Sunday, February 24, 2013

Morbid:  Grey Days and/or Death

Either it's the February clouds or perusing too many probate records that's causing this gloomy feeling.  (Or maybe it's not finding Christian Gerner in any of the 145 files through 2443 pages of the Butler County, Pennsylvania Probate records #G466-G610.)

Searching the probate records is interesting (and time-consuming!) but reading lists of a person's possessions that were sold makes me sad.  Did no family member want them?  Did they sell by auction?  Was there an estate sale or a tag sale?  If any of these were my ancestor I'd head to contemporary, local newspapers and look for sale ads. Thankfully, clothes were not on this list.  I think I would have cried.

$10.00   One Desk.
    4.00   One Couch.
    1.00   One Rocker.
    4.00   Morris chair.
    2.50   Office Chair
  10.00   Watch & Chain.
    2.00   Clock....

And seeing lists of funeral expenses is depressing, especially when they are itemized so specifically.

$200.00  Casket and Services 
  100.00  Vault
    10.00  Embalming 
    15.00  Motor Hearse
    14.00  Slumber Blanket 
      2.00  Lining Grave
      1.50  Underwear
      1.00  Cleaning Suit
    60.00  Cemetery Lot & Opening Grave

$    7.00  Digging grave
  143.00  Funeral expenses
    19.40  Probating will etc.etc.
  162.74  Inheritance tax in full
      1.00  Medicine
      7.50  Medical services
      1.25  Flowers for grave

Death has not come close enough to my door to require that I dispose of a loved one's possessions or plan and carry out a funeral.  I hope it never does.



  1. I know what you mean by this. It really bothered me to go through the probate records for the estate of my g-g-g grandfather Burris' lover, and find the receipt where the minor sons were charged half for their sister's casket.


    1. Sometimes we learn the saddest things when we research our ancestors, don't we, Dee. Makes one want to weep.


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