Sepia Saturday 433: First in a new series on the settlement of my great-great grandfather Arthur T. Bull’s estate. He was the father of my paternal great grandmother Eva (Bull) Charboneau.
When my great-great grandfather Arthur T. Bull, 57, died on 30 January 1890, he did not have a will.
Because he died intestate, his wife — my great-great grandmother Mary E. (Blakeslee) Bull, 50 — had to sign and file a number of documents in New York State Surrogate Court to become administratrix of his estate. In so doing, she unknowingly created more family history records of interest.
Mary had to do this while simultaneously applying for U.S. Civil War widow’s benefits from her late husband’s Union Army service. And it appears that at least one of her attorneys from her widow’s application, Carey D. Davie, rendered services in the probate process, too.
Mary named administratrix
My Bull great-great grandparents lived in Salamanca, Cattaraugus Co., in western New York at the time of Arthur’s death. However, Mary had to travel to the county surrogate court in Franklinville, about 50 miles south of Buffalo, to file the estate documents.
On 15 Aug. 1890, almost seven months after he died, Mary was granted letters of administration naming her “administratrix of all the singular goods, chattels and credits which were of the said Arthur T. Bull, deceased.”
She was directed to execute an accurate inventory of Arthur’s estate “to exhibit, or cause to be exhibited, in the office of the Surrogate of the County of Cattaraugus, at or before the expiration of three calendar months from the date thereof.”
After that, the document was witnessed and signed. (Handwriting underlined below.)
Witness: Alfred Spring, Surrogate of said County at Franklinville the fifteenth day of August in the year of our Lord, one thousand, eight hundred and
More work for a grieving widow
Being named administratrix was just the beginning of the estate-settlement process for my grieving great-grandmother. She then had three months to tally up all of Arthur’s holdings and report back to the court. Alas, more work for a grieving widow.
Or perhaps it was a burden that her nearby married daughters and their husbands helped her with. Either way, there was also the matter of an administration bond — which is the next record that will be reviewed in this series.
More on this in the next post. Meanwhile, please visit the blogs of this week’s other Sepia Saturday participants here.
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