[This section is under construction.]
The practice of making a will goes back to Anglo Saxon times, and it was originally restricted to the wealthy. The custom was not widely adopted by the middle classes until the 16th century. Poor people rarely made wills, and those wills made were primarily by men, as a wife was considered a man's property.
In order to put the provisions of a will into effect, an executor had to obtain a grant of probate. This is the official recognition by a relevant court of law that a will has been proved—accepted as legally valid.
The earliest wills for Thoralby are from 1566. These are from: Yorkshire, England, Probate Records, 1521-1858:
Archdeaconry of Richmond, Peculiar of Knaresborough (Honour Court) and The Peculiar of Masham.
Miles Bowes, of Thoralby 1579
William Lonsdale, of Thoralby 1595
Richard Dixon, Grocer of Thoralby 1703
Mary Dixon, of Thoralby 1708
John Sadler, yeoman of Littleburn, Thoralby, 1732
James Mudd, the Elder of Thoralby 1743
James Mudd, of Thoralby 1751
James Mudd, of Swine Coate Thoralby 1779
James Mudd, the Elder of Thoralby 1813