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May 11, 2020

Don't Miss Free Downloads on UK National Archives

I've been enjoying searching Discovery on the UK National Archives and enjoying the free downloads. In case you missed the announcement, while KEW is closed, signed in users can download digitized records for free.

Registered users will be able to order and download up to ten items at a time, to a maximum of 50 items over 30 days. Normally these records must be purchased so this is a wonderful thing that the Archives is doing!

So far I have found 18 wills of ancestors and have happily downloaded them all. Of course I still have to try to transcribe them but since it looks like lockdown in Ontario Canada will be going on for some time, I have the time.

I've made a list of what I have found so that I don't get confused. My mother's lines go back in Kent UK for hundreds of years so I have many ancestors to hunt for. There are more than wills available for download such as:
  • First and Second World War records, including medal index cards
  • Military records, including unit war diaries
  • Royal and Merchant Navy records, including Royal Marine service records
  • Wills from the jurisdiction of the Prerogative Court of Canterbury
  • Migration records, including aliens’ registration cards and naturalisation case papers
  • 20th century Cabinet Papers and Security Service files
  • Domesday Book
My focus has been exclusively on wills such as the ones I already found for:

1657 George Longe
1752 Roger Hooper
1816 Philip Hubbard (see my book The Hubbard Family of Kent England )
1619 John Person/Peerson
1534 Richard Best
1666 Dorothy Ferrall
1659 John Virill aka Ferrall
1593 Richard Saxby
1778 Jane Hooper
1799 Isaac Hubbard (see my book The Hubbard Family of Kent England )
1733 William Laming (See my book The Laming Family of Kent England)
1810 William Laming (See my book The Laming Family of Kent England)

plus three for my youngest son's father's ancestors in Yorkshire, two for my daughter-in-law's ancestors in Norfolk and one for my husband's ancestor in Cornwall.

I have my work cut out for me! If you have English ancestors, you may want to jump over to The National Archives UK and have some fun.

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