Lesson 3: What a Will Can Tell You – Literally and By Implication


Some of the most interesting looks at an individual and their family can be found by looking at probate records. They often will tell you something about the relationships that existed between the testator and the people on whom the estate was settled – or not settled.

An important consideration in your research is understanding property law that existed at the time your ancestor made a will. Did they own anything to bequeath to someone else? And how was ownership defined at a time? You will find that ownership differed over time and in different places. A very important consideration existed for married couples, and laws that restricted a woman’s right to own property. Therefore, you may need to do some deeper research into laws impacting land ownership and ownership of property.

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Lessons in this course: