Special thanks to Alona at Gould Genealogy for coming up with the Family History Through the Alphabet challenge!
B is for BACHELOR!
It doesn't happen often, but every once in a while you come across someone (in your collateral lines, obviously) who was a bachelor. Never married. No children. They can't possibly be of any genealogical value, right?
This couldn't be further from the truth.
For example, my great granduncle Eugene L. Stiker (brother to my great grandmother Lucile (Stiker) Crowe, was never married and never fathered or adopted any children. However, I happened to get my hands on an Affidavit of Heirship that the attorney for his estate prepared. Let me tell you, it is chock full of valuable information!
It starts by naming his mother, including maiden name, and father, detailing how many times and to whom they were married, when they died, and how many children they had. Granted, no exact dates were given, but at least it gives me a sort of timeline to narrow the search field.
Then the next generation (all of Eugene's siblings) was detailed the same way, finally ending up with a complete list of ... wait for it ... all the nieces, nephews, and decedents who inherited from Eugene's estate!
Happy dance, anyone?