Tag Archives: wills

My genealogy to-do list for the week ahead (week 21)

23 May

I made good progress on sorting out my hard drive this week, the TROWER surname folder is as good as done, and I got sidetracked and sorted through the MITCHELL surname folder as well.

Virtually all my research from the West Sussex Record Office three weeks ago has been transcribed, I still have one will to transcribe (Thomas PIERCEY) and I need to scan both of the copies of the wills, just in case I need to refer to them again.

There was no new research this, and I haven’t done any of the things I needed to do to restart my GEERING research, but I am confident that I will be back on track with that this week.

As well as the PIERCEY wills that I have to scan, I have quite a lot of other scanning to do, lots of postcards that need doing (some of which you will see in the coming weeks) and a few other bits and pieces. I will be pleased if I can get that completed this week.

  • Finish sorting out the TROWER folder and files.
  • Transcribe the will of Thomas PIERCEY.
  • Contact the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain about the GEERINGs to see if they have any information.
  • Book a seat at the East Sussex Record Office and order the documents I need to view for my GEERING research.
  • Scan postcards and other documents.
  • Start working on sorting out the GEERING folder.

My genealogy to-do list for the week ahead (week 12)

21 Mar

Another week passed with very little actual research achieved and very little sorting and organising achieved either. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been doing any work, most of my time has been spent on planning and background reading.

I really need to get some sorting out this week, before I do any more serious research and make matters worse. My organising has slowed almost to a standstill, and I really need to get back into a routine again of systematically going through my files and folders.

I continue to be amazed at how many leads keep turning up in my GEERING research, I now have three certificates to process, which are presenting some interesting questions and answers. Hopefully this week will also see the arrival of the will of Ann GEERING.

  • Continue working through my digital files updating Family Historian and sorting out folders and standardising my filenames, especially the recently scanned documents.
  • Continue pulling together all my plans for researching the GEERING family of Hailsham, Sussex. The number of archives I need to visit is growing on a weekly basis, although it is probably going to be the East Sussex Record Office that will be the most important.
  • I have three GEERING certificates to process and two wills (and a possible third one arriving this week). There are a few other facts that I need to record as well.
  • I feel it is time that I put together a narrative or timeline for the GEERING family. This will hopefully help clarify my research plans and form the basis of a proper narrative which I hope will be the end result of my research.

Success at West Sussex Record Office

7 Mar

Yesterday I went down to the West Sussex Record Office, with a handful of records to look-up. It was a successful visit and things went better than I could have hoped, even with the disruption on the trains (more engineering work).

I made some useful progress on proving that my 6x great-grandmother was “the old druggist” (more about that in a later post).

I found the exact burial place of my great-grandmother Dorothy May TROWER, something which has eluded me for years (more about that in a later post).

I have located the school admission record of Walter Henry BOXALL, part of what seems to be evolving into a project to document his life and death.

I also picked up several baptism records that I needed, not really critical for my research, just distant relations not ancestors.

It is a little worrying that a lot of the records on my to-do list are parish registers, which have still not been deposited by the parish church at the record office. I am starting to build up quite a list of registers that I check every visit to see if they have arrived yet. Soon I will have to start bothering local vicars for access to the registers.

Whilst out in Chichester at lunchtime I picked up a second hand copy of a book called Goodwood Country in Old Photographs, which includes a photo of one of my 3x great-grandmothers as well as at least two other relations, but probably more. I must say thank you to my (distant) cousin Lisa who told me about this book.

2010 to do list – what to do with wills?

29 Dec

Between now and the new year I will be writing about some of the things I want to achieve with my family history in 2010.

There is one source type that causes me no end of confusion, and that is probate records, which in practicality means copy of wills.

I have copies of several wills in my collection, of varying lengths and ages. I have transcribed most of them, but I know there are one or two that still need so work.

Don’t get me wrong, I love wills and the relationship details that they sometimes contain. In fact some of the wills in my collection have solved some tricky relationship issues (see my post about William HOLMAN’s will)

The reason they cause me such problem is knowing what information to enter into my database and where to enter it. I think the problem is that there is usually so much information contained in a will that it is hard to know how and where to record it.

There are so many different facts that could possibly be contained in even a straight-forward will:

  • the address and occupation of the testator
  • the names, addresses and occupations of the beneficiaries
  • the bequests made to the various beneficiaries
  • the relationship of the beneficiaries to the testator
  • the names, addresses and occupations of the executors
  • the relationship of the executors to the testator
  • where, when, to whom and by whom probate was granted

I am sure there are many more possible facts that can be extracted from a particular will, but the problem I have is knowing what to do with them.

I think there are only two GEDCOM tags associated with probate records PROB and WILL, so really I am going to have to add at least one more to record that an individual was a beneficiary (and what the bequest was) and another to record that someone was named as an executor.

Ideally I would record that fact that an individual was a beneficiary or executor on both the individual’s record and that of the testator. Most of the other information can probably recorded using the other standard tags for addresses and occupations citing the will as a source.

So in 2010 I am going to get to grips with my wills, making sure they are transcribed and making sure I have captured all the information contained therein and recorded it against the relevant individuals.


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