Thursday, September 30, 2010

Kings County Estate Files: Matilda Stutzmann continued

The thing about these probate records to make note of is that just because the probate year doesn't match the year your ancestor died, doesn't mean it doesn't belong to them. So don't automatically disregard a record that has the right name but appears to be the wrong year. Por ejemplo:

Matilda Stutzmann, who we were talking about yesterday, died in 1880. I found a second probate record for Mathilde Stutzmann filed in the Kings County Surrogate's Court 26 years later. It reads, "Feb. 10, 1906, Kings County Surrogate's Court in the matter of the application for letters of administration with the will annexed of the goods, chattels, and credits left unadministered which were of Mathilde Stutzmann, deceased."

This type of record is different from the original one we looked at, which was, as far as I understand, trying to prove Matilda's last will. This one, it seems, is under the category "administration," which seems to have to do with naming a new executor of her estate. Also, it seems there are different sets of paperwork for if there is a valid will or if there is no valid will on record. Confusing, right? Yeah, I'm still trying to sort it all out.

It continues: "The petition of Augusta Stutzmann respectfully shows that your petitioner is a resident of 1558 Green Ave in the Borough of Brooklyn, and is the administratrix of the sole legatee and devisee named in the last will and testament of Mathilde Stutzmann deceased, and is of full age. ...that said deceased left a last will and testament in and by which Frederick Stutzmann was named executor thereof, who duly qualified.  That the last will and testament was duly admitted to probate by the Surrogate's Court of the County of Kings on the 4th day of October, 1880 ... that the said executor has departed this life, leaving certain property and assets of the said testatrix unadministered, the value of which does not exceed the sum of 60 dollars."

Basically, it would seem that since there was still some part of Matilda's estate unadministered 26 years after her death, her son Rudolph's wife, Augusta, has been named the new administrator of her estate because the original executor, Matilda's husband Friedrich "and sole legatee" died a month earlier, on January 14, 1906.

What I find interesting is that Augusta is made administrator - she and Matilda never met, so why wasn't Matilda's son and Augusta's husband, Rudolph, named administrator once Friedrich died?

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