Sunday, December 2, 2012

Guardianship the forgotten Probate documents

One of the most common Probate documents that was often overlooked is the Guardianship files. If you had a male die with minor children living in the household the court even with out a will would create a guardianship for the care of the children. Guardianship were a common form of care that was administered to children when still minors in the event that the father passed away. The normal cut off age was eighteen. This was always done. This was the counties way to make sure that the children were being properly taken care of in the community. This would not happen in the event that the mother died. The perception was they had to be watched if a male was not in the picture. The courts would first establish the date of death for the deceased. They would make attempts to provide care for the children by another male family member or a trusted member of the community. Paying attention to this name is important, because you need to establish this persons relationship with the family prior to the death of the man. The court would detail the full names of the children along with the date of birth. The court would review the case each year until the child was no longer a minor. It is fascinating when reviewing a case file to see all the receipts for the purchases that were made for the care of the children. Reviews were done in the county of death when the children may have moved elsewhere. In a case I researched in Lima, Allen Co., Ohio the father passed in the county and left three minor children. The mother had proceeded him in death. Care for the children was done by family members back in Knox Co, Ohio. Records for there care can be found in both Allen and Knox counties. Provides a fascinating insight into the care of children during the 19th century. Review your male family members to determine if they still had minors in the household when they died. If this is the case make sure to consult the Guardianship records. Probate often does not tie the Will or Administration to the Guardianship. Information found in guardianship is a place that often Vital records are not being kept. Always review for these types of records.
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