Local News
Texoma Genealogy Group to discuss wills at Oct. 10 meeting
By Texoma Genealogy Group
Oct 5, 2018
Print this page
Email this article

One of the first recordings of how to distribute someone's property upon their death was found in Egyptian tombs from 4500 years ago. You can imagine, even that long ago, individuals were interested in their hard won possessions being given to those they believed to be worthy of them. Methods of documenting the deceased desires as well as the laws governing the distribution of their property have gone through
significant changes. Over the centuries, documenting how to disperse your property when you died went from etched or painted drawings on the stone walls in caves, to today. As people moved around the world, they took the laws they knew with them.

Since the US was colonized by Europeans, English law was the basis for our legal system and our founding fathers improved upon it. Wills can hold a vast amount of information including laws of the time the will was written, religious beliefs, social status, family members and valued neighbors. Laws throughout history impacted how wills needed to be written and until recent times, unless otherwise identified, the oldest son was automatically given possession of property. Women were seldom afforded the opportunity of being free land/property owners. Mothers weren’t automatically given custody of minor
children when her husband died. During the Great Depression, it wasn’t unusual for families to sell children to complete wealthy strangers to have money to feed the rest of the family.

Understanding the laws and events of the time can clarify why
people did what seemed practical to them, that may seem nonsensical to us today.

We’ll give you some background of how wills evolved, legal terms, where to find them and actual examples of family wills in our presentation of “Wills,” October 10, from 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. at the Sherman Parks and Recreation facility, 1002 N. Music.
For more information, call Cindy Barnhart 512-293-4398 or Carol Beck 903-893-4000. You can also look at our website for more information on our group:
https://www.texomagenealogygroup.com/.