Thursday, August 20, 2015

Big Brother to the Rescue

While William Ijams' last will and testament did not name his wife or daughters—the very details for which we had turned to that document—the December 27, 1815, document did, at least, establish the names of his sons. One of those sons, in particular, turned out to leave us a helpful tidbit in his own will, filed much later and in a different county.

In the Fairfield County, Ohio, document, William Ijams had methodically listed his five sons in birth order: William, John, Isaac, Joseph and Frederick. The eldest two were to be given cash amounts specified in the will. William's land, divided into fourths, was designated for each of the youngest three sons, with the fourth portion to be sold for the benefit of the unnamed daughters.

It was the oldest of those three sons receiving the property to which we'll turn our attention, for it was a matter of a fast-flying thirty years when Isaac H. Ijams found himself drawing up his own last will and testament.

In those more modern times, perhaps it was not as unseemly to include the names of those female relatives for whom the dying now felt led to leave a legacy, for Isaac provided us just the genealogical road map we'd hoped to see in the previous generation.

Even though his sister Sarah was long deceased by the time Isaac drew up this document—by then, located in neighboring Perry County—the wonder is that she was named in her older brother's will at all. But there it is, undeniably:
I give and bequeath to the heirs of my sister Sarah Jackson deceased one hundred dollars to be equally divided.

Not only that, but her husband was named as one of Isaac's executors, as well.

While I haven't been able to determine the exact date of Sarah Howard Ijams Jackson's passing, we can be certain it was before John Jay Jackson's second marriage in 1829. From that point in 1829 to when Isaac Ijams' own will was drawn up in 1845, Sarah's older brother found a way to keep alive her memory by including his deceased sister's name in his will.

While it meant only a matter of a few dollars inheritance for each of Sarah's several children, Isaac Ijams will never know the additional legacy he had bequeathed upon the rest of us by his inclusion of this simple remembrance in his will.


  1. That would be like giving someone $3,000 today to split among siblings...not bad from an Uncle:)

    1. True, but I've been dismayed at how quickly a thousand bucks (or less, depending on how many of Sarah's surviving children there were) can disappear in this day and age! Still, it would have been a nice treat.

  2. Replies
    1. And to think that was an accidental discovery. Reminds me to look at all the documents of the relatives when stuck on the details for one ancestor!


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