Location: Providence, Rhode Island
Surnames/tags: Veazie Winslow
Other: Sources: Family Genealogies
Probate Records of Joseph Veazie of Providence, Rhode Island, Case Number A8518
The subject probate records provide extensive information for two primary families:
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Heirs to the Estate of Joseph Veazie of Providence, Rhode Island
Joseph Veazie died 17 May 1863 in Providence, Rhode Island. Joseph Veazie had been a very successful business man and investor. An inventory of his estate indicated a value of over $50,000 (after $1000s of deductions for admin costs and claims).
However, Joseph had never married and died intestate. Though Joseph was 1 of 10 children born to Benjamin Veazie and Abigail Winslow, and 1 of 7 children who lived beyond infancy, after his death, there were no living descendants of his parents. I.e., At his death, Joseph had no living parents, no living siblings, and no living descendants of his siblings.
Because he died intestate with no living heirs in his immediate family, an equitable distribution of his estate became complicated. Heirs to his estate were identified by determining all living heirs of Joseph Veazie's closest ancestors. On his paternal side, living heirs of his paternal grandparents were found. On his maternal side, there were no living heirs of his maternal grandparents. and, as a result, all living heirs of his mother's paternal grandparents were identified. N.B., for whatever reason, there appears to be no consideration for heirs of his mother's maternal grandparents.
Records of the process to determine those heirs, and the final distribution to those heirs, are included in the probate records for his estate. Those records provide a gold mine of information for hundreds of individuals in the Veazie and Winslow families.
This free-space profile provides information from the probate records for the estate of Joseph Veazie. The information is taken from the images of the records. Those records can be viewed at:
www.familysearch.org; FHL #2313432, DGS 7650429, imgs 1039-1271. The records begin with image:
The documents in those records are not numbered. So, for the purpose of identifying individual records, the image number within the film roll identified above (7650429) is used - i.e., numbers 1039 through 1271.
Contents of the Probate File
The collection of descendants was so large that the probate records include two large descendant charts, one for "Descendants of Benjamin & Mary Veazie" (Joseph's grandparents) images 1208-1210, and one for "Chart of the Maternal Next of Kin of Joseph Veazie From His Great Aunt Abigail Winslow," images 1211 and 1212. The title of the latter chart is misleading, as that chart has, at the top, Kenelm Winslow and Abigail Waterman, Joseph Veazie's great-grandparents. Each chart appears to continue for as many generations needed in each branch to include at least one living descendant.
A careful examination of those charts is of interest to genealogists. The chart includes some descendants that were deceased at the time of probate, and not otherwise named in other records; married names are specified for most female descendants; there are some notations providing information on spouses; and the Winslow chart has birth/death dates for most of the individuals.
Perhaps of most importance to genealogists, many affidavits were collected from relatives of Joseph Veazie, documenting first-hand, contemporary knowledge. Those affidavits were the result of interviews by officers of the court and justices of the peace.
Those affidavits (mostly) include the name of the individual, details of his/her relationship to Joseph Veazie (or that of a spouse); and names, dates, birth and death places, as well as places of residence, for ancestors and descendants of Joseph Veazie's relatives. As most of the affidavits include legal attestations, they could be considered to be primary sources. However, prudence dictates that corroborating information be examined to evaluate the accuracy of the information.
Several of the affidavits provide information that, at present, has not been found elsewhere, and provide additions and corrections to the Veazie genealogy.
At present, a thorough examination of information on the Winslow side of these records hasn't been conducted (by me - bjv).
Affidavit - John V Efner
Affidavit - Thomas P G Hardwick
Affidavit - Polly Veazie, widow of Benjamin Veazie
Affidavit - Frances (Talcott) Richarson
Affidavit - Mrs John (Mindwell) Veazie
Affidavit - Mary J Hayden (wife of Cyrus Hayden
Affidavit - Harriette C Keatinge
Affidavit - Susan Mason
Affidavits - Phebe Sherman, Joseph A Hollis
Affidavit - Rachel Urann
Affidavit - Charles Veazie
Affidavit - Provost Veazie
Affidavit - Samuel Veazie
Affidavit - Mary White
In the end, the process resulted in several distribution lists, comprising hundreds of people, through generation after generation. The lists provided names of individuals, the fractional share of a portion of the estate to which they were entitled, and the dollar amount of the distribution.
Distribution of $27, 242.11 to Paternal Heirs
The probate records include a distribution list to paternal heirs of Joseph Veazie, images 1080 through 1084. That list provides names, share (fraction) to which entitled, and the dollar amount of the distribution.
An additional list (images 1087 through 1091) of Veazie heirs is conveniently arranged into five groups of heirs, one labeled group for each of the five children of Benjamin and Mary Veazie with living heirs. That list provides fractional shares, but not dollar amounts, for the distribution.
Distribution of $27,241.89 to Maternal Heirs
The probate records include a distribution list to maternal heirs of Joseph Veazie, images 1092 through 1097. That list provides names, share (fraction) to which entitled, and the dollar amount of the distribution.
Of passing interest, the determination of the distribution of Joseph Veazie's estate took years, and some individuals initially named as living heirs died during the process. An additional petition, image 1086 for distribution, dated Jan 12, 1869, notes that Mary W. Pendleton died Nov 28, 1868, and requests that her portion be distributed among a list of her heirs.
(Not So) Brief Description of the Process
Note: The description of the process for determining the distribution of the estate of Joseph Veazie is not explicitly described in the records. The description of the process is deduced (primarily) from the fractional portions indicated in distribution lists, and from genealogical descendant charts appearing in the records.
The process to determine living heirs for his paternal grandparents, and living heirs for his maternal great-grandfather Winslow, included interviews with and affidavits from, over 40 individuals, with information on ancestors and descendants including: the relationship of the individual to Joseph Veazie; birth and death dates; lists of children; names of spouses; etc. N.B., that information comprises first-hand, contemporary knowledge provided by those individuals.
When sufficient information on (literally) hundreds of potential heirs had been gathered, the distribution of the estate was determined by a somewhat complex method. First, the entire estate was divided into 2 equal portions: one for the paternal heirs ("Veazie portion", $27,242.11), and one for the maternal heirs ("Winslow portion").
On the Veazie side, the process began with Joseph's paternal grandparents, Benjamin Veazie and Mary (Thayer) Veazie. As distribution would be made only to living persons, for each child of Benjamin and Mary (Thayer) Veazie, it was determined if there were any living descendants of that child. Of the 9 children who survived infancy, only 5 were found to have living descendants. The "Veazie portion" of the estate was divided into fifths ($5448.42 each), and those divided portions were distributed to the living heirs of each child.
Example 1: Joseph Veazie (see note below), was one the five children of Benjamin and Mary (Thayer) Veazie with living heirs. One-fifth (1/5) of the "Veazie portion" ($5448.42) was to be distributed to his living heirs. Joseph had 3 living children, and no other living descendants. So each of those 3 children received 1/3 of his 1/5 portion, or 1/15 of the "Veazie portion" - $1816.14. Those 3 individuals appear in the distribution list as:
- Benjamin Veazie, entitled to 1/15, $1816.14
- Betsey Veazie, entitled to 1/15, $1816.14
- Susan Mason, entitled to 1/15, $1816.14
Note: Joseph Veazie and his spouse, Mary Copeland, and his children haven't as yet been added to wikitree. See http://www.veazie.org/People/DBGenCombined/Fam806.html for more informaiton.
Example 2: Silas Veazie, was another of the five children of Benjamin and Mary (Thayer) Veazie with living heirs, entitled to a fraction of the 1/5 "Veazie portion" . None of his 4 children were living, but each of those 4 children had living heirs, or a portion of 1/4 of 1/5 (1/20) of the "Veazie portion." Silas' daughter Lydia (Veazie) Ford was living at the time, and she received 1/20 share. Silas' daughter, Polly (Veazie) White, was not living, but had just one living heir, Mary White, so Mary White received 1/20 share. Silas' daughter Sally (Veazie) Thayer, not living, had two living children, no other living heirs, so those 2 children received 1/2 of 1/20 (1/40) share. Another (non-living) daughter had 3 living heirs, and each of those heirs received 1/3 of 1/20 (1/60) share.
Note. Silas Veazie, his spouse, Abigail Walker, and their children, haven't as yet been added to wikitree. See http://www.veazie.org/People/DBGenCombined/Fam527.html for more information.
That process of determining portions of portions to living heirs in each generation was continued. even to the distribution of 1/1470th share through some 4 or 5 generations on the Veazie side.
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