52 Ancestors – Where There’s A Will…

Another prompt from the 52 Ancestors Challenge from Amy Johnson Crow.

This one was pretty fun to do. I love reading old wills. There is something about old will books that speaks to my soul. Going to a court house and finding the original papers. Absolute joy.

There is also a joy from finding wills online though it can be tedious work, I am lucky because Family Search has the New York Will Books online although they aren’t indexed and you need to browse the images they have been a huge help to me in the past 2 years.

I was able to find the Will of Beverly Beardsley who died in 1815 and it asks for guardianship for his daughters and his infant son Beverly. IT was how I disproved the Ancestry Trees with Beverly Beardsley living to be 120-something. Screen Shot 2018-04-08 at 6.57.34 PM

(this image is from ancestry.com but I generally go to Family Search for Wills because I have learned to use their system and it doesn’t have as many quirks to me.)

Wills are great for proving relationships. Another will and its detailed property listings will be helping me to prove a new patriot into the DAR. I have had this will for years but needed the probate package with inventory which some one randomly sent to in an act of kindness.

Screen Shot 2018-04-08 at 7.00.36 PM

Never discount using wills to find clues to your heritage. I generally print them out so I can transcribe them. I am a bit old school where I do this with pencil and paper before converting to a word document. I love my paper still.

What cool things have you found in wills?

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