News and Blog

The latest news and information from the Achievements team.

  1. House histories

    Interested in the history of your property?  Not sure where to start?  Why not contact us to find out how we can start tracing the history of your house.

    It is first of all important to collate as much information as you know about the property.  Approximately when was it built?  In the 20th century? 19th century? Or much earlier?

    Was it ever given a different name?  Or even different house number?  With this information, searches can be of sources such as trade directories, census returns and probate records.  In turn, these can give an idea of who lived there and what type of occupations they had.

    For older properties, it might be that tithe and manorial records could be used.

  2. Dates of birth in wills

    Probate records can be an excellent source of information for family historians, sometimes providing information over several generations.  They can confirm family relationships over a large distance, from different counties or even countries, and provide the proofs required that a particular family is the correct one being traced.

    However, they do not normally provide exact dates of birth, either of the testator or any beneficiaries mentioned.  Children and young adults were usually described as simply being under the age of twenty one, and sometimes in age order, such as “my eldest son”, “my second son” etc.

    But one will examined recently by our research team was unusual in that the testator, William Innes, included exact details which he wished to include on a memorial table to be put up in his memory, and that of his wife.  Perhaps he did not trust his executors to get the details right, and he included his date and place of birth, as well as marriage, within the will itself.

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    William Innes’ date of birth is given at the beginning of the fourth line, and his marriage date in the middle of the fifth line.

    It just goes to show that whilst generalities can be made within genealogy, you never know what the next document will show!

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