View Full Version : wills
03-03-2006, 7:03 AM
On Scotland's People, I am looking at the wills for a Robert Wight.
On is described as a will (4 pages), and another as an extract inventory (7 pages). Robert was a farmer.
The website wants to charge me £5 to view each. Which would be the more useful? Or shall I just bite the bullet and hand over my tenner??
03-03-2006, 8:26 AM
The will tells you how someone disposed of their property and to whom - so it can help to identified family members, if you are only interested in producing a familytree then you can get away with this.
The inventory tells you what the goods were from which in your case, you might piece together how someone farmed and lived - it helps to put flesh on the bones and in my opinion should be considered inseparable from the will.
Pay the tenner
03-03-2006, 8:28 AM
Oh, bu**er! I knew someone would say that!|computer|
03-03-2006, 8:37 AM
Oh, bu**er! I knew someone would say thatIf you don't like the answer, don't ask the question ;)
I don't know if your inventory is the same period, but Peter Goodey posted a link to an inventory which has been transcribed here:
It might give you an idea of the extent of information which can be included - note it still includes some names with whom the chap had dealings.
Go on, it's only money!! (and it's not mine :) )
03-03-2006, 8:45 AM
Thanks for that, Geoffers.
For my family, I'd have no problem handing over the tenner, but it's the other half's!
Thanks again, and I shall check out that link.
03-03-2006, 9:03 AM
I would also say that most of the wills I have have been on 1 or 2 pages, and the inventories on 1 page, so it sounds as though there is probably a lot of information on this one. As a farmer, it is worth noting the inventory will give detailed information which will enable you to identify what sort of farming he undertook. I wouldn't be without either, as I have found inventories have given me massive information about the changing circumstances of my family - there is nothing to compare to knowing how many sheep etc were owned. If you are finding it hard justifying the cash, go for the will first. You may find that the information is intriguing enough that you decide the inventory is a must have.
03-03-2006, 11:18 AM
Over the years I have transcribed hundreds of wills, not of my family but as part of a research project. The inventories are fascinating. A person's house may be inventoried room by room, house, parlour, kitchen, chambers over each sometimes; perhaps buttery, barn and so on with the contents of each place carefully noted. From this you may be able to form a picture of the actual building, and wonder why he kept two cart wheels in the chamber over the house.
When valueing crops field names may be mentioned (this can also happen in the will) such as ' 3 acres of wheat on the Nether Furlong in the Town Field' and by this and perhaps an enclosure map, the actual holding can be identified. Oxen were valuable beasts - if he kept them he was usually a fairly prosperous farmer.
A person's occupation may not be stated, but sometimes by tools noted in the inventory it may be surmised. In my part of the country, North East Derbyshire, scythe and sickle making flourished; a man may not call himself a smith but smithy tools may be noted in the inventory.
Often debtors and creditors are noted. Does your man owe money or his money owed to him ? By such means names of friends, neighbours, business associates may be discovered.
And I could go on ad infinitum.
Go for both.
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