Death is an inevitable part of life - the natural companion to our birth. In the intervening days, we expend ourselves toward the goal of learning all it is we are meant to learn and to fulfill the obligation of our existence. Along the way, we acquire many things that, upon our demise, tell the story of our lives. So, too, it is with our ancestors.
Wills are an important part of genealogical research in that they provide proof of relationships within the family and a brief summary of some of the personal items our ancestors acquired. Estates, including inventories and sale reports, provide clues as to the type of person our ancestor was. For instance, books found amid the personal effects indicate education and literacy. Extravagant items, such as ornate furnishings, paintings, and other non-essential items, are indicative of wealth and social standing. Personal effects can also provide insight into the likes and dislikes of ancestors, as well as tell us their occupation.
You will find below various articles of personal effects our ancestors left behind, and in them, you will find clues about your ancestor and who he or she was in life. As always, should you have questions, comments, additional information, or would just like to express your feelings, I would love to hear from you.