Monthly Archives: January 2016

It’s Good to be Back

We are still in gear up mode here at Casefile Clues, but it is good to be back. Writing the newsletter regularly again has reminded me of the importance of writing as a part of the research process, even if the research is not completely done.

Even when we think it is done, writing things up often makes it clear that our work really is not done

We’ve got some new and interesting topics coming up, stay tuned!

And thanks for your support of Casefile Clues. It is appreciated.


Missing Issues?

If you are a subscriber to the PDF version of Casefile Clues and you are missing issues, email me at

Responding to earlier newsletter mailings sometimes causes the messages to get lost or misdirected. Thanks!

Issue 3-49 is Out!

Issue 3-49 is out.

It looks at an 1889 will for a German immigrant to Illinois.

Other than the names, the will has nothing to do with the testator being German. The issues and analysis are really independent of the state in which the will is located as well.

There’s several issues in it that are worth thinking about.


Upcoming Will was Filmed Twice

wulfertwillpacketThere are two separate filmings of the will of Ulfert Behrens in Adams County, Illinois. It appears that there are several wills in the late 19th century for Adams County, Illinois, that were microfilmed twice.

We’re using that will for the next issue of Casefile Clues. I need to make certain that I am precise in my citation so that I cite the correct filming of these records as both filmings have been digitized by

Upcoming Issue

The next issue of Casefile Clues should go out 28 January. It looks at an 1889 will from Adams County, Illinois.

It’s part of an ongoing study of a German immigrant family whose estate settlements are somewhat atypical.

While not discussed in this issue, the testator of this will, Ulfert Behrens, died twenty-one hours before his wife. He apparently thought she was going to die before him as she is not mentioned and her clothing is given away in his will.

Sourcing Probate Materials

Note: This was recently posted to my blog, but am reposting it here as it relates to our latest issue.

I’m not really certain that I’m happy with it, but I’ve settled on a working citation for probate materials from collection. My concern was that I needed to indicate the:

  • original creator of the material
  • the site where the records were accessed
    • Because has so much material and so many databases, I used the title of the database from which the probate imges were pulled. I don’t do this for the US federal census because I’ve never done it and locating the census images is relatively easy on There are some states for which has several probate databases and the title makes the location of the material easier.
  • and, because the site holding these records did not make the images from the actual records, I need to indicate who actually copied the actual records–the Family History Library

I ended up with the item shown below–hopefully in the spirit of  Evidence Explained . I spent far too much time concerning myself with where to place the title of the database.

Hancock County, Illinois, Probate Court Files, Box 113, Estate of Mimken Habben, Petition of Antie Habben to be Appointed Administratrix with the Will Annexed, 26 March 1877;, “Illinois, Wills and Probate Records, 1772-1999,” ( : accessed  3 January 2016), citing FHL microfilm publication 1547540.

I’m open to suggestions. This seemed to fit my purpose for the time being.

This item is one that is analyzed in the next issue of Casefile Clues.

Our Blog Has Moved!

The Casefile Clues blog has moved to

This will streamline my workflow and make it easier to send out the free updates about the newsletter and newsletter content. We are working on refining our new blog, so please be patient as this page changes.