Difference between revisions of "Massachusetts Essex County Probates (FamilySearch Historical Records)"

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{{FamilySearch Collection
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''[[United States Genealogy|United States]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] [[Massachusetts, United States Genealogy|Massachusetts]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]][[Essex County, Massachusetts Genealogy|Essex County]]''
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{{US State HR Infobox
 
|CID=CID
 
|CID=CID
|title= Massachusetts Essex County Probate Estate Files, 1638-1880
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|title=Massachusetts Essex County Probate Estate Files, 1638-1880
|location=United States
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|location=Massachusetts
|scheduled=}}<br>
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|scheduled =
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| LOC_01 =Massachusetts
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| LOC_02 =
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| LOC_02_type =
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| LOC_03 =
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| loc_map =
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| state_loc_map = US_Locator_Massachusetts.png
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| State_flag = Massachusetts flag.png
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| record_type = Probate
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| start_year = 1638
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| end_year = 1880
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| FS_URL_01 =[[Massachusetts Genealogy]]
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| FS_URL_02 =[[Massachusetts Probate Records]]
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| FS_URL_03 =
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| FS_URL_04 =
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| FS_URL_05 =
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| FS_URL_06 =
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| FS_URL_07 = 
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| FS_URL_08 = 
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| FS_URL_09 = 
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| FS_URL_10 = 
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| RW_URL_01 =[http://www.sec.state.ma.us/arc/arcgen/genidx.htm Massachusetts State Archives Researching Family History]
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| RW_URL_02 =[http://www.americanancestors.org/About/Purpose/ New England Historic Genealogical Society American Ancestors]
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| RW_URL_03 = 
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| RW_URL_04 = 
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| RW_URL_05 = 
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| custodian =
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}}
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== Collection Time Period  ==
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== What is in the Collection? ==
  
 
This collection includes county probate records for the years 1638 to 1880.  
 
This collection includes county probate records for the years 1638 to 1880.  
  
== Record Description  ==
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Probate records were court documents and may have involved loose papers and/or bound volumes. These records were generally known as an estate file or probate packet. These files included all documents related to estate settlement, including settlement papers, inventories, receipts, wills, and other records pertaining to the estates, including accounts, administrations, appraisals, minutes, bonds, petitions, guardianships, inventories and settlements.
  
[[Image:Massachusetts Essex County Probates (08-0390) (09-0314) DGS 4483304 115.jpg|thumb|right]]
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== Collection Content ==
[[Image:Massachusetts Essex County Probates (08-0390) (09-0314) DGS 4481137 19.jpg|thumb|right]]
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=== Sample Images ===
  
Probate records were court documents and may have involved loose papers and/or bound volumes. These records were generally known as an estate file or probate packet. These files included all documents related to estate settlement, including settlement papers, inventories, receipts, wills, and other records pertaining to the estates, including accounts, administrations, appraisals, minutes, bonds, petitions, guardianships, inventories and settlements.  
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<gallery caption="Massachusetts Essex County Probate Record Examples" widths="160px" heights="120px" perrow="3">
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Image:Massachusetts Essex County Probates (08-0390) (09-0314) DGS 4483304 115.jpg|Will
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Image:Massachusetts Essex County Probates (08-0390) (09-0314) DGS 4481137 19.jpg|Estate Inventory
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</gallery>
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Essex County was created on May 10, 1643 and was formed as an Original County with its county seat in Salem. Probate records, including the administration of estates, probate of wills, and the appointment of guardians, have been under the jurisdiction of the courts since the 1630s. County courts and later, county judges of probate were responsible for these functions until 1783, when the probate courts were established. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the probate and family courts were given jurisdiction over adoptions, divorces, name changes, and domestic relations.
 +
 
 +
The county was divided into two districts in 1869 with the "parent" county seat, at Salem remaining as the probate office for the county.
 +
 
 +
Probate records are used to legally dispose of a person’s estate after his or her death. The probate process transfers the legal responsibility for payment of taxes, care and custody of dependent family members, liquidation of debts, and transfer of property title to heirs from the deceased to an executor or executrix if the deceased had made a will, to an administrator or administratrix if the deceased had not made a will, or to a guardian or conservator if the deceased had heirs under the age of twenty-one or if heirs were incompetent due to disease or disability.  
  
=== Record Content  ===
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== What Can this Collection Tell Me? ==
  
 
Probate records include petitions, inventories, accounts, decrees, oaths of executors, forms about guardians and other court documents. Genealogical facts in entries include:  
 
Probate records include petitions, inventories, accounts, decrees, oaths of executors, forms about guardians and other court documents. Genealogical facts in entries include:  
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*Document and recording dates. (Sometimes the date of death will be given. Recording dates are also used to approximate event dates, i.e. a letter of administration was usually written shortly after the time of death.)
 
*Document and recording dates. (Sometimes the date of death will be given. Recording dates are also used to approximate event dates, i.e. a letter of administration was usually written shortly after the time of death.)
  
== How to Use the Record  ==
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== How Do I Search the Collection? ==
  
 
To begin your search you will need to know:  
 
To begin your search you will need to know:  
  
*The place of residence.
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*The place of residence
*The approximate death or probate date.
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*The approximate death or probate date  
*The name of the deceased.
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*The name of the deceased
  
Compare the information you find in the probate records to what you already know about your ancestors to determine which record is about your ancestor. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.  
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'''View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:'''<br>To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links: <br> ⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page <br> ⇒Select the appropriate "_____________" <br> ⇒Select the appropriate "_____________" <br> ⇒Select the appropriate "_____________" which takes you to the images.  
  
When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family. For example:
+
Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination. Keep in mind:
 +
 
 +
*There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
 +
*You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
 +
*Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.
 +
 
 +
== What Do I Do Next? ==
 +
 
 +
When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family.  
 +
 
 +
=== I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now? ===
  
 
*Use probate records to identify heirs and relatives.  
 
*Use probate records to identify heirs and relatives.  
*You may be able to use the probate record to learn about adoptions or guardianship of any minor children and dependents.
 
 
*Use the document (such as the will) or the recording dates to approximate a death date.  
 
*Use the document (such as the will) or the recording dates to approximate a death date.  
 
*Use the information in the probate record to substitute for civil birth and death records since the probates exist for an earlier time period.  
 
*Use the information in the probate record to substitute for civil birth and death records since the probates exist for an earlier time period.  
*You may be able to use the probate record to learn about land transactions.
 
 
*Use the birth date or age along with the residence or place of birth of the deceased to locate census, church, and land records.  
 
*Use the birth date or age along with the residence or place of birth of the deceased to locate census, church, and land records.  
 
*Use the occupations listed to find employment records or other types of records such as military records.  
 
*Use the occupations listed to find employment records or other types of records such as military records.  
 +
*You may be able to use the probate record to learn about the following:
 +
:Adoptions or guardianship of any minor children and dependents.
 +
:Land transactions.
 
*Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname as the deceased, this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.  
 
*Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname as the deceased, this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.  
 
*Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have died in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.  
 
*Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have died in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.  
*When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
+
*When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.  
 
+
*Wills are more likely to be found in rural communities than in larger cities and industrial areas.
Keep in mind:
 
  
*Wills are more likely to be found in rural communities than in larger cities and industrial areas.
 
*The information in the records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the deceased or the testator.
 
*Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after 1900.
 
*There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another record.
 
  
If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, try the following:
+
=== I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, What Now? ===
  
 
*Check for variant spellings of the surnames.  
 
*Check for variant spellings of the surnames.  
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For a summary of this information see the wiki article: [[United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records)|United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]  
 
For a summary of this information see the wiki article: [[United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records)|United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]  
  
== Record History  ==
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{{Tip|Don't overlook {{FHL|Massachusetts, Essex|keywords|disp}} items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see the wiki article [[Massachusetts Archives and Libraries]]. }}
 
 
Essex County was created on May 10, 1643 and was formed as an Original County with its county seat in Salem. Probate records, including the administration of estates, probate of wills, and the appointment of guardians, have been under the jurisdiction of the courts since the 1630s. County courts and later, county judges of probate were responsible for these functions until 1783, when the probate courts were established. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the probate and family courts were given jurisdiction over adoptions, divorces, name changes, and domestic relations.
 
 
 
The county was divided into two districts in 1869 with the "parent" county seat, at Salem remaining as the probate office for the county.  
 
  
=== Why this Record Was Created  ===
 
  
Probate records are used to legally dispose of a person’s estate after his or her death. The probate process transfers the legal responsibility for payment of taxes, care and custody of dependent family members, liquidation of debts, and transfer of property title to heirs from the deceased to an executor or executrix if the deceased had made a will, to an administrator or administratrix if the deceased had not made a will, or to a guardian or conservator if the deceased had heirs under the age of twenty-one or if heirs were incompetent due to disease or disability.
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== Citing this Collection ==
  
=== Record Reliability  ===
+
Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.
  
The death date, residence, and other facts that were current at the time of the probate proceeding are quite reliable, though there is still a chance of misinformation. The records may omit the names of deceased family members and those who have previously received an inheritance, or the spouse mentioned may not be the parent of the children mentioned.  
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'''Collection Citation''':<br>
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{{Collection citation | text= "Massachusetts Essex County Probate Estate Files, 1638-1880." Database with Images. <i>FamilySearch</i>. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. Massachusetts State Archives, Boston.}}<br><br>
  
== Related Websites  ==
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'''Image Citation'''<br> {{Image Citation Link
 
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|CID=CID
This section of the article is incomplete. You can help FamilySearch Wiki by supplying links to related web sites here.
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|title= Massachusetts Essex County Probate Estate Files, 1638-1880
 
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|scheduled=
== Related Wiki Articles  ==
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}}<br>
 
 
[[Massachusetts Probate Records|Massachusetts Probate Records]]
 
 
 
=== Contributions to This Article  ===
 
 
 
{{Contributor invite}}
 
 
 
== Sources of Information for This Collection  ==
 
 
 
<!--bibdescbegin-->“Massachusetts Essex County Probate Estate Files, 1638-1880,” database, ''FamilySearch'' ([https://familysearch.org https://familysearch.org]); from Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. Massachusetts State Archives, Boston. FHL digital images, 89 packets, Family History Library Salt Lake City, Utah. <!--bibdesceng-->
 
 
 
== Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections  ==
 
 
 
When you copy information from a record, you should also list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.
 
 
 
A suggested format for citing FamilySearch Historical Collections, including how to cite individual archives is found in the following link: [[How to Cite FamilySearch Collections|How to Cite FamilySearch Collections]]
 
  
Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection (Heading 4)
+
== How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki? ==
  
*United States. Bureau of the Census. 12th census, 1900, digital images, from ''FamilySearch'' (www.familysearch.org: September 29, 2006), Arizona Territory, Maricopa, Township 1, East Gila, Salt River Base and Meridian; sheet 9B, line 71
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{{Contributor invite}}
*Mexico, Distrito Federal, Catholic Church Records, 1886-1933, digital images, from ''FamilySearch'' (www.familysearch.org: April 22, 2010), Baptism of Adolfo Fernandez Jimenez, 1 Feb. 1910, San Pedro Apóstol, Cuahimalpa, Distrito Federal, Mexico, film number 0227023
 
  
[[Category:United_States]] [[Category:Massachusetts]]
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[[Category:Massachusetts FamilySearch Historical Records]]

Latest revision as of 15:32, 29 November 2016

United States Gotoarrow.png Massachusetts Gotoarrow.pngEssex County


Access the Records
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This article describes a collection of records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.
Massachusetts, United States
Massachusetts flag.png
Flag of Massachusetts
US Locator Massachusetts.png
Location of Massachusetts
Record Description
Record Type Probate
Collection years 1638-1880
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites




What is in the Collection?

This collection includes county probate records for the years 1638 to 1880.

Probate records were court documents and may have involved loose papers and/or bound volumes. These records were generally known as an estate file or probate packet. These files included all documents related to estate settlement, including settlement papers, inventories, receipts, wills, and other records pertaining to the estates, including accounts, administrations, appraisals, minutes, bonds, petitions, guardianships, inventories and settlements.

Collection Content

Sample Images

Essex County was created on May 10, 1643 and was formed as an Original County with its county seat in Salem. Probate records, including the administration of estates, probate of wills, and the appointment of guardians, have been under the jurisdiction of the courts since the 1630s. County courts and later, county judges of probate were responsible for these functions until 1783, when the probate courts were established. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the probate and family courts were given jurisdiction over adoptions, divorces, name changes, and domestic relations.

The county was divided into two districts in 1869 with the "parent" county seat, at Salem remaining as the probate office for the county.

Probate records are used to legally dispose of a person’s estate after his or her death. The probate process transfers the legal responsibility for payment of taxes, care and custody of dependent family members, liquidation of debts, and transfer of property title to heirs from the deceased to an executor or executrix if the deceased had made a will, to an administrator or administratrix if the deceased had not made a will, or to a guardian or conservator if the deceased had heirs under the age of twenty-one or if heirs were incompetent due to disease or disability.

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

Probate records include petitions, inventories, accounts, decrees, oaths of executors, forms about guardians and other court documents. Genealogical facts in entries include:

  • Name of testator or deceased
  • Names of heirs such as spouse, children, and other relatives or friends
  • Names of witnesses
  • Residence of testator
  • Lists of belongings, property, and so forth
  • Document and recording dates. (Sometimes the date of death will be given. Recording dates are also used to approximate event dates, i.e. a letter of administration was usually written shortly after the time of death.)

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search you will need to know:

  • The place of residence
  • The approximate death or probate date
  • The name of the deceased

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the appropriate "_____________"
⇒Select the appropriate "_____________"
⇒Select the appropriate "_____________" which takes you to the images.

Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination. Keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.

What Do I Do Next?

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Use probate records to identify heirs and relatives.
  • Use the document (such as the will) or the recording dates to approximate a death date.
  • Use the information in the probate record to substitute for civil birth and death records since the probates exist for an earlier time period.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the residence or place of birth of the deceased to locate census, church, and land records.
  • Use the occupations listed to find employment records or other types of records such as military records.
  • You may be able to use the probate record to learn about the following:
Adoptions or guardianship of any minor children and dependents.
Land transactions.
  • Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname as the deceased, this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have died in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
  • Wills are more likely to be found in rural communities than in larger cities and industrial areas.


I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, What Now?

  • Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
  • Check for a different index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.

For a summary of this information see the wiki article: United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records)


Citing this Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation:

"Massachusetts Essex County Probate Estate Files, 1638-1880." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. Massachusetts State Archives, Boston.

Image Citation

The image citation will be available once the collection is published.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.