This small volume of 67 pages catalogues, in meticulous detail, a collection of little known wills and administrations which were housed in the Probate Registry at Canterbury. The American genealogist, Lothrop Withington (1856-1915), started the project, but was killed with the sinking of the Lusitania. Subsequently, the project was completed by Henry Plomer and staff at the Probate registry.
The volume contains around 3,300 wills and admons, and many associated documents. It covers a great deal of the population of east Kent during this turbulent period of English history.
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This is the first volume of the Yorkshire Archaelogocial and Topographical Association's Record Series Journal. Published in 1885 it comprises two series of records. Series one, spread over forty seven pages is a calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem for the County of York which at the time were held in the Public Record Office in London. This is a listing of some 2,300 names of feudal tenants in chiefs who died and following their death it was necessary to establish exactly what lands they held and who was to succeed them. This calendar is a very useful guide as to where exactly to find the full records, which are an extremely useful genealogical source.
The bulk of this publication is made up of an index to the wills of Yorkshire for the first half of the 17th Century. While the period covered is relatively short the numbers of wills is in excess of 4,000. The details provided include name of individual, occupation in many cases, place of residence, date of will and administrator. In many cases the administrator is a member of the family. So with at least two names per record there are over 8,000 names of interest here. The volume is completed with a 34 page name index.
This first volume of the Yorkshire Records Volume Series is an extremely useful resource for anyone researching family in Yorkshire in the first half of the 17th Century.
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The archdeaconry of Taunton covers a large portion of the south-west of England within the Diocese of Bath and Wells. The majority of the wills from this district survive in the local Probate registry, and were comprehensively calendared by Edward Fry in this volume published by the British Record Society in 1912. It includes the peculiars of Ilminster and Wivilescombe along with all other surviving probate material kept by the Taunton registry. This book includes over 24,000 entries covering 448 pages making it an essential resource for those tracing families prior to 1800.
Wills from Doctors' Commons. A Selection from the Wills of Eminent Persons Proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury, 1495-1695, was printed and published for the Council of the Camden Society for its 1862-1863 transactions. Edited by John Gough Nichols and John Bruce, the then director of the Society and member of its council, Wills from Doctors' Commons is republished here in fully-searchable digital format.
Containing 184 printed pages this publication contains the transcripts of only thirty-two wills and a number of administrations, annotated by Nichols and Bruce, but the importance of the wills contained herein cannot be questioned, which is true for all wills which abound with the manners, customs and laws from the periods in which they were written and as such their importance for historical and literary research is beyond doubt. The Register of Wills from which these examples were extend over a considerable period of time, from 1383 until the time of the publication of this collection. The wills were entered chronologically in order of proof in gigantic quarto volumes and the repository as a whole held more than 2,000 of these volumes, making the collection under review a mere drop in the ocean. Each quarto volume was distinguished by the embossed name of either the name of the first testator or eminent person contained therein.
Although this publication contains a mere fraction of those proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury all of those featured are for eminent personages, which include four members of royalty, prelates, nobility, five men who distinguished themselves during the English Civil War and amongst the others there are the wills of Sir Francis Walsingham, Sir Francis Drake and Sir Thomas Gresham. The collection is not absent of wills made by women and numbered amongst these are the mothers of Queen Katherine Parr and Lady Jane Grey.
The first will featured in the publication is that of Cecily Duchess of York, mother of Edward IV, proved in 1495, requested that her body be lain next to that of her husband, Richard Duke of York, who had been killed at the Battle of Wakefield in 1460, buried at Pontefract, but removed to Fotheringay in 1466. Among the beneficiaries of the will were Henry Duke of York, later King Henry VIII, who was bequeathed a number of tapestries. Sir Francis Drake's will, proved in 1595, is remarkable for the fact that his will was made on board his ship off the coast of South America where he died following the execution of the will. The last will noticed, proved in 1695, is that of Henry Purcell, who was appointed organist of Westminster Abbey at the age of eighteen and died aged just thirty-seven, but who name is still remembered.
Although only a brief collection of wills, this CD-Rom republication of Wills from Doctors' Commons contains sufficient wills of eminent and remarkable men and women to make this an interesting and worthy addition to any collection.
Re-published here in fully-searchable digital format is volume XXIII of the Chetham Society. Established for the promotion, collection and publication of the 'remains, historical and literary connected with the Palatine counties of Lancaster and Chester', this volume was original published in 1853-4.
Volume XXXIII of the Chetham Society's publications is drawn from the Archives of the Ecclesiastical Court, Chester, and the contents transcribed by the incumbent of Farndon, the Rev. John Piccope, M.A. These wills and inventories, more than fifty in total, formed part of a collection of eminent Lancashire and Cheshire families held at the Registry of the Chester Ecclesiastical Court, which had attracted the paricular attention of the Chanceller of the Diocese, the Rev. Henry Raikes, M.A. With Raikes' permission, the wills and inventories contained in this volume were transcribed.
The majority of the wills and inventories contained in this volume treat on some of the most eminent families of Lancashire and Cheshire in the first half of the 16th century. The wills and inventories transcribed by Piccope are presented almost in their original form, minus a few contractions and repitions and include all legacies and useful biographical noted on the testators throughout.
Volume XXIII of the publications of the Chetham Society should appeal to anyone with an interest in the history of the counties in question.
A collection of 232 transcripts of wills at the York Registry covering a period of twenty eight years from 1429 to 1467 which will have great appeal to those studying medieval history and genealog
Testamenta Vetusta is a collection of 803 wills from the late 12th to 16th centuries:
Testamenta Vetusta was collected and edited by Nicholas Harris Nicholas and published by Nichols and Son, Parliament Street, London in 1826.
He took his wills from the British Museum, private collections, Dugdale's Baronage, Collins' Peerage, County histories, Memoirs of Families, etc (his preface, p. 14). He was not able to access the originals then held in Doctors' Commons because of the difficulties imposed by the staff of those premises (preface, page 13). Some of the wills are abstracts for genealogical purposes where only the people and their relationships are written. He acknowledged his debt to John Nichols' "Collection of Royal Wills".
Nicholas' prime purpose was to illustrate from those wills the manners and customs of their times; additionally he wished to include the descents and possessions of families. For every will he gives some footnotes to determine the person and other relevant information.
For anyone with an interest in medieval times, it is enthralling as an illustration of the manners and customs of their times. These wills describe what those persons held dear: what better introduction to their lifestyles can you imagine?
For genealogists there is priceless information given in the wills about their families.
Abstracts of all of the wills from the Prerogative Court of Canterbury for 1620. Each entry lists the names of the beneficiaries and their relationship to the deceased, plus some other details. Provides the necessary information to order copies of the original wills easily. Covers the whole of England.
Abstracts of all of the wills from the Prerogative Court of Canterbury for 1630. Each entry lists the names of the beneficiaries and their relationship to the deceased, plus some other details. Provides the necessary information to order copies of the original wills easily. Covers the whole of England.
Abstracts of all of the wills from the Prerogative Court of Canterbury for 1658. Each entry lists the names of the beneficiaries and their relationship to the deceased, plus some other details. Provides the necessary information to order copies of the original wills easily. Covers the whole of England.
A calendar of wills lists the name and place of each person who left the will. (Not the full details). They are an invaluable aid for family historians, as most of the wills are preserved at either the Gloucestershire Record Office or the Bristol Record Office, from which copies may be ordered. Note: wills between 1653 and 1660 were proved at London, and are therefore not included in these volumes.
The books contain complete name indexes, and also place indexes, and in for example, volume 1, there are references to approximately 23,000 wills.
Volume 2 covers the period 1660-1800
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