I always love looking at my ancestor’s probate records and seeing what they owned. I feel like it’s a little window into their life.
Sophia (Ross) Pottgen was my 4th great-grandmother. She died in Alton, Illinois in 1877.
Besides some real estate, this is the list of her property:
Oh, what I wouldn’t give for her rocking chair or one of those quilts!!  It always makes me wonder what line some of these family heirlooms may have passed down.  It obviously wasn’t mine!!

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Lyman and Mary (or Addie M. as she signed her name) were siblings to my husband’s great-great grandfather, Peter Henry Weeks (1842-1928). They lived in Douglas County, Kansas.

This Indenture, made this the first day of January in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and Seventy Seven, between Lyman P. Weeks of Baldwin City in the County of Douglas and State of Kansas of the first part, and Mary Weeks of the second part. Witnesseth, that the said party of the first part, in consideration of the sum of Fifteen hundred $1500.00 Dollars to him duly paid has sold and by these presents does grand and convey to the said party of the second part her heirs and assigns all that tract or parcel of land, situated in the County of Douglas and State of Kansas and described a: follows to wit: the North west quarter (1/4) of the South East quarter (1/4) of Section number fifteen (15) in Township Number Fourteen (14) in Range Number Twenty (20), with the appertenances, and all of the estate, title, and interest of the said party of the first part therein, and the said Lyman P. Weeks does hereby consent and agree that at the delivery hereof he was the lawful owner of the premises above granted and seized of a good and indefeaseble state of inheritance therein  free and clear of all incumbrance and that he will Warrant and Defend the name in the quit and peaceable possession of the said party of the second part her heirs and assigns forever against all persons lawfully claiming the same.

In Witness whereof, the said party of the first part has hereunto set his hand and seal the day and year last above mentioned.  Signed Sealed and Delivered in the presence of S.N. Walker.

Lyman P. Weeks
Addie M. Weeks

State of Kansas, County of Douglas} SS

Be it Remembered that on this first day of January A.D. 1877 , before me, a Notary Public, in and for said County and State came Lyman P. Weeks and Addie M. Weeks to me personally known to be the same person who executed the foregoing instrument and duly acknowledge the execution of the same.

In Witness whereof, I have hereunto subscribed my name and applied by official seal on the day and year last above mentioned.

S.N. Walker Notary Public

Received May 30, 1877 at 2:20 P.M.

[? his name] Register of Deeds

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This Sunday’s obituary is for my husband’s 3rd great-grandmother’s sister, Jane (Campbell) Van Leer.  It is from the Indiana Evening Gazette, Indiana, Pennsylvania, dated 9 Dec 1922.

Mrs. Jane Van Leer, 93, Dies in Sons’ Home Near Marion Center

Mrs. Jane Van Leer, widow of John Van Leer, died at the home of her son, Grant Van Leer of near Marion Center at 8:15 Friday morning at the age of 93 years. She was a great-great grandmother.

The deceased was born in Center County, this state, 93 years ago and came to the home of her son Grant about four years ago. She was a member of the Wesleyn Methodist church of Indiana, and one of the most highly respected and lovable characters in this section.

Among her survivors are one son, Grant Van Leer, at whose home she died and the following grand, great grand and great-great grandchildren: Mrs. James Thomas of Punxsutawney; Mrs. Vanora V. Rowe, of Pittsburgh; Mrs. Zene Hines, of Pine Flats; Miss Murtel Van Leer, nurse in the Dixmont hospital; Mrs. Mabel Van Leer of Jeannette; Mrs. William Van Leer of Indiana, Mrs. Anna Fritz and John Walker in California; David and Ernest Van Leer in the West; Bernard Van Leer, of North Mahoning township; Mrs. William Dunmire, of Juneau; Charles, Mona and Theodore Van Leer, of near Marion Center; Thomas Walker, Mrs. Helen Cook, Eearl and Anna Washington of Pittsburgh, and the great-great grandchildren are the son and daughters of Bert Moorhead of Indiana; of Mrs. Zene Hines and Mrs. Helen Cook, of Pittsburgh.

Funeral services will be held at the late home of the deceased beginning at 1 o’clock Monday afternoon and interment made in the Marion Center cemetery

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This is just an article I came across when I was doing some research on my mom’s family.  These people are not at all related to me, but I found it so interesting to read about a home brewery being raided.  Especially since my dad enjoys brewing his own beer.   It’s from 1924.

It sounds like the operation was pretty well concealed, but obviously not well enough!!  I’m not much of a drinker myself, but I still think that prohibition would have been a hard time to live through!!:)


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I can hardly believe that it’s MARCH already!  This is a big month for me.  A really busy month.  I have two kiddos with birthdays.  I’m walking a marathon – the Bataan Memorial Death March in just a few weeks.  I have a two-week long Spouse’s Leadership Development Course to take from 5-10 p.m. every night (so I can learn how to be a Sergeant Major’s wife!).  We have a week of spring break, which we will spend driving and hiking and sightseeing around Arizona and New Mexico.  I have a bunch of illegitimate Swedish ancestors to track down through the parish records. Oh, and I have to homeschool my 5 kids at some point in time.  Geesh!

I have big news too.  Well, news that big news is coming.  On Monday, we should find out where we’ll be moving to this June.  It’s exciting.  I am so incredibly anxious to find out, but I have to remind myself to not get too worked up about where we’re going, because until we’re physically there it could change.  I’m a seasoned Army wife, so I”m ready for the chaos when it comes.  I can’t help but hope that wherever we move, it’s either close to where some of my ancestors lived so that I can do some firsthand research or else close to one of the big conferences so I can attend one of them.

Well, on to this week’s favorite finds….

  • Did Some Dude on a Boat Decide Your Fate? over at Clue Wagon got me thinking.  I personally don’t live in the same place my ancestors lived, because we’re a nomadic Army family.  However, my mom does lived within two hours of where her Swedish grandparents immigrated to (Seattle) in the early 1900’s.  And we’ll be moving back there when my husband retires.  My husband’s family is in Douglas County, KS (and has been there since 1854).  They didn’t step off a boat, but moved from Virginia and have been in Kansas for over 150 years.  That’s a long time!
  • I love family heirlooms and thought that these glasses over at Nolichucky Roots were so special!
  • I’m really looking forward to the new Finding Your Roots show on PBS, which is premiering March 25th!!
  • This would be More Than I Could Stand also!  How hard to have been trying to plan a wedding and not have a mother there to help out.  I can’t wait to hear what happens next over at Family Archaeologist.

And a few pictures to share…

My daughter Katie, who just turned 10 a couple of weeks ago…

Ellie, who is 12 going on 20.The bag of dead animals my children dissected this week.  Homeschooling can be messy!!And some lovely chocolate-covered strawberries I had the pleasure of tasting at a baby shower last weekend.:)



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