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14 Wharfside Street — Charleston, SC 29401
Aug 17, 2017
What do you do with a will when you find one? Wills can reveal a great deal of information that can fuel your genealogy research. Treat each new detail like a clue that will link you to more information. We will use the will of George Epps Tucker (1860-1927) which we have included below to illustrate the many avenues of research that can open when you glean what you can from every detail.
Below you will see George’s two page will. He died on April 5, 1927. Most of the important clues have been highlighted and a one or two alphabetic code in blue has been added to make it easier when referring to specific details. First, in order to get the most from a will, you need to have thoroughly researched your ancestor and his or her family group using genealogy resources such as:
The records listed above will help you locate a will if one exists, and they will help you recognize key people and places mentioned in the will. The people and property mentioned in a will are just additional avenues of research which may enable you to uncover a great wealth of information.
George Epps is the son of George Anderson Tucker (1827-1860). George Epps Tucker had a son (George Anderson Tucker 1882-1932) by an African American woman named Martha Sims Talley (1855-1936) who was enslaved as a child. Martha and George Epps grew up in the household of James Anderson Tucker (1802-1885), grandfather of George Epps, where Martha’s mother, Druscilla Sims, served as his cook.
On the death certificate of George Anderson Tucker, George Epps Tucker is listed as his father. Oral history and stories about the close relationship between George Epps and his son which included regular visits support the historical documentation found. When we discovered this will, the details found therein provided a wealth information greatly enhanced by the diligence put forth to research collateral lines.
Let’s focus on some of the clues highlighted below and how they relate to the facts we already knew about George Epps Tucker and how the information linked us to more discoveries.
We will take a breather here and let you digest all these unbelievable details about property and people in this will. In the next post, we will finish citing the remaining clues.
Are you able to think of other avenues to research from the details we have shared above? There is so much information here, we may have missed something. This illustrates why you need to come back to a record again and again to see what you overlooked and to glean more after you have extensively exhausted each possible avenue of research. Share your thoughts on the Facebook thread for this post.
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