Cards, Clevises, and Calomel: What Probate Files Reveal about Our Ancestors – Nancy A. Peters

March 29th, 2019 by National Genealogical Society Blog Editor

Cards, Clevises, and Calomel: What Probate Files Reveal about Our Ancestors

Session: T225, Time and Date: Thursday, 09 May 2019, at 11:00 a.m.

Nancy A. Peters

Twenty-first century family historians want more than names and dates collected on pedigree charts. We long for connections—an understanding of how our ancestors lived, worked, and socialized and what they valued. Finding and sharing details that place our ancestors in the context of their historical, social, political, and cultural era will enrich our knowledge of past lives and make our family stories compelling.

Many types of probate and estate documents—besides a will—contain genealogical evidence that can shed light on family life, relationships, and kin. The lecture demonstrates the value of researching often-overlooked probate records such as estate inventories, appraisements, sales lists, receipts, and accounts. These documents contain details that place the deceased’s family in the context of their time and place. Learn where to find these records, what to look for, and how to interpret the clues.

BIO: Nancy A. Peters, CG, CGL, is a full-time professional genealogist and coeditor of the NGS Quarterly. She serves on the executive committee and as a trustee for the Board for Certification of Genealogists and is the former editor of its newsletter, OnBoard. She lectures at conferences and is an instructor for the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy and the BCG Education Fund on skill-building topics and genealogy standards. Her published work has appeared in the NGSQ, other genealogical journals, and Professional Genealogy: Preparation, Practice, & Standards (2018). Nancy’s client and personal research focuses primarily on England, Germany, New York, and the southeastern United States.