I've been stuck on my Wiltshire ancestors for a long time - ever since my visit there in 1993, I've made no real progress on my Richman, Marshman, Rich and Hill ancestral families in Hilperton, near Trowbridge.
Martin commented on my Surname Saturday post about my Marshman family several weeks ago, and I finally had time to check out his suggestion to check out the Wiltshire and Swindon Archives website - http://history.wiltshire.gov.uk/index.php:
There are some really useful links on this page, including for the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre - http://www.wshc.eu/:
This page says "Welcome to the website of the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre, your passport to the past. Wiltshire and Swindon has a rich and diverse heritage. The new History Centre brings together the archaeology, archive, buildings record, conservation, and museum advisory services together with the county local studies library to create a centre whose sum is much more than that of its parts. If you are researching your ancestors or trying to find out more about a town or parish in Wiltshire or Swindon, or if you want professional advice and guidance on other heritage issues, we are the ideal place to contact or visit. "
I may take them up on that offer!
The Archives page also has a link to the Archives Catalogue - http://history.wiltshire.gov.uk/archives/:
This page links to the U.K. The National Archives Access to Archives page (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/a2a/) which covers all of the United Kingdom, including Wiltshire.
Another link on the Wiltshire and Swindon Archives page is for the Wiltshire Wills - http://history.wiltshire.gov.uk/heritage/:
The page says: "This catalogue gives access to wills and other probate records of the diocese of Salisbury which used to cover not only Wiltshire but also Berkshire (under certain circumstances) and parts of Dorset and Devon. You can search for people by name, place, occupation and date. The collection covers 1540-1858. Searching the catalogue is FREE. In addition there are digital images for some of the documents (just over 25%) which can be viewed following on-line payment or free of charge by people visiting the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre. Wills and inventories give useful information about people’s financial status and property, and also their family relationships and friendships, which make them a wonderful resource for family and local history."
I searched for the "Richman" surname in this database and there were 36 matches:
I could order a copy of any of those documents from the web site.
The page says: "Where an image is available on-line, the easiest way of getting a copy is to use the pay to view system to view it and copy it however you wish. However, where an image is not yet available we may still be able to send you either print-outs of digital images or photocopies as appropriate. There is a minimum charge of £5.00 for orders by post, excluding postage and packing. Orders under £20.00 will be posted together with an invoice. For orders of £20.00 and over you will be asked for payment in advance. We are now able to take payment by credit card - please telephone or write to us if you would like to use this facility but please do NOT send your credit card details by e-mail."
Lastly, the Archives page links to the Wiltshire Local Studies collection - http://wiltshirestudies.wiltshire.gov.uk/:
I searched for information about Hilperton parish and found 30 matches: