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Digital Subscriptions > Family Tree > Family Tree February 2019 > Those last w ords…

Those last w ords…

Wills and inventories rate second* on Joan Dexter‘s favourite document list, and can be fascinating by revealing the quirks of human nature…


Emily Jane (bp1828-1911) was given and used the surname Vyvyan until she married Augustus John Woodley

Take Amelia Isabella Kingsbury née Dinsdale (1825-1890), for instance. After appointing executors, but before listing the numerous legacies to family, friends and charities, we find, ‘I desire that my horse shall forthwith be killed’!

Wills can be a salvation in times of trouble, when research appears at a stale-mate or when early parish registers no longer disclose the name of any relative. Without his will, a ‘Henry Dinsdale buried on such and such a date’ might not be as helpful as it at first appears, with endless possibilities ranging from an elderly man to his infant son. Better, but perhaps not by a lot, is ‘Henry Dinsdale son of George Dinsdale baptised…’.

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About Family Tree

What are your family history goals for 2019? Perhaps you'd like to get your family history notes more organised? To be sure you're searching the right ancestors? To take your research back further? To look into your family's lives in more depth? Or perhaps your goal is simply to take that first step and start finding out about your family tree? Our ultimate guide - in this, the Feb issue of Family Tree - has advice to help everyone become the best genealogist they can be... from the newly curious, to those with many research discoveries under their belt already, you're sure to find it a valuable read. Happy researching!