Three months? I had it completed within a week and a half!
After all, one of my college summer jobs had been to devise a cross-referenced filing system for our neighbor, then a professor (now a Dean) at the prestigious Smith College Graduate School for Social Work. Compared to that, this assignment had been a piece of cake.
So...how does that translate to working with estate files some thirty years later?
It starts with the transcription of the following cover sheet, Image 6/45:
(https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/VKJM-FYZ : accessed 08 Aug 2013), Isaac Dove, 1826.
Geo. Carter &
Als -- heirs of
Writ of partition
Feby 1826 --
Jos [Joseph] Brittain D. Sheriff
For Elijah Clark Sheriff
|Image 6/45: Detail of image on right side|
I had wondered why there was a partial page microfilmed with this image, and that it did not follow in sequence. So, I enlarged the detail and looked through each page of the file for the following words along the left margin:
In obe-As I re-read these fragments, I tried to imagine to what it must be referring...could it be: In obedience...of the...we find...Isaac Dove...stake...and seventeen...poplar...thence...corner...to the...hands...
It sounded like something I had read before... a conclusion drawn by the Commissioners...to divide the lands. Could it be a portion of a document already transcribed?
I went back through the previous pages and discovered that it was a portion of the document microfilmed on images 3/45 and 4/45. Take a look below...the page was too large to be microfilmed in one section...and if you look closely at Image 4/45, you will notice a line which looks as though the pages had been torn apart and joined together by an insertion.
Therein lies the mystery of the missing page.
Somehow, Image 6/45 was microfilmed out of sequence. As it appears here, it must have preceded these images. As stated in Part 2: The Land Division and Index, the documents contained within The Estate of Isaac Dove (1826) appear to be filmed out of sequence, the earliest date being August 1824 (Images 12, 24-26, and 29-33); and the latest being filed in September 1853, but not settled until June 1857.
In all, it took a total of 32 years, 9 months, 30 days excluding the end date, for this estate to be settled. It's amazing in itself that this final petition was made 29 years after Isaac Dove's death; but, that it took nearly four years to finalize the last petition is strange enough in itself.
Perhaps as the file unfolds through transcription and supplementary research, we might begin to understand some of the complexities of this case.