Friday, May 13, 2016

And The Heir Is - -

Copyright 2016, CABS for Reflections From the Fence

Earlier today, I posted on Facebook.  I was a bit excited.  Can you tell??

I have to stop now, and go have lunch and stuff.

And, I really hesitate to be happy and go dancing and all, cause when I came on to FB just now there were several messages requiring prayers for friends and their families. The prayers will be continuous.

Now, forgive me, while I scream:


A brick wall just got smashed. I do love probate cases.


Just two little names stuck together.






And here is the back story, as short a version as I can make it.

I have been researching and hunting down Man's great-great-grandmother and her parents for years.  Probably 20 years, but, who is counting?

Laura Jane Oakley, whose name has been found recorded as Laura and Jane and Laura J.  She was married as Jane Oakley to William Lashbrook in  1850.

I have searched for a long time to find something that would prove pretty much without a doubt that Laura Jane Oakley was the daughter of one Abrahm or Abraham Oakley and his wife Susan Titrington Oakley.  Laura Jane was not enumerated with the Oakley family in 1850.  She was married.

I found this obituary for Abraham.  You will note, it does not mention Laura Jane Lashbrook.  By the way, that is McHenry County Illinois, not New York.

Obituary found in the Beldin Scrap Book, as reported in the McHenry County Illinois Records, Daughters of the American Revolution, Rockford Chapter, Rockford, Illinois:
     Died in Lawler Feb. 21 1886 Abraham Oakley aged 83 yrs.  Father Oakley was born in Pittstown N.Y. Jan. 1, 1803, in which town he spent his young days.  Afterward he moved to Washington Co. N.Y. and on June 1, 1823 he married Susan Titrington who survives him.  From Washington Co. he removed to Wayne Co. N.Y. after which he emigrated to McHenry Co N.Y. where he continued to reside 28 yrs when he moved to Lawler Iowa to spend the remainder of his days with his children Mrs. J. M. Califf and John R.   Father Oakley leaves three sons and five daus. His oldest Mrs. Demmon residing in Texas, two sons Geo. W. and S. B. residing in Ill.   The rest of them residents of Iowa.  This aged couple lived together 63 years."

For the record, Laura, enumerated as Jane, is found with her son George B. Lashbrook living with her in the 1880 census of West Mitchell, Mitchell County, Iowa.  So, she was one of "The rest of them residents of Iowa."  (I will leave the discussion of how many children Abram had to another day, some say 7, some say 8.)

Susan Titrington Oakley died just weeks after her husband, again, we gain no information on her children, it is a lovely obituary tho:

Susan's death notice and obituary appeared in the March 9, 1886 issue of the Tribune, published in New Hampton, Chickasaw County, Iowa:
     "Mrs. Abraham Oakley died at her residence in Lawler at 7 o'clock yesterday morning.   Aged about 80 years.   Want of space will not allow full details."

     "We are pained to learn, through our Lawler letter, of the death of Mrs. Abraham Oakley, mother of our friend John Oakly.   The old lady was a sufferer from asthma for many years, but was otherwise in good health and quite active for one so old until the death of her husband, which took place a couple of weeks ago, when she began to fail and continued to grow worse until her death.  Thus the faithful partners in life are now companions in the grave.  From youth to old age they worked side be [sic] side, rearing a large family and acquiring a competence which supplied them with the comforts and many of the luxuries of life.  Let us hope that to-day they are companions in that new and better life which is promised us, from sin and sorrow free.  We sympathize with the family who, in so short a time, were summoned to say farewell to father and mother - - the two best friends that any of us know on this earth."
During a research trip to Iowa, I failed to turn up anything that helped my search.  It was not for a lack of trying. Days spent in Des Moines, accessing many data bases and rolls of microfilm.

When Laura died her obituary did not state her parent's names.  Laura's obituary can be found in the March 16, 1893 issue of the Mitchell County Press. It reads:
     "Mrs. Laura Oakley Lashbrook was born at Arkada, New York March 23, 1830 and died at Osage, Iowa, March 13, 1893.  She went to Illinois with her father's family when she was a girl, seven years old, and lived there until after marriage.  In 1851 she was united in marriage to William Lashbrook.  For some years her home was in Wisconsin. Since 1863 her home has been in Iowa, a part of the time at Waverly, but most of the time at Mitchell.
     She was the mother of five children, Wallace, George, Mrs. Cummings and Mrs. S.E. Grettenburg, one dying in infancy.  For some years she has been an invalid and for a year or more nearly helpless.
     She made her home with her daughter and every possible attention was paid her. Although so great an invalid and a sufferer, no one thought that the end was so near.  It came suddenly and almost without warning.  She dropped into a quiet sleep and time passed peacefully away.
     She was a member of the Methodist Church at Mitchell, but had not been able to attend services of late.  Her trust was in her Savior. She was a true woman in all the relation of life and is sincerely mourned by those who knew her intimately.
     The funeral services were conducted by Rev. W.W. Gist on Wednesday afternoon."

And, once more, we will leave the number of her children mentioned in her obituary for a future discussion.  The infant has yet to be found.

Years ago I was able to visit with Lashbrook descendants who graciously allowed me to scan Laura's bible.  On the page with marriages, it said her maiden name was Laura J. Oakley.  No parents named.

Until today, I had just about given up all hope that I would ever find "proof", written proof, that Laura J. Oakley Lashbrook was the daughter of Abraham/Abram and Susan Oakley.

I was snooping around at that Ancestry place and found a tree with Abram's name in it.  I looked, looked hard, and I looked at those sources and notes and such.


There it was, the image that shows Jane Lashbrook as the heir of Abram.  I won't show you all of it due to fair use, etc.  But, here is the good stuff.  Jane Lashbrook, the heir.

From there I went to the Iowa, Wills and Probate Records, 1758-1997 data base at Ancestry dot com and found the will of Abram.  You will note that only one child is named, John R.

And, the happy dance continued, even if the will was a bit of a disappointment.

All I have to say, is I am forever thankful to one A J. Kucker  for declining his nomination as executor of Abram's will. What a stroke of luck!

* Someday I'll share with you how it came that I stumbled across this family tree over at Ancestry dot com.  Yep, there is a story there as well.  A story of luck and possibly, eating my words.



Lori E said...

I was holding my breath while reading this... so exciting, as only fellow researchers can understand.
You are nothing if not determined and I am so glad it paid off. Often we are so sure of your connections but can't find the documentation to prove it out. Happy dance time for sure.

Carol said...

Thank you Lori for your thoughts and reading. I am still enjoying this last discovery.