Week 9 (February 26-March 4): Where There’s a Will

My 2nd great grandfather Isaac Brown died near Hennessey, Kingfisher, Oklahoma in 1902 at the age of 63.  He did not have a will at the time of his death and since he owned property and was receiving a Civil War pension, a guardian had to be appointed by the courts for his minor children.  So, Mary Brown, Isaac’s widow and the mother of his children petitioned the court to be her children’s guardian.1  This seems odd today but at that time women did not have the power or authority for oversight of property.2

Her petition was successful and several men from the county put up a $50 surety and Mary’s children signed statements that they were aware that their mother, Mary Brown, would be their guardian.  Included in the file is a listing of the items purchased with the pension and as each child reached the age of 17 the pension stopped.

I like to collect my ancestor’s signatures and in this file I acquired two:

my 2nd great grandmother Mary Brown:

my great grandfather John Brown:

Further Reading:

  1. Ancestry.com. Oklahoma, Wills and Probate Records, 1801-2008 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2015.
  2. Guarding the Pension by The Legal Genealogist – an easy to read explanation of guardianship
  3. 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Isaac Brown
  4. Entries on my blog about Isaac Brown and the Lennox family.
  5. COG 77th Edition Disasters: Cyclone of 1912