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Tip of the day...Bibles and wills

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Kense Report 28 Oct 2014 08:15

The Lost Cousins latest newsletter has a section on using that site.


Kense Report 5 Oct 2014 20:00

This site is useful

Note that you can now search for wills for those who died in 1996 or later.


Joy Report 4 Jun 2013 23:10



Andrew Report 15 Feb 2011 20:39

I found one of our family bibles from 1640 amongst the Bible Society's collection which is now in Cambridge University Library. They have 35,000 bibles in their collection ! It contained a lot of information from 17th and 18th centuries that was new to me, it even listed the names of pall bearers at various funerals. I only found out about it by doing a Google Book search on one of the more unusual family names.


Jonesey Report 15 Feb 2011 14:26

Nudge up


Madmeg Report 11 Feb 2010 22:08

Jillian have you mentioned the chimney before? My mother's family bible was found in the chimney after we sold her house and the new occupants ripped out the chimney. Most odd - why hide a bible in the chimney? Why hide it at all?


Evelyn Report 11 Feb 2010 21:32

I found obituary notices cut out from newspapers and pasted in the back of my grandmother's Catholic Missal. That's what started me off on this whole genealogy thing!


Heather Report 11 Feb 2010 11:09

Shame GR doesnt collate all these tips - they are very good indeed Jonesy.


Chrissie2394 Report 10 Feb 2010 21:25

Thanks Jonesey for yet another great tip.



Sally Report 10 Feb 2010 20:48

thanks jonsey for all your tips
i was given an old birthday book when i was a child and oh dear i scratched out all the names but i still have the book useless though


Marina Report 10 Feb 2010 11:31

My dad inherited the family Bible from his mum's side of the family.
I got all my info from that side of the family from this Bible,must have been lucky I say.


grannyfranny Report 10 Feb 2010 10:04

My Mum had the 'torn out page', so I have inherited that at least, though she knew all the info anyway. OH's family have a Bible, I think his cousin holds it.

Another useful find was a number of 'Birthday books', little pocket sized books where you wrote people's birthdays. Although the YOB wasn't always there, at least you had the names and birthdays, very useful.

Chris in Sussex

Chris in Sussex Report 9 Feb 2010 23:04

I would suggest that anyone researching wills looks at the following books recommended by the IHGS....Some are 'where to find' and others are a 'help' in reading wills.

If not available 'on the shelf' at your local library then they may be able to order it in locally....Check out your County library website for availability or ask at at your library 'Help Desk'

PRO Pocket Guide Using Wills (PRO 2000)
Arkell, Evans & Goose When Death Do Us Part (Local Population Studies 2000)
A. Camp Wills and their whereabouts (Published by the Author 1974)
A. Collins Basic Facts about using wills after 1858 and First Avenue House
(FFHS 1998)
J. Cox An Introduction to Wills, Probate and Death Duty Records
J. Cox Hatred Pursued Beyond the Grave (HMSO 1993)
J S W Gibson Wills and where to find them (Phillimore, 1974)
J.S.W. Gibson & E. Churchill Probate Jurisdictions: Where to look for wills (FFHS 2002)
K. Grannum & N. Taylor Wills and Other Probate Records (TNA 2009)
R. Millward A Glossary of Household, Farming and Trade Terms (Published by
the Author 1991)
S.A. Raymond Words from Wills and Other Probate Records (FFHS 2004)
M. Scott Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills and other Probate Records
(PRO 1997)



Angela Report 9 Feb 2010 22:25

Thanks Jonesy for a great tip! I was wondering how I go about looking into the wills side of all this...


Jilliflower Report 28 Oct 2009 22:15

I was guessing that the Bible my old friend found was from the days, perhaps when it was not permissable for the ag labs to read, let alone OWN a bible - and in English. He took it to a Christadelphian Bible Exhibition and it was the second oldest bible there and was in all the local papers.
But I can't imagine what your father was thinking of to put that Bible there. I wonder if it was some sort of superstition - to bring a blessing on the house? But - no - I agree with you that your dad wouldn't put something like that behind a fire. Mystery on mystery.


Madmeg Report 28 Oct 2009 21:20

Jillian - what a coincidence.

We sold mum's house 2 years ago to pay for her residential care. The new owners, a young couple, ripped out the old gas fire with back boiler set in the chimney where the old open fire used to be years ago - and there was my mother's family bible!

Now what I want to know is, why was it in the chimney? My dad would have installed the gas fire, he would have put it there. He would not put a combustible item behind a gas fire without a reason - he was a builder by trade, and despite not being religious, he would have had respect for my mother's family bible.

Can anyone advise?


Teresa With Irish Blood in Me Veins

Teresa With Irish Blood in Me Veins Report 28 Oct 2009 20:54

I remember as a child seeing several Memorial Cards that my late Dad kept in his Sunday Missal..... Catholic Mass prayer book.

I know one was for his father who died long before my Mum and Dad married and there was one for his brother who died before his Dad did.

Dad suffered from Alzheimers so couldn't remember any DOBs etc when I first started doing my family tree 6 years ago.

I searched his house high and low for these Memorial Cards as I knew they had the DOB and Death but never found them.......until 2 years ago, after my Dad died and we were clearing out all of his personal belongings.

If only we had come across them earler, I could have saved hours and hours of searching BDM's on which is now findmypast!

3 years ago I discovered that my late father-in- law had a sister and managed to trace my husband's 3 cousins he never knew he had.

We met up with the 2 brothers that in their 80's and one had a Bible that belonged to their father...Oh the joy of seeing that! Names and Birth dates of my husbands grandfather's parents and siblings! But of course I had previously found them and bought the birth and marriage certificates but the Bible did reveal when they died!

Ebay often has old family Bibles for well as other family documents.....always worth checking that out.

It must be a great delight to find on that is 'yours'.


Jilliflower Report 28 Oct 2009 17:50

AN elderly friend found a bible hidden in his chimney from the 1700s and it was an ancestor who had written on several pages as well as family bmd. I was found when the house was being redesigned inside and the old fireplace was revealed.
My envy was enormouse! (thou shalt not covet thy neighbours house?)


Von Report 28 Oct 2009 16:28

Welsh wills pre 1858 are free to read on the National Library of Wales website.
Happy hunting


AnninGlos Report 28 Oct 2009 16:16

My Mother's family Bible passed down to her from her Father and his Father was a good source of information to me. Lovely to see my Gt Grandfather's writing and then my grandfather's and then a small bit of my Mum's My sister has my Father's family Bible but there is not so much information in it.