My blog has been changed to make it more appealing for those who have New England ancestors and want to see the area through photos. Things I’ll include are typical white New England churches, libraries showing their genealogical collection, historical societies, cemeteries, war memorials, in general, anything to do with history.

For four years I’ve blogged mostly about my personal genealogy in New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire), New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. I still will, can’t forget my own roots.

Please check out the labels on the right side for articles. The header tabs at the top are a work in progress.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Fanny's Diamonds and Silverware, Who Has Them Now?

I felt like I was going back in time during my process of obtaining the below will for my 2nd great-grandmother, Frances "Fanny" Maria (Gleason) Poole. Recently, I transcribed parts of a large will for her husband, and noticed he had as an asset, 2,600 books (blog post). Naturally, I wondered what happened to them, and then decided to obtain the will of his wife. To request her will should have been easy and quick once I got the clerk on the phone to tell me the process. Although a nice person, he said I had to write a letter! It was my first letter in well over a year. No word from the clerk in abt. a week, so I called back, and was then promised he'd get right to it. More waiting, and calling, (yes, clerks get sick, and take vacation time during the holidays). During my last phone tag, he said he had it on his desk, and since it was only 3 pages long, he would send it out, free of charge! Glad I was nice to him and very patient, although it was hard.

Turns out, there is no mention of her husband's books, but then, I didn't think she's have them shipped from Illinois to her new living quarters in Massachusetts.

I found it strange she didn't go through a lawyer to write the will, since her son, who lived nearby, was a lawyer. The will was filed January 25, 1904 and proved February 10, 1904. She died January 19th. This must be a record, as I've never seen a will proved so quickly.

I have seen several pictures of Fanny (one is above), but none with her wearing diamonds. It's nice to know several of her pieces remained in the family...not to my line though. My direct line, Annie got to share Fanny's silverware with her brother! Unfortunately, I've never seen the pattern, and I wonder who has it now. The same goes for the diamonds, it would be lovely to just see a picture of them.

My next steps are:

1. Contact several distant cousins to see if they want a copy of the will mailed.
2. Since I determined the relationships of all three witnesses, work on their lineage. They were were directly related to Fanny's sister, Alma. Although Alma isn't directly related to me, her parents were my 3rd great-grandparents.
3. Write a post about where Fanny lived in Brookline, MA.


I, Fanny M. Poole of the town of Brookline, County of Norfolk, and Commonwealth of Massachusetts, declare this to be my last will and testament, hereby revoking all former wills and testamentary writings by me heretofore made.

        First, I desire that my just debts and funeral expenses shall be first paid.

        Second, I appoint my son, William F. Poole the execution hereof, and Trustee for purposes set out in Section Third hereof, and direct that he shall not be required to give bonds.

        Third, I hereby bequeath to my son, William F. Poole, as trustee, all my right titles and interest whatsoever it may be, in and to the publication known as ‘Poole’s Index to Periodical Literature’ and all supplements thereof and abridgments thereto, and all rights to further publications which may be made in connection therewith, and all right title and interests in the name of said publication, and all agreements in connections with said Index, Supplements, and name and I direct him, as trustee, to pay the income from said property in equal shares to my children, Alice P. Holbrook, Annie Poole, Mary Poole, and William F. Poole. In the event of the death of any of the said children, then her or his share shall be paid to her or his children, then her or his share shall be paid to her or his children, if any; otherwise the said share shall be paid to the survivor or survivors of any said children in equal shares.

        I hereby direct my said Trustee, or his successor, to transfer to the sole survivor of my said children, as soon as he or she shall become the sole survivor, the legal title to all the property herein shown in this action set out. For the purposes of this trust I give my Trustee and his successor the full legal title to and in said property and full power control over and management of the same. In view of the uncertainty of the productiveness of said property in future years, and the possibility that it may be advisable to dispose of said property or a part thereof. I hereby give my said Trustee or his successor full power and authority, at any time, if he deems it advisable, to sell and transfer said property, wholly or in part, in such way and under such terms as he may deem best, the proceeds thereof to be distributed among my said children in accordance with the terms of division of the income herein above set forth.

        Fourth, I give the sum of Twenty Five Dollars each to each of my grandchildren as are living at my death.

        I give my diamond pin to my grandchild Frances Poole.

        I give my diamond ring to my grandchild Grace Holbrook.

        I give my large vases to my sister Alma.

I give my piano, the large family clock, and such other of my household effects as he may desire to my son.

I give my silver ware to my daughter Annie and my son in equal shares.

Fifth, All the rest of my property, of whatsoever nature, kind and description, I give to my children, of which Mary and her heirs is to receive their sixths, and Alice, Annie and William F. and their respective heirs are each to receive one sixth.

In the event of the marriage of my daughter, Mary before my death, or in the event of her death, unmarried, before my death, then the property under this action shall be divided equally among my said four children and their heirs, the heirs of each of my children to receive according to the laws of descent the shares such child would be entitled to if living.

In testimony whereof I herewith set my hand and seal this tenth day of June A. D. 1901.

                                                Fanny M. Poole

Signed and declared by the testatrix, as and for her last will and testament in the presence and sight of us, who at her request, and in her sight, and presence, and in the sight and presence of one another, have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses.

                                              Arthur K. Brown VF.
                                                Sidney H. Goodrich
                                                Elizabeth P. Brown