It was not to hard to find John Keller’s will in the Morrow County, Ohio probate records. The problem was trying to read the court clerks handwriting which was very difficult and one of the worst I have ever seen. Going back to my notes, I see that there was a lot of mistakes in the pages and indexes. You can tell I had a hard time because of the underlines which represent words I cannot read.
Source: Record of Wills, Morrow County Ohio Probate Court, Vol. 3 pg. 297 and pg. 298, Film #388713.
The Last Will & Testament of John Keller
“In the name of the Benevolent Father of all I John Keller of the County of Morrow and State of Ohio Being of sound mind and memory and considering the uncertainty of this Frail and transitory life do therefore make ordain Publish and declare this to be my Last Will and Testament-:
That is to say: That I desire that my funeral expenses be made and paid out of any Personal Estate.
Item 2. I desire that all my just and lawful debts be paid and discharged out of my personal estate.
Item 3. After all my lawful debts are paid and discharged the residue of my estate both real and personal – I give devise and bequeath to my beloved wife Mary Keller during the time of her natural life and after her death to be divided equally among any heirs share and share alike.
Item 4. I make constitute and appoint my beloved wife Mary Keller and my respected sons Henry and Wm. F. Keller to be executors of this my last will and testament.
In witness whereas I have hereunto Subscribed my name and affixed my seal the 19th day of April in the year of Our Lord one thousand Eight hundred and eighty. John X Keller Seal”,
Attest – Andrew J. Roberts
Signed sealed Published and declared by the said John Keller as and for his last will and testament in the presence of us who at the request of the said John Keller and in his presence and in the presence of each other have hereunto subscribed our names and respective place of residence as witnesses on the day and year said above mentioned. Reuben Coil Sparta, Morrow Co., OH, and John Coe Sparta, Morrow Co., OH.
Proof of Will (same page as 297)
The State of Ohio}
Morrow County }
Personally appeared in open court Reuben Coile and John Coe, subscribing witnesses to the last will and testament of John Keller late of said county, deceased who being duly sworn according to law depose and say that the fore going is the last will and testament of said John Keller deceased: That they subscribe their names thereto as the attending witnesses at the request of said testator, and in his presence and in the presence of each other and that the signed the same in their presence and acknowledged the same to be his last will and Testament That said Testator at the time of executing the same was of full age sound mind and memory and not under any restraint.
Reuben Coile and John Coe
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 2nd day of June AD 1880
W.D. Mathews, Probate Judge
Reuben Coile was born in Virginia about 1821 and he was in the 1880 U.S. Census for So. Bloomfield, Morrow Co., Ohio. He married Margaret Prosser and had 11 children. John Coe purchased land from son Peter Keller years before. When you look at the atlas’ for Morrow County you can find Coe living nearby. If anyone knows anything about these men please comment.
Probate of Will, page 298 FHL #388713
Probate Court of Morrow County, Ohio June 21, 1880
In the matter of the Last will and Testament of John Keller, deceased. Probate of Will.
This day in open Court came Mary A. Keller and offered for probate herein the last will and testament of John Keller late of South Bloomfield Township, Morrow County, Ohio, deceased.
And at the same time came the subscribing witnesses to said will to wit: Reuben Coile and John Coe who After being duly sworn were examined in open court and their testimony reduced to writing by their respectively signed and filed in this court. And the court being fully advised in the premises do find from the testimony so taken that said instrument of writing is the last will and testament of John Keller late of said county deceased. That the same was duly executed and attested, and that I the time of executing the same the said testator was of full age of sound mind and memory and not under and restraint. It is therefore ordered that said will be admitted to probate and that the same together with the testimony so taken be recorded.
W. D. Mathews, Probate Judge
Source: The Matter of the Estate, pg. 445, FHL # 388724 Note: This does not compare to the index – Affidavit (very difficult to read the clerks scrawl.)
Probate Court of Morrow County, Ohio April 7th, 1880 – In the matter of the estate of John Keller deceased) Filing _____Affr. This day in open court came Henry Keller and et. al. executor of the last will and testament of John Keller deceased and filed herein verified by their invt and appraiser of said estate the court having examined the same correct and ordered the same recorded. [W.D. McHenry] Probate Judge.
Probate Court of Morrow county this Dec. 19, 1882 in the matter of the estate of John Keller late of Morrow county, Ohio deceased – Filing of Sale Bill.
This day of the court came Henry Keller executor of the last will and testament of John Keller of the county of Morrow ____________________verified by his affidavit this sale of bill of the personal of said estate the court hereby examined ____________
W. Mathews JP.
Source information: I was able to find John Keller’s will at the Family History Library under #388711 for the Index to Probate Records and #388713 for the actual will and supporting papers. No. 1376, Admin. Docket Vol. 3, pg. 171, Journal Vol. 6, pg. 391, Record of Wills Vol. 3, pg. 297-98 (Found will) , Record of Accounts Vol. 8, pg. 352 and Record of Bonds Vol. 4, pg. 18.
They have the probate records online at the Family Search website in browse form (very difficult to search) but there are no packets listed. What you see above is the court clerks entries into the court books. It is possible there is more to this estate if the file/packet was found. I did not seek out the packet file.
In past posts I have written about the partition deeds I found in the Morrow County Deed Indexes that deal with the distribution to the heirs-at-law of John Keller’s land from his estate and probate. I refer you to the post written as follows:
John and Mary Keller’s Son William Franklin Keller and land, January 5, 2015.
Here is a list of heirs that appear in the partition deeds: John Lacy and Harriett Ellen Keller Lacy, Charles P. Groves, Mary E. Groves of Johnson Co., Kansas, George Barclay and Amarilla Barclay, State of Minnesota, Henry F. Spracklin and Elizabeth Spracklin, of Muscatine, Iowa and Wm. F. Keller and Ida C. Keller of Morrow Co., Ohio, Henry & Martha Keller, Harrison & Amarilla Barr, A.H. Shaffer and Mary Shaffer, J.H. Vanhouten and Caroline Vanhouten, Charles & Anna M. Buckingham, and Emma A. Helt.
A summary of this post: This will and estate file does not tell us of John Keller’s origins but it does tell us that he is the husband of Mary Keller and connects him to two of his sons Henry and Wm. F. Keller and places him in Morrow County in 1880. Adding in the partition deeds we now have the heirs of John Keller.