Thursday, November 22, 2012

Genealogists: You Must Read the Last Will and Testament

The last will and testament is of singular importance and helps located all of the relatives faster than any other document. The old wills for the State of Virginia are very important to our days because it reveals so much about the decedent, which is welcome information to the genealogist. The will is a "must" document to search. In fact, the first thing which you do when you go to court house records is to search the probate records. This is where all of the information resides. True, there are many books written abstracting county wills for the State of Virginia, however, the abstracts simply do not contain the " juice; necessary to dig deep into the lives of your families. The colonial wills, particularly, reveal just about everything, from the location of the homeplace, the burial grounds for the family, the church or religion, and an express division of land, plantations, personal notes, and a vast inventory of all of the items of the estates. After all, every Virginian was in business for himself and contributed a great deal to the community. The estate records provide names of friends, neighbors, distant relatives, names of heirs in English estates, and much much more. A family tree is incomplete without the actual last wills and testaments of all of your family members. The digitized documents on Virginia Pioneers are actual copies from the county clerk. Originals no longer exist, however, the clerk copies each and every will and all of its detail into the county will book.

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