Genealogists Must Read the Old Wills, Estates and Deeds to Zero in on the Ancestors
The fact that a number of English residents bequeathed certain properties to Virginians, suggests kinships and unfinished business in the Mother country. The very least that it does it to provide the genealogist with another source to research. The English wills should be examined with an eye to discovering relationships and compared with Virginia documents, such as wills, estates and deeds. Mrs. Margaret Cheeseman of Bermondsey left in her will ten pounds sterling to the children of Lemuel Mason of Lower Norfolk County in Virginia. John Pargiter of London bequeathed in 1687 ten pounds sterling to Sarah Lovell of Virginia. And John Walker of Westminster bequeathed property to a kinsman of his own name in Virginia. Jane Maplesdin, also of Westminster, left a considerable legacy to John Lee, a citizen of the colony. These are but a few examples. Once the ancestor’s country of origin is discovered, an intensive research should be engaged into the English parish registers as well as old English Wills and other Documents. Source: Social Life of Virginia in the 17th Century by Philip Alexander Bruce.