Contrary to popular belief, it’s permissible to admit that one does not know something and there’s something about the images in this post that I either do not know or am overlooking.

Barbara Haase died in Warsaw, Hancock County, Illinois, in 1903. She left a will that was later admitted to probate in Hancock County court. That will mentioned by name:

  • her surviving children
  • all the children of her one predeceased child, Franciska Trautvetter.

It did mention her ex-husband, Conrad Haase, who survived her.

The “Petition for Probate of Will and Letters Testamentary” was presented to the Hancock County Court during the June 1903 term. Notice of that petition had to be sent to:

  • heirs-at-law
  • legatees

Barbara’s heirs-at-law would have been her living children and the living children of her predeceased daughter, Franciska Trautvetter. Barbara’s other grandchildren would not have been heirs-at-law because their parents were still living. Barbara’s legatees would have been individuals mentioned in her will. In this case legatees were also heirs. Had Barbara given money to her church, the church would have been a legatee, but not an heir. That church would have to have been given notice of the will.

But Barbara didn’t leave anything to anyone other than her heirs-at-law, so no one else should have received notice.



The list of those to whom notice was sent includes more names that just heirs-at-law and legatees. It includes all the children of Barbara’s daughter Louisa Meyers. Louisa was alive at the time her mother died. Louisa was alive at the time of the notice. In fact, Louisa lived approximately twenty years after her mother died. Louisa was of sound mind as she later purchases her mother’s home from the estate.

So why are her children included?

I don’t know.


Interestingly enough, there are checkmarks by the names of the heirs-at-law and legatees (the one by Louisa’s name is very faint as is the one by Fina Trautvetter’s name).

Why were Louisa Meyers’ children sent notice of their Grandmother Haase’s will being admitted to probate when her other grandchildren were not sent notice? Conrad and Herman Haase and Annie Baker all had children of their own at the time Barbara’s will was admitted to probate.

I don’t have an answer, but it’s not wrong to ask questions.



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