Sunday, October 18, 2009

No Will? No Problem...if you can find a deed

While researching at the Madison County, Indiana Recorder's office, I came across this deed book record that took place shortly after my maternal 3rd great-grandfather, Joseph WRIGHT died in 1919.

I had previously attempted to obtain a copy of his will in Madison County and was told that he did not leave a will. Knowing when he died, I began searching the deed books for the time period shortly after his death and bingo! There was a deed from his widow listing all of his heirs, transferring land to one heir.



Madison County, Indiana Deed Book 21, page 378

THIS INDENTURE WITNESSETH That Dorothy Wright, an unmarried woman, she being the widow of Joseph Wright, deceased; John W. Wright, an unmarried man, he being a widower; Charles R. Wright and Bertha Wright, his wife; Daisy Fox and Thomas A. Fox, her husband; Edward E. Wright and Martha J. Wright, his wife; Ethel L. Kirk, an unmarried woman; Earl J. Kirk, an unmarried man; Harry H. Kirk and Lucille M. Kirk, his wife; Myrtle M. Day and Virgil S. Day, her husband, each of said grantors being over the age of 21 years, all being of Madison County, State of Indiana, other than said Edward E. Wright and Martha J. Wright, they being of Whitley County, State of Indiana, these grantors together with the grantee herein including all the heirs at law of said Joseph Wright, deceased, late of Madison County, State of Indiana, CONVEY AND WARRANT TO James Wright, of Madison County, State of Indiana, for and in consideration of one thousand seven hundred fifty dollars, the following described real estate in Madison County, State of Indiana, to-wit: The undivided one-fourth (1/4) of the north west quarter of the south west quarter of section 25, township 21 north, range 7 east.

This conveyance is made and accepted subject to the 1919 (payable 1920) taxes assessed on and against said real estate.

IN WITNESS Whereof the said Dorothy Wright, widow of said Joseph Wright, deceased; John W. Wright, widower and unmarried man; Charles R. Wright and Bertha Wright his wife; Daisy Fox and Thomas A. Fox, her husband; Edward E. Wright and Martha J. Wright, his wife; Ethel L. Kirk, an unmarried woman; Earl J. Kirk, an unmarried man; Harry H. Kirk and Lucille M. Kirk, his wife; Myrtle M. Day and Virgil S. Day her husband, they being the grantors in the annexed deed, have hereunto set their hands and seals this 4th day of October 1919.

Dorothy Wright Seal
John W. Wright Seal
Charles R. Wright Seal
Bertha Wright Seal
Daisy Fox Seal
Thomas A. Fox Seal
Edward E. Wright Seal
Martha J. Wright Seal
Ethel L. Kirk Seal
Earl J. Kirk Seal
Harry H. Kirk Seal
Lucille H. Kirk Seal
Myrtle M. Day Seal
Virgil S. Day Seal

All by Virgil S. Day, Attorney-in-fact

STATE OF INDIANA, COUNTY OF MADISON, SS:

Before me, the undersigned, Notary Public in and for said County and State, personally appeared the grantors in the annexed deed, said Dorothy Wright, an unmarried woman, she being the widow of Joseph Wright, deceased; John W. Wright, widower and unmarried man; Charles R. Wright and Bertha Wright, his wife; Daisy Fox and Thomas A. Fox, her husband; Edward E. Wright and Martha J. Wright, his wife; Ethel L. Kirk, an unmarried woman; Earl J. Kirk an unmarried man; Harry H. Kirk and Lucille M. Kirk, his wife; Myrtle M. Day and Virgil S. Day, her husband, each being over the age of 21 years they and the grantee being the sole and only heirs at law of said Joseph Wright, deceased, by Virgil S. Day their Attorney in Fact, and acknowledged the execution of the annexed Deed.

Witness my hand and Notarial seal this 4th day of October 1919. James A. May, Notary Public

My commission expires November 26, 1921.


Joseph WRIGHT had no children with his second wife, Dorothy PALMER, whom he married on April 11, 1891 in Madison County, Indiana. By his first wife, Rebecca HEATON, whom he married November 1, 1857 in Schuyler County, Missouri, he had the following children:

i. Mary WRIGHT (1858-1910) married Frank KIRK; children Ethel, Earl and Harry are listed as heirs
ii. John WRIGHT (1860-1945) married Ellen KING; widower whose wife had died in 1913, listed as heir
ii. Elizabeth WRIGHT (1863-1882) married Wiliiam Alpha JONES; their daughter Myrtle listed as heir
iii. Anna WRIGHT (1864-1914) married Albert VINSON; left no surviving heirs
iv. James WRIGHT (1868-1936) married Clara HICKS; was the grantee in the deed
v. Charles WRIGHT (1870-1967) married Bertha LEONARD; listed as heir
vi. Daisy WRIGHT (1873-aft1930) married Thomas FOX; listed as heir
vii. Edward WRIGHT (1875-1960) married Martha STARR; listed as heir
viii. Jesse WRIGHT (1878-1919) married Hazel O'BRYANT; left no surviving heirs

Though I knew the names of Joseph's children, it was interesting to find his grandchildren listed as heirs and to know that they were still living in Madison County, at least in 1919. Joseph's son Edward had moved to Whitley County, a fact I knew and which was confirmed by the 1920 census.

Although it was several years since I had originally written to the courthouse asking for a copy of the will, I'm glad that I was finally able to find some records that recorded the settlement of Joseph's estate.
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