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137 pages; You can learn a lot about a person from his or her possessions -- even the junk. Ask any archeologist or forensic scientist. A midden (trash heap) may hold the answer to an archeologist's prayers, and a garbage bag may yield gold to the trained criminologist. You may well have some of your ancestor's possessions, but it is unlikely that you have many or even that you have something from each of them. While recovery of the physical objects may be an impossibility, you may be able to get the next best thing -- a listing of these possessions. Estate inventories were listings of a deceased person's possessions made at the order of the court charged with settling the estate. Many of these inventories are extant and available to the researcher. Some are long and involved; some are as short as a few lines. They were made of the estates of the wealthy, the not-so-wealthy, and even the relatively poor. Since estate inventories rarely yield direct genealogical evidence, they are often overlooked even by researchers who already know of their existence This is unfortunate because they often provide the researcher with something that genealogical charts and tables cannot -- a glimpse into your ancestor's personal life.