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Friday, July 12, 2013

Maria Agnes Voehringer’s Will: She Left Her Estate to Whom?

Last week I wrote about finding Philippena’s Voehringer family through some newspaper research I had done using the Louisville Courier-Journal on ProQuest.com site. You can read about it here.
In that story, I found a newspaper article where May Agnes Haebe, Philippena’s sister, filed in court contesting the will.[1] What was so nice about the article was that Mary listed all of her living brother and sisters by name in the suit: “her sisters, Mrs. Barbra Kilgus, Mrs. Rosina Noelling, Mrs. Philipine Woolenweaver, and her brother, Jacob Vohringer.” Mary Agnes Haebe felt that her mother could not have written the will.
I had written that I should next search for Mary Agnes Voehinger’s will and saw that FamilySearch has Kentucky Probate records online. They are not indexed but are browsable. Luckily they are listed by county. In Jefferson County, there are only will records from 1784 to 1901. Since her will would have been filed sometime after her death in Dec 1898, I started with volume 22, Will Records, 1896-1999. The newspaper article above stated the will was entered on 2 Feb 1899, so I clicked to that part of the book by browsing and found it on page 317.[2]
Oh, was I in for a surprise. On page 317, her will was written in German using the German Gothic script! Fortunately, the clerk had someone transcribe it in English and it was on the following page. Glancing between the two documents, it looked like a pretty good translation and transcription.

1899 Will of Maria A Vohringer - Jefferson Co, Kentucky, Vol 22 p 316
The will began,
“As I, Mary Agnes Vohringer am in good health and good mind, so I will write my last will, that it gives no trouble after my death, all what is my own my household my clothes and money and all what I have, I give my daughter Rosiene Nolding.”
She continued, saying,
“I have been laying sick 2 years and she has waited on my me, and has and has paid Doctor and Druggist, she has also waited on my son Friederich as often as he was sick and was never paid my son Friederich called me to the bed and said to me to you belongs all what I have you know what belongs to Rosiene at least 2000 Dollars.”
So this seems to be an explanation why she was leaving everything to her one daughter, Rosiene (Rosina Nolting). Rosina took care of her mother and her brother, Frederick, before his death (in 1895).[3]
She spoke of wanting a lot in Cave Hill (cemetery) and a tombstone, and had already paid the $800 for it. She said again that she “have my good mind. I know what I am writing.”
I think that she was worried about one of her children trying to break the will. She had seen her daughter, Mary Agnes Haebe and son, Jacob Vohringer, do it with Friedrich’s will in 1895:[4]
"A Will Contest." Jacob Vohringer and Maria Halbe yesterday filed an appeal to the Circuit Court from the order of the County Court probating the instrument offered as the will of Frederick Vohringer. It is alleged that the document was probated upon an ex-parte hearing. The appellants who are among the heirs-at-law of the deceased, claim that he left no will, but died intestate."
So she wrote in her will,
“Should my other children the will of my son Friederich break then I will have that all goes to my daughter Rosene Nolting, as my other children have never done anything for me, also done nothing for my son Friederich and the House which Charles Nolting has from my son Friederich has from my son Friederich nobody shall take away from him because he owed it to him.”
So Maria has made it so only her daughter Rosina and her son, Charles, get her personal and real property. She then mentions her children:
“If still something is remaining after my death and all debts and burial expenses are paid, then I give my daughter, Barbere Kilgus 5 Dollars my daughter Mary Hoebe 5 Dollars my daughter Phillipena Wollenweber 5 Dollars my son Jacob Vohringer 5 Dollars if the will of my son remains standing and still something is remaining of Property which is not sold that belongs half my daughter Rosiene and half my daughter Phillipine and if either of my children attempt to break my will, that one shall receive nothing.”
The mother did give all of her children something, even if it was only 5 Dollars. She, again, stated that if they tried to break the will, they would get nothing.
Next she spoke about her grandson,
“My daughter son Charle Nolting has kept all the property in order he had to buy all that belonged to the Houses and paid workmen and for that I give him a note which shall after my death be paid. All wills which I wrote before the death of my son Friederich shall not be valid, but still I will thither write that my daughter Barbere always was good to me. I was 25 years years with my daughter Rosiene Nolding she has cared for me. I set in Charle Nolting as Administrator of what I leave behind without surety.”
The last bit of the will was really shocking.
“I will yet write hereto Jacob Vohringer and Mary Hoebe were my children but they were my enemies.”
Wow! Was there ever drama in that family! Wish I knew more. Were Jacob and Marie mean to their mother, or was it that their mother was the mean one, forcing the other children to ignore her for their own sanity?
The next step now is to find the court records to see how the suits filed against Frederick Vohringer’s will and Maria Anges Vohringer’s will turned out. To me, the will of Maria Agnes Vohringer seems valid. She did not leave out any of her children. Some of her children were just unhappy about what their share would be.
 

[1] "Not Her Will," Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky), 19 September 1899, p 6, Mary Agnes Haebe Sues; digital image, ProQuest (http://proquest.com : accessed 13 June 2013), Newspapers.
[2] Maria Agnes Vohringer (1899), Wills: Bk 22, p 317-19; County Court, Louisville, Kentucky; digital images, “Kentucky Probate Records 1792-1977, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org : accessed 8 Jul 2013).
[3] "Kentucky,Death Records, 1852-1953," database & images, Ancestry.com, Mortuary records,, Mar 1895, p 20, Fred Vohringer.
[4] "A Will Contest," Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky), 17 April 1895, p 7; digital image, ProQuest (http://proquest.com : accessed 13 June 2013), Newspapers





















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