Custode’s Last Will and Testament was made on September 30, 1960 in Dunbar, PA, which is where she lived her whole life after moving there from Pittsburgh in 1900 or 1901. We know she was in Dunbar by 18 December 1901 because her second son, Luigino Anthony Giorgio (Gene) was born there. The witnesses to her will were Anastasia Panone and Mary Alice Frazier. Although there is no way to know for sure whether these were Custode’s friends or witnesses in the lawyer’s office, I’m willing to bet that Anastasia was Custode’s friend. (Hmm… maybe I should check the 1940 census for Dunbar to see if any Panone’s lived near Custode.)
It is a very simple will with four paragraphs that provide as follows:
1. All her debts and funeral expenses and those of her last illness should be paid.
2. Her real estate on High Street in Dunbar and all personal property located in that house should be conveyed to Philomena George Galand, absolutely. (Philomena was her oldest daughter who according to relatives, lived in the house referred to in the will and probably took care of Custode in her later years.)
3. Her real estate located at 128 Connellsville Street in Dunbar together with all personal property in it should be sold and the proceeds divided evenly among her following children in equal shares: Gene George, Joseph George, Francis George and Lena George Renzi.(These were Custode’s only children alive in 1960 when Custode made her will.)
4. That Gene be appointed Executor of her estate.
According to the social security index, Custode George was born on 27 May 1880 and died in December 1967. I have conflicting information whether the day of her death was the 27th (her half birthday) or the 28th (Adriano’s birthday) but either way, if her birth date is correct she would have been 87 1/2 years old when she died.
On February 26, 1968, Joseph and Lena signed an affidavit stating that Custode had died on December 27, 1967, that Gene, who had been named executor, was dead at that time and that they did not know the address of Francis George. I’m not sure why Philomena did not also sign the affidavit but I suspect it was because it was only Lena and Joe who were to benefit from the remainder of Custode’s estate since Philomena got the house.
On April 9, 1969 the three living children of Custode; Philomena, Lena and Joseph, renounced their right to administer the will and appointed William Galand (Philomena’s oldest son) as the administrator. An inventory of the property governed by the will placed a value of $1,500 on the real property at 128 Connellsville Street and a value of $0 on the estate’s personal property, which, I’m guessing had already been distributed by agreement among the siblings.
If there’s anyone reading this who knows of something that may have been passed down from Custode, I’d love to hear about it. If you’d rather contact me directly than leave a response on this blog – you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org