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Yes, I regret the cultural patterns that have led our record-keeping forebears to neglect the women in our heritage. Especially when, as now, I’m anxious to complete the book on my Grandma Hannah Ashby Wheeler.

After their youthful nuptials and Harriet’s arrival on the scene, Hannah was always in Oliver’s customary paterfamilial shadow. Except, of course, in 1840, when one wonders why and how the census taker missed her. We get the nearest thing to a clear glimpse into Hannah’s mind only after Oliver is dead, and she’s his relict, executrix, and sole legatee. I retrieved this wonderful little document from Oliver’s probate file at the end of May, 2009:
Here’s a more readable rendering of the newspaper clipping.

To complete the formalities, Hannah had to provide the best list she could of Oliver’s (and her own) living descendants, so that they could be invited to come to the probate hearing and to protest, if they wished, their omission from the will.
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Oliver and Hannah
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Updated Feb 2014
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