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Harlow Wills: Were your ancestors left a “dunge carte?”

Lifestyle / Thu 13th Nov 2014 at 08:39am

THE Essex Records Office (ERO) has uploaded an extra 22,500 wills to their online subscription service Essex Ancestors.

The Essex Ancestors wills collection includes 70,000 documents which date from the 1400s to 1858.

Councillor Roger Hirst, Cabinet Member for Libraries, Communities and Planning said “We have in Essex Ancestors an amazing resource dedicated to showcasing the rich and fascinating history of our county. The digital images of these historic documents – some of them over 500 years old – are now available so that people all around the world with connections to our county can research their family history and even learn where their family heirlooms originate from.”

Wills can tell us all sorts of things about the lives of people in the past. For example, in 1641, Elizabeth Fuller of Chigwell left her eldest son Henry her ‘longe carte’, ‘dunge carte’, ‘pondering crose’, ‘furnace’, and her ‘mault quarne’. We believe the cross would have been used for religious contemplation and the quarne for grinding grain. Her second son received ‘my best chest and my best brace [brass] pot’, to modern eyes this might seem the better bequest!

To celebrate the upload, the Essex Ancestors archivists will be choosing some of their favourite wills to share on their blog over the next few days and weeks.

You can access Essex Ancestors from home as a subscriber anywhere in the world, or for free in the Searchroom at the ERO in Chelmsford. You can also visit our Archive Access Points in Saffron Walden and Harlow. Essex Ancestors will shortly be provided at Waltham Forest Archives also. Opening hours vary, so please check before you visit.

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