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I is for Inventory

A probate inventory was a list of the deceased’s moveable items, prepared by inventors (three or four men, usually friends or relatives) and then filed when probate or administration had been granted.

Why not have a read of this Suffolk inventory and see if you can imagine Thomas Buxton living and working in Great Barton. He had an extensive inventory totalling £299 14s 6d. It starts by listing his clothes and personal effects and then, beginning in the house, moves from room to room, describing the contents including furniture, kitchen utensils, linen, and carpets. The servants’ lodgings are also included and even a library of books! The second half of the inventory lists the outbuildings and details farming equipment, crops and livestock. It finishes with debts which are owing.

For a family historian, inventories such as this one, are an invaluable source for adding more colour to an ancestor’s life, providing interesting clues into their lifestyle and status.

Ipswich Record Office holds inventories for the Archdeaconry of Suffolk for 1582 – 1824, ref FE1.  Inventories for the Archdeaconry of Sudbury, 1573 – 1818, are held at the Bury branch.  They can be searched online, ref IC/500/3.