Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Flummoxed By Flourishes

Give Hartford Probate Court Assistant Clerk Julie Borofsky a break. If you must request a record from her, make sure your ancestor had good penmanship.

"Know all men by these presents, that I, Elizabeth H. Colt, of the City and County of Hartford and State of Connecticut, widow of Samuel Colt, late of said Hartford, deceased, being of sound and disposing mind and memory but deeply conscious of the uncertainty of human life, do make, publish and declare the following to be my last will and testament, hereby revoking all former wills by me made..." begins the neatly typewritten document on Borofsky's screen.

The will itself was hand-written by Elizabeth but the probate court at the time had her wishes typed out, a great improvement over the 17th century wills written in flourishes of quill pen that Borofsky sometimes finds herself puzzling over at the request of genealogists.

"I hate when I get those letters," she says of the missives from genealogy buffs. [Link]

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