Grave Surveys and Four Hundred Years of Wills in The Lydiard Archives

Graves and wills are an important component of any family history. Working with the Lydiard Archives is a daily adventure, as they continue to grow and reveal fascinating aspects of the St. John family’s history, Lydiard Park, and Lydiard Tregoze Parish. This month, in The Lydiard Archives, the focus is on grave surveys and wills dating back to the 1500s, offering a glimpse into the lives and legacies of past inhabitants.
These documents, though they might seem morbid at first glance, are a treasure trove for historians and genealogists. They provide valuable insights into who was remembered, who was left out, and who received the most substantial bequests. Each document tells a story, illuminating the social fabric of the time and the values of the community.
One particularly stunning revelation came recently when an unknown heir to the estate claimed his right to succession at the reading of his father’s will. This unexpected twist added a new layer of intrigue to the history of the estate, and gave family historians and genealogists a whole new insight into the St.John family.
Discoveries like these highlight the importance of preserving and digitizing historical documents. They not only enrich our understanding of the past but also offer a connection to our own history and heritage. As part of the archive team, uncovering these stories is both exciting and rewarding, as each new find adds to the tapestry of the past, allowing us to piece together a more complete picture of the lives and times of those who came before us.
Lydiard Park

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