October 31, 2013

Halloween Edition: A Turkey of a Will

Here’s a little treat for you trick-or-treaters out there in genealogy cyberland. Even the editor of the paper this article ran in—the October 18, 1894 London Times, published in London, Ohio—recognized what a fun piece he had on his hands.

Without further ado, I give you:

Queer Will
       Jonas Good, a resident of Ross county, Ohio, has had his will probated in Chillicothe. The will is a very queer document and was written by himself and is as follows:
       August 31, 1894, last request and testament of Jonas Good: At my request I have about three or four acres of corn on the uplands of L. B. James, and it is my request for Moses Good, my nephew, to take it in his care and see to it until said corn be ready to cut up, and also want the said Moses Good to sell the said corn and pay to Frank Vincent $5 of the corn money, and the balance of the money that is left after paying Vincent is to be equally divided between Polly Good and Leroy Good, her grandson, and the balance of my goods and chattels also to be in charge of Moses Good, except my garden stuff and turkeys, which I want my niece, Eliza Carroll, to take in charge; to gather the garden stuff and see to the turkeys.

Isn’t that a hoot? And the thing is, as odd as Jonas’ requests are, this is actually a great will, because it names people and states their relationships to each other. If only some of my ancestors had thought to do that…

I hope Moses took care of that corn and Emily saw to the turkeys, so old Jonas won’t be tempted to play any ghostly tricks tonight. Happy Halloween!

Source: “Queer Will,” The London Times (London, Ohio), 18 October 1894, p. 1, col. 3.


  1. Shelley,

    Yep, that was quite a specific will he left, wasn't it?

    I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today's Fab Finds post at

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  2. What a will! I think it's funny that he was so specific about a few things and then lumped all the rest together. I wonder how the probate records read. And I wonder if Polly was his wife, daughter, niece, daughter-in-law.... I think that's the only relationship he wasn't specific about. Thanks for the chuckle this evening, Shelley.


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