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Sunday, 7 February 2016

Last Will and Testament of Ann Titheridge in 1730


St Andrews Church Kilmeston, Hampshire

Old wills can be a great source of information for the family historian.  The 18th century will of Ann Titheridge is a prime example of this, as in her will she lists all her seven living children and the married names of the daughters.

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.
 
 
 
This is the last will and testament of Ann Titheridge
 
In the name of God, Amen, the Eleventh Day of September 1730.  I Ann Titheridge Widow of the parish of Kimpston in the County of Southton, being very sick and weak in body, but of Perfect Mind and Memory thanks be given unto God.  Therefore calling unto Mind the Mortality of my Body and knowing that it is appointed for all people once to die, do make and ordain this my last Will and Testament, that is to say, principally and first of all I give and recommend my Soul into the hands of God that gave it And my body I recommend to the Earth to be buried in decent Christian Burial at the discretion of my executors, not doubting, but at the General Resurrection I shall receive the same again by the Powers of God, And as touching such worldly estates wherewith it hath pleased Almighty God to bless me in this Life I  give demise and dispose of the former in the following Manner and Form.
 
Imprimis I give and bequeath to my welbeloved son John Titheridge one shilling of good and lawful money of England. Item I give to my welbeloved daughter Ann Allen, one shilling of good and lawful money of England. Item I give my well beloved son Daniel Titheridge one shilling of good and lawful money of England. Item I give my well beloved daughter Elizabeth Poell one shilling of good and lawful money of England. Item I give my well beloved daughter Sarah Gill one shilling of good and lawful money of England. Item I give my well beloved son William Titheridge one shilling of good and lawful money of England. Item I give my well beloved daughter Mary Titheridge my Gold Rings, Beds with all things belonging thereto  and all other household goods and money by her freely to be possessed and enjoyed.  And I do hereby utterly disallow, revoke, and disanul all and ever other former Testaments, Wills, Legacies and Requests and Executors by me in any ways before named Willed and Bequeathed, ratifying and confirming this and no other, to be my last Will and Testament.  In witness whereof I have herewith put my hand and seal the day and year as above written.
 
Signed sealed publish pronounced and declared, by the said Ann Titheridge as her last will and testament in their presence of us the subscribers
 
The mark of David X Frod
The mark of James X Shugnell
William Thong
The mark of Ann X Titheridge
 

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.

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