Ida is listed along with her brothers, Wade and Pierce, on an index of estate records. The information includes their names, their appointed guardian (W C Jumper), and the box and parcel listing for the information. There is no date listed. A bit further up the page is a listing for F E Leaphart, whose estate was administered by William T Jumper. I have been told that Ida's dad was Frank E Leaphart - this is most probably him. Again, no date is listed and the box for his listing in a will book is blank. Does this mean he didn't leave a will - or is it just not listed? Also, W C Jumper just might be the same person as William T Jumper.
So, what now? I'm not sure what information might be included with these records, but I hope that they may be helpful to my research. I guess I should contact the probate court to find out. The contact information listed on the website include a phone number and an address. I would prefer an email address, but no such luck. When having to decide between written and oral communication, I choose written every time. So, I guess I need to write a letter. But what to say?
I remembered that probate court records were addressed in a past issue of Family Tree Magazine. Ok, here it is in the September 2008 issue. They have a sample letter for requesting court records. Let's reformat that letter to fit my information....
|To the Probate Court Clerk:|
I am seeking the estate records of F E Leaphart, as listed in the estate index records placed on your website. The records are stated to be held in Box 17, Parcel 3.
I am also seeking the estate records of Wade, Pierce and Ida Leaphart, listed in the same index. The records are stated to be held in Box 61, Parcel 1.
I have included a copy of this index.
I am enclosing a check for $15 to cover the cost of photocopying the entirety of the documents. If this is insufficient, please let me know the cost, and I will be happy to send the remainder.
Thank you for your assistance. I am enclosing a self-addressed, stamped envelope for your reply.
Name and Contact Info
I think this sounds good. This is the first time that I'll be sending off for records that didn't have a form letter designed for requests. I know that there are researchers out there who have experience with this sort of thing. Any suggestions or advice?