So what can a Will tell you! This is a totally invaluable document – okay so will see that your x5 Great Grandad left all his goods and chattels to his wife, and his best bedding and cutlery to his daughter, but, it will also tell you where and when he died and what he left to who and the value of his estate – giving you an idea of his lifestyle and background!
So straight away you are going to see a daughters married surname, you are going to see the names of grandchildren and those with a different surname will give you an ideas whose those children are, it will give the names of his brothers, sisters and their spouses, it will give you details of his address, occupation and any other addresses he may have owned – so alot can be revealed.
Ancestry.co.uk has the National Probate Calendar covering 1858-1966 this is where you can find a basic entry that can help you track down the location of the will and make it easy to order. Once you find your entry you will be able to glean bits more information about your relative.
Extract from the National Probate Calendar of my 4x gt grandfather George Critchley, showing when he died, where, his occupationm his wifes name, where she lived and how much his estate was worth – when you find your entry have a look at the value of the estates of others it will give you an idea as to your relatives wealth – or not!