Saturday, January 16, 2016

Organizing information Will of Daniel Warner

My paternal great-great grandfather Daniel Warner (1818-15 Jun 1895) died less than 3 months after his wife of 53 years Eleanor (1825-7 Mar 1895) and the 4th codicil to his will.  Daniel was a farmer who lived to the age of 77.  He and his wife Eleanor raised 13 children.

When I was growing up I enjoyed going with my grandparents, Olin and Agnes King Warner, on Sunday afternoon drives.  I sat in the back seat and enjoyed just being with my grandparents.  There were often interesting stories they told and sometimes a special meal or treat like ice cream.  I remember one Sunday when we went to the Baiting Hollow Cemetery in Suffolk County, NY.  I’m not sure what the occasion was but I remember this particular time because of the story my grandfather told me.  There is a big stone dedicated to our Warner heritage with information about the first Warner who came from England to Massachusetts and then down to the Warners who came to Long Island, New York.  (We’ve since discovered some errors in that account).  My grandfather told of how Daniel loved his wife so much that after her death he quickly declined over the next 6 months and at the end of his life needed to pull on a rope to stand up from his chair.

As in all family stories there is some truth and some error.  Daniel died actually 3 months after Eleanor but I am guessing the rest is probably true.
Daniel and Eleanor (Howell) Warner
                                                                                                        Daniel and Eleanor Howell Warner

Daniel left a will (see previous blog entitled Amanuensis Monday- Will of Daniel Warner) that had 13 clauses and 4 codicils.  WOW!  Transcribing this will took a lot of time and as I was transcribing it was hard to determine what exactly was said with all the ‘legal eaze’.  I did what I’d always been advised to do-transcribe every document.  Well, now that I had transcribed it….how do I understand it and make sense of it??? 

I decided I needed to use a spreadsheet to try and help me make sense of what was happening over time and what changes were being made with 4 codicils to the will.

Now at least I could track what was happening and in my ‘Notes’ add some questions and some historical data (e.g. death dates, etc.) to try and make sense of the information in the will.  I still have questions but at least I have the information organized enough that as I do more research I have something valuable to return to and look at.

If you have any information about the people mentioned in the will to add to the understanding of this will I would greatly appreciate hearing from you.

Enjoy the journey,



  1. Debby,
    Love the picture of Daniel and his wife. Is there a way you can make a close up of your spreadsheet column titles? The don't show up when I zoom in on the image and I'd love to see them.

  2. Looks like the image is readable now Debby. I like how you've done the spreadsheet to keep track of all the codicils.

  3. We have the same great - great grandfather. My great grandfather was Allen M. Warner. I am finding your information very interesting and will continue to follow your updates.

  4. Thanks, Dottie! I've always looked for a way to share my information with other family members and this seems to be the way.