Joseph Holbrook 1814-1881:
I found, on Newspapers.com, a notice from the Chicago Daily Tribune on Feb. 16, 1881, (page 11) under the notices for "Probate Court". "In the estate of Joseph R. Holbrook, the will was proven and admitted to probate, and letters testamentary were issued to Clark Holbrook and Fremont Holbrook. The estate is valued at $10,000." Clark and Fremont were two of Joseph's sons. His widow was Mary Elizabeth Whittemore.
I did a quick search for the equivalent value and found this at MeasuringWorth.com. $10,000 in 1881 would be worth about $235,000 today, in terms of historic standard of living, or $2,320,000 in terms of economic status. In terms of economic power, it would be work about $14,300,000 today. So we can come to the conclusion that Joseph was one of the wealthiest people in our family tree, at least till we get back to the royalty. Alas, it must be true that "family money" generally lasts only one or two generations beyond the wealth-creator!
Molly Wright 1759-1845:
Here's my update on waiting to see if the professional genealogists at NEHGS can find Molly Wright's parents for us. (Molly would be Joseph's paternal grandmother). It's been a little over 9 weeks since I ordered the report and their website and subsequent email said 10-12 weeks. I may have to cut them some slack since this is Boston, after all, but I'm still hoping to hear something this month. I'm not a very patient person but hopefully it will all be worth it when we get the report.
The line of descent:
Amariah Holbrook-Molly Wright
Nahum Holbrook-Susanna Rockwood
Joseph Holbrook-Mary Elizabeth Whittemore
Fremont Holbrook-Phoebe Brown
Loren Holbrook-Etta Stanard
Gladys Holbrook-Richard Allen
Update: I ordered Molly's records December 31, 2014. On March 9, I received an email from NEHGS that they were ready to start the research process now, and the report should be ready the week of 5/18/2015. Add to that shipping time, and we are looking at very close to a five month process. That's a long time to wait, and I wonder if NEHGS should look at when they are going to put a charge through. Five months, more or less, is a long time for them to have my money when I have nothing to show for it. I sure hope this report is good!