Here is an example of how a one-page document I found in the Wayne County Courthouse can contain an enormous amount of family historical information.
State of Missouri
County of Wayne
Dr. Lee M. PETTIT being duly sworn upon his oath states that he is sixty-six years old, that he was born and raised in Wayne County, Missouri and near what is now the town of Piedmont therein that he is a brother of William M. PETTIT now deceased that William M. PETTIT and William McPETTIT were one and the same person, that said William PETTIT’s middle name was McAfee, that said William M. PETTIT was assassinated in the State of Arkansas in the year A.D. 1862 and that he left as his heirs his Widow Emma A. PETTIT and Willie PETTIT his daughter and only child, THAT HIS SAID widow Emma A. PETTIT afterwards intermarried with General W.P. BENTON and thereafter intermarried with Robert E. CRAIG, that he knows that the said Emma A. CRAIG is dead and understands from rumor and report that both W.P. BENTON and Robert E. CRAIG are dead: that he knows that the said Willie PETTIT intermarried with one Weyland E. BARNETT and is now the wife of said BARNETT now living at Piedmont, MO. That he was the Administrator of the estate of his said deceased brother and administered the same fully and thereafter was the Guardian and Curator of the said Willie PETTIT until her arrival at full age, that he knows the said William M. PETTIT entered from the United States Government the south east quarter of the north east quarter and the north east quarter of the south east quarter of section thirty four (34) Township twenty nine (29) north of Range three (3) east in Wayne County, Missouri, and that the said Willie PETTIT now BARNETT at her Majority went into the quiet peacible possession of said lands and has been in the quiet peacible uninterrupted possession of the same for more than twenty years as the only daughter and only heir of the said William M. PETTIT except only that portion of said lands embraced in the original one hundred feet in width right of way of St.L.I.M.&S.Ry (St. Louis Iron Mountain and Southern Railway Company) and further applicant Sayeth not.
Lee M. PETTIT
Sworn to and subscribed before me this 25th day of April A.D. 1902…James F. LINDSAY
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