Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Oxfordshire wills on Origins Network

From Origins Network (www.origins.net)

Oxford Wills 1516-1857: Free indexes! View the images online

Wills can provide an extraordinary amount of information about your forebears, but most people probably have never had the chance to delve into these documents to see what they can learn. But now Oxfordshire wills from the 16th century up to 1858 - over 30,000 of them - are available online, at www.origins.net.

Simply Register or Login to search the Indexes and uncover some of your family’s hidden gems.

What can the original wills tell me?
Prior to census returns, meaning before 1841, wills can be the best source of family relationship information. The list of what you may find is impressive.
  • Names of heirs and beneficiaries
  • Relationships
  • Places of residence and origin of testators
  • Places of residence of the heirs and beneficiaries
  • Properties and whether freehold, copyhold or lease
  • Occupations
  • Debts owed and due
  • Business arrangements
  • Executors
  • Witnesses
  • Inventories of personal property
  • Personal comments about heirs and beneficiaries

The potential value of this information in furthering your research is high, particularly if more commonly consulted records such as parish registers have drawn a blank. The information in wills goes beyond immediate family, many wills name nieces and nephews, godchildren, husbands of sisters and wives of brothers and distant kin. Usually the relationships are defined and the place of residence may be stated.

Accessing the records:
Digitisation of these documents is now completed, and these images can be purchased with Pay per View credits and viewed directly from the index records.

Simply Register or Login to search the Indexes and uncover some of your family’s hidden gems.

(With thanks to Jane Hewitt)


My new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, is now available from Pen and Sword. For my other genealogy books, please visit  http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.

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