|Provincial English Beaker of 17th century|
The Colonists to the American Continent, from the very beginning, brought their treasures from Europe. There was a good store of silver in many of the planters' homes, either inherited from English relations or purchased in England. Such was the instance of Margaret Cheesman, of Bermondseam who, in 1679, bequeathed a great silver beaker and tankard with other plate to the children of Lemuel Mason, who resided in Virginia. Much care was taken to the furnishings of the home and furnishings were imported from London and other foreign ports. If we really want to know more about our ancestors, the inventory of their estate details such items as clothing, furnishings, and often details precious items as Mrs. Chessman did in her last will and testament. What happened to the family treasures over the years as they were passed on? If you have an unidentified antique in your family, the last will and testament, inventory, and sales of an estate will provide the answers. These documents are generally found at the local county court house where your ancestor resided. Further back in time, Virginia Pioneers has a vast collection of old wills and estates dating from the 17th to 19th centuries.
Sources: Leah and Rachel, p. 16; New England Historical and Genealogical Register, April 1693, p. 250.
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