The following announcement was written by Origins.net:
"Dung to Diamonds: 400 years of wills go online" * Major New Collection on British Origins - Surrey Will Abstracts
The Surrey Will Abstracts are among the most valuable research sources for the county of Surrey, and for family and social history generally. Dating from the 15th to 19th centuries, these fully indexed abstracts of all 28,000 wills proved in the Archdeaconry and Commissary Courts of Surrey (and known still to exist) are now available online exclusively on British Origins [at http://www.britishorigins.com].
They provide a more detailed picture of how our ancestors lived than almost any other genealogical resource. They come from a cross section of society, most testators being people of relatively modest means - artisans, small farmers, tradesmen. Many contain rich details of the testator's property and the value placed upon it - clothes, furniture, tools, land. Even if you don't find any of your own forebears in these records, by searching on date and occupation, you may find people living at the same times and in similar conditions to your ancestors.
The Surrey Will Abstracts provide one of the best sources of any kind for identifying family members. The average will contains the names of ten people and often many more; most of whom are related.
The abstracts include all personal names (testator, beneficiaries, executors, witnesses, overseers and others) with their relationships, place names, occupations, monetary and other bequests, and descriptions of lands. The indexes include the name of every person mentioned - over a quarter of a million people. Searches can be made on name and date or by using the "free text" search facility to look for any word in the abstracts.