The first ancestor in my tree with this surname is Elizabeth Wills. Her relationship to my ex-husband is as follows:
Before today, the only information I had for Elizabeth was that she had married John Laver on 17 April 1750 at South Petherton, Somerset, England. I therefore decided to do some more research using Ancestry.com.au.
I found that John Laver and Elizabeth Wills were married on 17 April 1750 at Lopen, Somerset, England. The marriage record showed they were both of South Petherton.
I then found a Public Member tree that showed that Elizabeth was born in 1730, and christened at Merriot.
I then had a look on Google Maps, and found that Lopen, South Petherton, and Merriott are situated close to each other.
I was then able to find Elizabeth’s baptism record, which showed she was baptized 16 August 1730 at Merriot. The Public Member tree had also shown that Elizabeth died in 1796 at South Petherton. I was then able to find the burial record of Elizabeth wife of John Lavor on 11 January 1796 at South Petherton.
I then searched for the marriage record for Thomas Wills and Mary, and found that Thomas Wills married Mary Scroven on 24 Jun 1725 at Merriot.
There is a baptism record for Thomas son of Anthony & Joane Wills at Merriot on 23 August 1705. Anthony Wills married Joane Laver on 21 January 1695.
Anthony Wills was baptized 9 August 1674 at Merriot, Somerset, England. His father was Thomas Wills.
The parish registers prior to this are hard to decipher, so I then turned to FreeReg.
The only marriages of a Thomas Wills I have been able to find prior to 1674 in Merriot was the marriage of Thomas Wills to Margaret Joanes on 17 September 1656, and the marriage of Thomas Wills to Anne Lawrence in January 1655. There were only 3 baptisms between 1656 and Anthony’s baptism in 1674:
- Elner on 18 Oct 1656 (this entry shows the mother as Anne?)
- Thomas on 20 Apr 1661
- An on 29 May 1665
I am not sure which, if either, of these couples were Anthony’s parents. Since the parish registers are only available back to 1646, I am unable to trace this line back any further.
Surname cloud generated using https://www.wordclouds.com/