We depend upon records to reveal the “truth” about our pasts.
Yet sometimes records have anomalies. Some are amusing or humorous. Some are interesting or weird. Some are peculiar or suspicious. Some are infuriating, even downright laughable.
Yes, “Records say the Darnedest Things.”
Records Say the Darnedest Things: Darned Son-in-law
A coworker shared this will with me:
Summerdale Phila. Dec. 4th 1906
I the undersigned George S Wolff being of sound mind
& body write this my last will and testament
Fifty cents (50¢) be paid to my son-in-law Chas W Wensel
a native of Huntingdon Pa. to enable him to buy for himself
a good stout rope with which to hang himself & thus rid
mankind of one of the most infamous scoundrels that ever
roamed this broad land or dwelt outside of a penitentiary
Yes, records say the darnedest things.
Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, Wills 302:175-6, no. 2249, George S. Wolff will, proved 10 November 1908; Register of Wills, City Hall, Philadelphia; Family History Library microfilm 1,311,083.
The full text of the will can be found in “Sidelight: A Disgrunted Father-in-Law,” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 97 (March 2009): 16.