Dak
Clara E Porter residing at Big Stone So Dak

My Comments
The FamilySearch index to the Minnesota Will Records led me to the Minnesota Historical Society in St. Paul who kindly sent me a copy of my Great-grandfather's will for $40.  A very nice note was added, saying that they do not have Probate Court case files and to look for them in the Lac qui Parle courthouse in Madison, Minnesota.

According to family notes, Great-grandfather Celim died 23 March 1898, just 11 days after this will was written.  I should try to find a more formal source for his death.

My records would give the children named these ages when the will was written: George 25, Frank 23, Roy 19, Cora 16, and Willis 14.  I'm surprised that Frank is not yet considered "of age."  According to Clara's entry in the 1910 census, she had had a 6th child, but I don't have any additional data.

I would like to find land records for the family in South Dakota and Minnesota.  I knew they were in South Dakota by 1884, but this will is the first indication I've seen for Minnesota.  Big Stone City, South Dakota is directly across the state line from Lac qui Parle County, Minnesota.

Line of Descent
Dr. Daniel Porter   =   Mary
Dr. Daniel Porter   =   Deborah Holcomb
Capt. Thomas Porter   =   Mary Welton
Ashbel Porter   =   Hannah Norris
Thomas Porter   =   Abigail Bates
Homer Thomas Porter   =   Dolly Ann Bates
Celim Homer Porter  =  Clara E. Davison

18 May 2013

NGS: UNofficial Surprise

The string is broken: I have won a prize from putting my info in at a genealogy convention booth!  I'm probably something like 1 out of 5,000 now over 15 years...I'm considering quitting a winner.

I had originally planned a post about the NGS exhibit hall and give little prizes like prettiest brochure and best candy.  But I just let it go after I got home from Las Vegas.  I sort of figured that, after already being included in Randy Seaver's Genea-Musings as someone who blogged about NGS, why go any further?

Then, yesterday, I received the nicest email from Cynthia Richardson of Genlighten, announcing that my name had been drawn from those submitted at their booth. The email was striking in that she took the time to write a very warm note rather than just a simple announcement.  She also had the great courtesy to ask my permission to publicly announce that I had won.

DISCLAIMER: I am not associated with Genlighten and my having a blog did not affect the drawing.  They didn't even know I had a blog until I asked permission to post my winning.  Entering nor winning was not contingent upon posting anything or on anything else.  

PS: Prettiest Brochure would have gone to Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department.  I don't even have ancestors from Oklahoma and picked up the brochures for a friend.  Both of the brochures I picked up are absolutely beautiful, filled with content and no fluff.  And, entirely coincidentally, Best Candy would have gone to Genlighten for yummy chocolates. 

13 May 2013

Great Books: NGS Conference Souvenirs

What's a genealogy conference with out buying books?  I went with a list of 3 books I was looking for and came home with 4, but only 2 of them from the original list.

The Great Migration Newsletter: Volumes 16-20 by Robert Charles Anderson.  Boston: NEHGS, 2012.

This one brings me up-to-date on the newsletter compilations, a must have for anyone with early New England ancestry.  It's nice to have a book from a highly reliable source with one of my ancestors in every issue if not every page!  I enjoy reading these even when not actively researching a specific individual.  The locale info is always especially worthwhile.

Mastering Genealogical Proof by Thomas W. Jones.  Arlington, VA: NGS, 2013.   

A workbook format with glossary, reading list, and answers for the exercises.  Much of this seems to have been in his two presentations I attended at the conference.  It will be great to have the content in a book format. Besides an overview of the Genealogical Proof Standard, each element gets its own chapterI'm really looking forward to reading this one, probably over and over!

Becoming an Excellent Genealogist: Essays on Professional Research Skills edited by Kory L. Meyerink, Tristan L. Tolman, and Linda K. Gulbrandsen.  No location: ICAPGen, 2012.

I spotted this at their booth, thumbed through, slept on it, and bought it on Day 2.  On Day 3, I went back and told them that after only 2 chapters, it seems like a great book!  The font for the chapter titles and sidebars is irritating, but otherwise, I'm really, really looking forward to reading this one! Contributors include Kitzmiller, Russo Adams, Daynes, and Wight.  Essays are in categories including methodology, records, and recording.  Specific topics include migration, medieval research, jurisdictions, writing, and accreditation.

NGS Research in the States Series: Kentucky by Bettie Cummings Cook. Arlington, VA: NGS, 2012.

More a pamphlet than a book, I find myself going back frequently to the other items in this series.  So, it's good to have Kentucky. I'm determined to apply thorough research processes to the Richardson ancestry there and I'm optimistic this guide will help.

10 May 2013

NGS UNofficial Blogger: Day 3 & a hotel comment

Another great day!  Maybe not as overwhelmingly wonderful as the first two, but still great!!  I attended 4 conference sessions and 2 exhibit hall presentations at the FamilySearch booth:
America's Expansion: The Ohio Country 1783-1812 with Jana Sloan Broglin  --  Excellent, well-paced combination of early history of the early Ohio area and the records that resulted from all the different levels of jurisdiction.  Lots of good ideas for things I need to do now.... 
iGenealogy: There Is an App for That with Shamele Jordon  --  Wonderful presentation: lots of info clearly applicable to genealogy and charmingly, humorously presented.  I'll be sure to look for this speaker in the future.  I was committed to using EndNote after Day 1 with Cooke, but this made it even more attractive! 
Genealogical Applications of Historical Geographical Information Systems with Rick Sayre  --  I got to this one a bit late after walking out on one that was starting much, much too introductory.  Very interesting examples.  I'll have to try lots of these websites when I get home. 
Planning 'Reasonably Exhaustive' Research with Thomas Jones  --  Perhaps not as tightly organzed as his session yesterday, but still extremely useful.  Some of it was a tad repetitive, but it's the sort of info that needs repeating, given how important it is. I'm eager to read his new book.
The 2 talks I heard at the FamilySearch booth were very interesting and well done.  I was able to ask questions and see more of the new features in action.  I must join the indexing....

Still no sign of The Ancestry Insider.  Oh, well... that's about the only conference goal I didn't meet.

Non-Genealogy comment, in the category of "It's not me, is it?"   --  The hotel has a "Going Green" program.  Guests receive an $8 coupon for everyday that room housekeeping service (ie, towels changed) is not used.  Great environmental effort! But, tonight we ate at the gourmet burger restaurant.  Food and service were excellent, as expected given the price.  The striking thing was the glass of plain water requested for my beverage was delivered in a plastic bottle with an LVHotel label and 2 plastic straws.  Not terribly environmental.  But the really non-environmental part was that, according to the label, it was bottled in Los Angeles! So, water from the Colorado River was 'aquaducted' to Los Angeles, bottled, and trucked back to Las Vegas.  I don't think that's so green.... even as I used my GoingGreen coupon to help (just a bit) pay the bill....  And, now, I wonder where the tap water I've been drinking in the room came from....

09 May 2013

NGS UNofficial Notes -- Day 2

In my self-titled role as UNofficial Blogger at NGS, one of my main goals is to find the Ancestry Insider   (love that blog!) ... a goal still not achieved....so far, we have not attended any of the same sessions.  My biggest problem is, though, that I won't recognize him unless he's wearing the paper bag head gear....

One new book (more on this later) and five sessions for me today:
Maximizing Your Use of Evidence by Thomas W. Jones --  Very well presented and good handout in syllabus.  Excellent discussion/examples of the distinction between information and evidence. Extremely well attended, especially considering that it started at 8am....
Life after the IGI by Robert Raymond  --  Fairly brief presentation but then he fielded general FamilySearch questions.  I definitely learned some useful tiny tidbits about the current operation of what "was" the IGI. And, it is still there!
Were Your Ancestors Friends? Finding and Using Their Quaker Records by Kay Haviland Freilich  -- I've only recently seen info that seems to imply that I have Quaker ancestors, so I thought this would be a good way to get background info and it definitely was!  Very well done and quick moving.  She started early and ended early but stayed for individual questions up front--the line quickly got too long for me.  Lots of info and sources to follow up on here.  Probably the main things I learned revolve around the different meanings Quakers used for some words in their records.
Information Overload? Effective Project Planning, Research, Data Management, and Analysis by Elizabeth Shown Mills --  I'll only be hearing 2 of her 4 presentations at NGS, so I'm not a certified groupie ...  yet.  Just as well done as yesterday's!  She emphasized steps and tips in writing research reports.  Individual research summary/reports were also emphasized.  The main idea was you have to do something to organize everything if you are collecting thorough info on 40 census neighbors for a given target individual!  I would love to attend a full session on each of the types of reports discussed this time: the presentation was so full of detail that I need to hear each one with more examples and time for questions along the way.  I know there are sample docs at the APG website that I've read, but now i must go back and look at them again!!
FamilySearch Community Trees: What, Where, How to Use Them, and Why I Want To by David S. Barss  --  Probably one of the least-known features at FamilySearch.  Great concept and I need to go check the ones already on the site for Utah and Ohio.  I'd love to do one for Estill County, Kentucky of 1800, but I know I'd have to give up all other hobbies and chores....
One very nice time at the Archives.com booth with Nici trying their website.  My first impression is that the site seems to work well and I need to do more investigating into the breadth of their collection and just how much of it is unique.  There is a 7-day-free-trial that I will probably do after I get home.

Thanks, again, NGS for a great day!  But, since we're leaving early Saturday, time is running out to find The Ancestry Insider....

08 May 2013

NGS UNofficial Notes -- Day 1

It's been a while, but I'm back to genealogy!  To celebrate, I've come to the National Genealogy Society conference in Las Vegas. Needless to say, I am nowhere near one of the select, official bloggers....

We actually arrived yesterday. The flight was a bit rough but our room at the conference hotel is super and the buffet was great, especially the dessert section....first things, first!

Today, I had a great day attending 3 sessions:
How the Genealogist Can Remember Everything with EverNote by Lisa Louise Cooke  --  I've heard such great reviews of EverNote that I decided I had better make a better effort to see if it can't do something for my genealogy.  I had tried it about 2 years ago but it didn't seem worth the effort.  After this excellent presentation, I am going to download it and make it work for me as soon as we get home.  The possibilities seem virtually unlimited.  Cooke said that it can actually use OCR to search the text on screen clips I download from any site!  The tagging and folder options also seem extremely useful.  This was my 3rd time ever attending a Cooke session and she continues to present solid content with great skill. 
The Genealogical Proof Standard in Action: Case Building by Elizabeth Shown Mills.  Yes, the Elizabeth Shown Mills!  This was my first time hearing her in person and that alone may have been worth the trip to Las Vegas! Excellent, succinct overview of the Genealogical Proof Standard with a mini case study example very charmingly presented.  Excellent handout in syllabus. 
ResearchTies: The Power of an Online Research Log by Jill Crandell, the originator/developer of this product for online research logs.  By now, you can see that the theme of my selections for today was all research analysis structure & organization.  The thought that has gone into this new (and still developing) product is awesome.  The plan is to eventually have it integrated with genealogy database software.  Right now, I don't think it's quite where I'd like it to be for me to jump in.  Best wishes to Jill and I will definitely keep checking back with ResearchTies.

I spent a bit of time in the exhibit hall and already have 3 new books to take home with me (more on that later).  I also have new pens, highlighters, catalogs, and other goodies to examine!

Overall, this looks like my first venture to a national genealogy conference is successful.  It is very well organized and great attention has been paid to details.  The syllabus was in my registration bundle on a flashdrive.  I am writing this post from the free WiFi hotspot sponsored by FamilySearch, NGS, and FindMyPast.com: I'm surprised how easy it was to get on and how fast it is.  Thank you, NGS, for all your hard work!

Have a great night and I'll see you tomorrow!