The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Michael John Neill.
Estate records can do more than tell us an ancestor died and how his property was settled. They can provide clues to an ancestor’s occupation, marital status of his heirs, and much more. Many times what the record tells us is not explicitly stated. We have to look a little deeper. In this column we return to an estate that was looked at earlier in Casefile Clues. Our previous reference to the estate of Peter Bieger in 1850s Illinois focused on his two minor children. We now return to that record to see what additional clues it provided about Peter and his family.
Inventories of an estate can often give occupational clues, and the records for Peter Bieger are no different. This was helpful as Peter Beiger somehow managed to elude either the 1850 census taker or my efforts to find his 1850 enumeration. Given Peter’s approximate year of birth (the mid 1820s), his likely immigration to the United States in the 1840s, and my failure to find him in 1850, there is no extant record that indicates his occupation.
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