More Questions Than Answers

A couple of posts back I mentioned wills and probates and that I was waiting on one arriving, via email, from the Borthwick Centre. Well it arrived.

It was the last will and testament of Robert Otley of Lund, dated 1729/30. Robert died the previous year and was my 8th great grandfather through his daughter Alice. Alice was married to William Wallis and they were, yes you guessed it, my 7th great grandparents.

The will didn’t tell me much that I didn’t already know, save that a couple of his sons weren’t mentioned. I deduced, and in one case proved, that they had died before him. It was odd though, just who he left his money to. His youngest daughter was taken care of, as was his eldest daughter and couple of his grand children. His eldest son, who I expected would inherit the bulk of his estate was left a single shilling and most of the estate went to William Wallis, who he described as his son.

I have no idea why the eldest was pretty much written out of things. Perhaps he was already well established in his own right, or maybe his father had other reasons. I doubt I’ll ever know.

I am now, and this is probably going to become a habit, waiting on another probate, only this time I’m really not sure what I’ll find out. This one is for William Thompson of Kilham. I think he died in 1811, but I’m not certain as the Memorial Inscription that goes with the burial says he was the parish clerk when I only have evidence of him being a shepherd. He and his wife are buried together and the names and ages match. The probate I’ve found though is from 1837, which is a long time after their deaths. They did have a son called William, so it might well be him. I’ve already got further back on that particular branch of the tree, so just when he died is not that important in the scheme of things. But was he really the parish clerk and is that his will, being well and truly dragged out? Or is it his son or someone completely unrelated and have I just wasted thirteen quid?

Tune in soon to find out!


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