Personalities and other details about individual family members are bubbling up lately. There seems to be more underneath the old family history documents than I realized when my research first led me to them. It's almost as if while the records lingered in my files, pictures of people gained more detail -- just waiting for me to dig them out. For instance, as I reread the 1913 will of my great grandfather, Charles Anthony Kuhn, I was struck by the strength of his ties to the country he left behind. His will has a specific outline for the inscription on his tombstone denoting his birthplace. From a family historian's perspective that detail is outstanding! (I have the transcription below.)
Actually, I didn't think it remarkable that he would remember his boyhood home fondly. Why not? But, as I took a closer look at the years and experience involved, the request seemed to reveal his sentimentality. He was 12 years old when he left Neustadt, Kurhessen, Germany in 1862 with his parents, Martin and Katherine (Birkenstock) Kuhn, and the four siblings who had not yet made the journey to America. Over his 51 years in the United States he married, fathered eight children, worked as a brewery man 25-30 years, was a founding member of a German Catholic church and established other ties in Indianapolis. Yet, along with his priority for family, Charles' last will and testament in 1913 is loud and clear about the importance of his tie to the land where he was born.
I am posting the original will and estate proceedings below, followed by my transcription. Charles wrote his will in January 1913 and died 5 Feb 1916. The probate records were made in Marion County Probate Court beginning 21 February 1916 and ending 7 April 1917. The first document, is Charles's will, including the request for the tombstone inscription of the birthplaces for he and his wife, Mary Anna (Risch) Kuhn. See if you agree with my analysis. And do you see other personal details about Charles from this record? (click on each document to enlarge):
Source for these documents: : Last Will and Testament of Charles A. Kuhn (1916-1917), Probate Court, Marion County, Indianapolis, IN, Will Record Book BB, page 320 and Order Book 45, p. 93. Claim and Allowance Docket, Docket 48, page 14191; City Archives, City-County Bldg., Indianapolis, Indiana.
You can also find these documents in Scribd online in my Family History Collection: https://www.scribd.com/collections/13922075/Family-History
If you'd like to read more about Charles Kuhn or Neustadt, Kurhessen, click on these links:
Our Brewery Man -- Charles Anthony Kuhn
The Kuhn, Risch, Scherrer Neighborhood in 1880 and 1900
History of Kurhessen
Hesse-Kassel or Electoral Hesse (Kurhessen)
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