Monday, April 2, 2012

Making Wishes

Wishing upon a star reflects the mental power of the human brain. The Latin language [those Romans] uses the word velle meaning to wish. By the time the Anglo-Saxons arrived[Old English], they used the word wille. This has come down to us in the English as the word will. Interesting that in a genealogical sense, this means a legal declaration of a person's mind as to the manner in which property or estate is dealt with after the death of that person. Litterally, it is like reading a person's mind.

Being of a very personal nature, the will offers a chance for the genealogist to open the window of the mind of an ancestor. In addition, the will offers tremendous information regarding the family. It usually list the name(s) of the deseased's heir(s), often including married names of the surviving females. [Family branches!] A listing of what the deceased possessed in property, real and personal is frequently helpful to establish a life-style. Approximate date of death from the date of the will's probate by the court can help establish or clarify chronology. Signatures which indicate close friends, relatives, or repected members of the deceased's community can be used to break down a few brick walls.

Making wishes, a window to the mind of our sure and open some windows to your own family tree.

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