There can be few more useful records for sorting out the traces of a family, than a will.
Family trees get a little difficult to untangle when there are multiple uses of the same name. For example, in Kirdford in 1642, there were 12 Henry Strudwicke’s.
The parish records provide clues of family structure, invaluable when dealing with families who lived back in the 16th and 17th centuries, but often in these early registers there may only be a father mentioned on a birth record, and matching husbands and wives with fathers and children can be almost impossible.
A will can quickly fill in those details, and often provide other relations, property details, or occupations that bring life to otherwise repetitive records.
There are many wills that I have transcribed on this site, and each one tells a story of a family and a life.
Its well worth taking a look!
As I’ve been adding the information from my previous website, I have noticed the prominence of the UK data in those databases. Although I have been collecting records from the US and Jamaica over recent years, little has made it onto the website.
I can see that I will have to spend some time formatting my American spreadsheets, and restore the balance.
I have plotted the spread of the Strudwick name through England,(here) and so it will be interesting to see the expansion from the early Cape Fear / North Carolina Strudwick’s out across the US.
As I upgrade from my previous website, I have been reconsidering the content I had and how relevant it still may be. When the earlier site was designed, my One Name Study involved collecting indexes and creating databases of Strudwick info. Now many if these records are easily available through sites such as Ancestry, and so the value of these on my site is diminished. The more important records now are those where I have value added, so for instance the transcriptions of wills and archival material. These are otherwise readily available but difficult to read or search. The incorporation of the database material into my tree structure has also added value to these records.
Ultimately, I have decided to keep the earlier databases online, for historical interest, but concentrate more on the analysis and synthesis of the records collected or to be collected.