|St Andrews Church Kilmeston, Hampshire|
The language of these old wills seems strange but there were certain rules that had to be followed. In the 18th century a will had to be in writing and it had to be signed by the testator. It had to contain a clear and explicit statement of the testator's intention and sanity (if the testator was insane the will was invalid). The testator's will also recorded their identity and abode and the date when the will was made and generally included the date published. Bequests form the main body of the will, with the testator concluding by nominating their residuary legatee. Pious statements, religious bequests and instructions are also a standard part of a will. These could include instructions to the executor to where or how to bury their body. Testators often then explicitly revoke any prior wills. Finally, the testator would sign and seal the document, either with their signature or, if illiterate or too weak, with a simple mark. A seal, although not essential, gave force to the document as a formal deed. This final act must have been witnessed, by two or more witnesses who these should not benefit from the will. The witnesses would in turn add their signatures or marks to the will. (If there were lands involved three or four creditable witnesses were required). The 1730 will below of Ann Titheridge of Kilmeston, Hampshire follows these rules.
The name "Kimpston" was the old name for Kilmeston: the term "Imprimis" means first: the term "item" means also: Southton is an abbreviation for Southampton, the county of Hampshire was originally called the County of Southamptonshire.
So who was Ann Titheridge? She was the daughter in law of John Tytheridge and Ann Quallat who lived in Cheriton and are the ancestors of most of the Titheridge family. John and Ann’s eldest son, John, was born in 1669 at Cheriton and he married Ann Brewer on 29 March 1692 at Chertion. Shortly after the marriage they moved to Kilmeston, 2 miles away, and here they had 9 children between1695 and 1711. The children were
John born 1695 who married Elizabeth Chase
Daniel born 1697 who married Ann Marshall
Ann born 1700 who married Thomas Allen
Sarah born 1701 who married William Gill
Elizabeth born 1702 who married James Powell
William born 1705 who died 1706
Mary born 1707 (no records of death or marriage have been found but still alive in 1730)
William born 1709 (no records of death or marriage have been found but still alive in 1730)
James born 1711 who died aged 6 1717
In 1711 after the birth of his last child John died in Kilmeston. Ann continued to live in Kilmeston with her children. Ann died in 1730 and was buried on 21 September 1730 ten days after making this will.