Monthly Archives: February 2016

Three Estates Intertwined

I am continuing work on a series of probate/estate cases from three members of the Behrens-Sartorius family in Adams County, Illinois, for upcoming Casefile Clues articles. We are going to be spreading some of them out so that readers don’t get burnt out on the family or the time period.

There were actually seven different files for a total of three estates that were settled. A little organization will be helpful. I created a folder for each of the estate files and downloaded the probate records from, reminding myself that there may be ledgers and journals the courthouse does not have.

I should have renamed the files after I determined what was in each case, but for now have just left them. The cases, in summary, are:

  • herman-sartorius-1–the estate settlement for Herman Sartorius who died in Adams County, Illinois in the early 1880s
  • herman-sartoriu-2–the petition by the administrator of the Sartorius estate to sell Herman’s real property
  • reka-behrends-estate–an estate opened for Reka Behrens wherein her only estate is her widow’s benefit received from her husband’s estate
  • ulfert-behrends-will–the will for Ulfert Behrends who died in Adams County, Illinois, in 1889
  • ulfert-behrends-will2–another filming of the will case packet for Ulfert
  • volke-sartorius-guardian–the case file wherein Volke Sartorius is appointed guardian for her minor children, done after Ulfert Behrens died.


My organization does not end there. These estates were being settled in the 1880s and all involve Volke Sartorius in one way or another. Her father was appointed administrator of her husband’s estate and he had to petition the court to sell the real estate. Volke bought back her home, but was left with little money. After her father died, she was appointed guardian of her  husband’s minor heirs, largely so she could sue her father’s estate for their back wages when they lived with him.

My next step is to make a chart listing all the documents in these files so that I can put them in chronological order. That may help me to notice things I’ve not previously noticed as these case are intertwined.