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13 September 2013

A Warm Body In the Area

Before you draw any conclusions about the person who appears as a witness on your ancestor's document, remember that a witness does not have to be a relative. A witness needs to be of legal age and know the person signing the document.

A witness could have simply been someone else who happened to be nearby when your ancestor signed his document.

1 comment:

  1. Actually, I'm not sure that witnesses even need to know the person in all cases - they just have to be present at the event/signing of the document to say that they witnessed it.
    At least that's definitely the case with lots of UK events - marriages, wills, deeds etc. For marriages in churches, I've certainly found that it's often the church-warden who is one of the witnesses, and on legal documents it might just be a clerk who happens to be on hand.
    So your heading and final statement are absolutely spot on!

    Deb Stock