Inventories and Wills

From 1530 to 1782 it was an obligation for every executor of a will to provide the probate court with an inventory of the deceased’s goods, together with their value. In the Diocese of Gloucester, Gloucestershire Archives have surviving inventories from 1587. However, not all inventories have survived as they were kept separately from the wills. They provide a huge amount of family and social information.

For an inventory project nine FHS members undertook to transcribe the 61 surviving inventories of Fairford residents from 1690 to 1790 and were sent to Gloucestershire Archives. Towards the end of the 18th century they were very brief just listing ‘lumber and other goods’ and their value. Many of them accompanied administrations where the deceased had died intestate. Information from Fairford Wills was also transcribed, although not word by word.All the Gloucestershire inventories and wills are on line at and FHS has transcribed copies of most of them.

See below for my favourite example of an inventory, if you don’t know what the word is say it (in a Gloucestershire accent) and all will be come clear.

Click here Inventory William Early 1755