Wills Online

Another addition to the growing amount of genealogical material appearing online – the Origins Network have recently published an index of 28,000 wills from Surrey, England, from the 15th to the 19th Centuries.

An interesting if rather hyperbolic overview appeared in the Guardian, yesterday:

A vivid snapshot of social history, the wills show the importance of small items in less plentiful times: hay, kettles, blankets, butter, bacon, grain and livestock are commonly treasured things passed on to relatives and friends. Everything from a “pair of old stockings” to “gold bodkins” is given away, although wealthier folk list luxuries such as sweetwood boxes and “my best beaver hat”. [link]

(The article failed to stress that you had to subscribe (ie pay) to access them. Genealogy is big business, remember). Still, a very interesting collection – and worth a look at the overview to see the range of material available, and free access to some sample highlights which manage to capture some snapshots of thoughts and worries of the time.

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