Find a Grave

Search for cemetery records in Saint Clair Cemetery, PA at by entering a surname and clicking search:

Restrict search to


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Tuesday Tip: I'll Have English Will with a Twist of Land, Please

Following land ownership is not as easy as we today think it is.  Typically, if land is owned at the time of death, a description of it can be found in the will or probate records.  I have used this way of following the land in early America. However, there is a twist across the pond.

In old England, depending on what time frame one is searching, it can be downright difficult, if not impossible to trace land ownership.  In early England, all land was thought to belong to the Crown.  That slowly evolved to leases and titles.

Now for the twist of the day.

I have been diligently searching for land ownership in old Portsea, Hampshire, England, from the 1740-1800 time frame.

Apparently, all wills were probated by the church before 1858.  There are some indexes online, but you really have to research which of them might be the best place to look. The courts were organized in a hierarchy, which really boggles my mind.  Just the names of some of the courts sound foreign to my mind....Archdeaconry, Commissary, Prerogative, and so on.

The National Archives site has a great "how to" section to read.  They even offer a live chat for quick pointers.  I haven't tried this yet, but I may as I wander around hopelessly confused.  Looking at the National Archives site, I do find a 1763 will for James HILL, Mariner of Portsea.  I really need to see the will in the hopes of a land mention.

Another tidbit crossed my path today as I search for land.  In the Portsmouth Museums and Records Service which has been cataloged by the National Archives, this is seen:

Ahh genealogy. Pour me up another will with land.  Just can't get enough!


©2016 ASEldredge

No comments:

Post a Comment