Questions tagged [will]

For questions about finding, reading, or interpreting the legal document created by a person to indicate how their property should be distributed upon their death.

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4 votes
1 answer
334 views

Transcribing particular phrase in 1813 English will

I have transcribed one of my ancestor's wills - it is from 1813 in Hereford, England. There is only one particular section that I can't figure out. It is 5 lines up from the bottom of the page I will ...
3 votes
1 answer
79 views

Widow's probate in 18th century US?

When my ancestor Elias Van Court died in 1750 in New Jersey, he left everything to his wife Ann "as long as she lives". (from "Documents Relating to the Colonial History of the State ...
2 votes
1 answer
88 views

Transcription of an 1835 will entry in Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills record

I have transcribed the will of a likely ancestor in a tree I am building for a friend, but can't get one last word. Can anyone tell me what the word is? It is just three words from the end, between &...
1 vote
1 answer
87 views

Could Will be Proved twice?

My 7th great-grandfather Clement Uren appears to have written a Will on 7 Aug 1745 making his wife Elizabeth and daughter Tiberia the beneficiaries. At the Cornwall OPC (Online Parish Clerk) site ...
10 votes
3 answers
3k views

England - what are some possible reasons that my ancestor only listed his daughters in his will and none of his sons?

I found the will of my 3x great-grandfather. Robert Fowler BIRTH ABT. 1767 • Thorganby, Yorkshire, England DEATH ABT FEB 1833 • Thorganby, Yorkshire, England He had several children: Ann Fowler ...
11 votes
4 answers
5k views

England - What are some possible reasons an ancestor would name his accountant in his will as a beneficiary?

I found my 2x great-grandfather's probate record on Ancestry: https://www.ancestry.com/sharing/19716606?h=660803&utm_campaign=bandido-webparts&utm_source=post-share-modal&utm_medium=copy-...
5 votes
1 answer
178 views

How to order copies of English wills (post-1858)?

I have the following entry from the National Probate calendar and would like to find the will: ELLIOTT Augusta of The Myrtles Slapton near Kingsbridge Devonshire widow died 17 April 1947 Probate ...
0 votes
1 answer
54 views

Locating and reading will of Elwyn Bernard Blair who died in 1934 at Atchison, Kansas?

Elwyn Bernard Blair was the youngest son of Edward and Barbara Blair. At the time Elwyn died on 28 Jun 1934 at Atchison, Kansas, he was married and had an infant son Robert who was buried on 21 Dec ...
6 votes
1 answer
187 views

Would a Wife be mentioned in 18th Century English Will?

I have been transcribing a number of 18th Century English wills and noticed that there don't seem to be mentions of wives -- at least not in the ones that I'm working on. Given the legal doctrine of ...
9 votes
1 answer
154 views

How were the beneficiaries of the 1872 Will of Mary Rogers related?

My fourth great grandmother was Elizabeth Crawley, born 1791, probably in London. She married William Stretch in 1819 in Whitechapel. The witnesses to their marriage were D. Rogers and Mary Rogers, ...
1 vote
0 answers
49 views

Interpreting Land Record Abstract pre-1730 Pennsylvania?

I am researching the 4 generations of my family that arrived in Chester County Pennsylvania between 1682-1715. In order to get a fuller picture of these ancestors, I've just begun looking through the ...
4 votes
2 answers
211 views

Reading a will to get land information?

This is the will of William Linley. I am trying to work out what land he owned and where it went when he died. The property was in Oldbury (probably on-the-hill, rather than on-severn) in Glos. ...
4 votes
1 answer
56 views

Were minors always described as such in 18th century wills?

I have been reading a will (Ancestry UK link), written by Giles Fox of Bourton on the Water, Gloucestershire, in 1780. It was proved after his death in 1789. In it, he leaves his property to his three ...
5 votes
4 answers
307 views

Where to find Will of Giles Chichester from 1820s, probably in Somerset or Guyana?

My 4th great grandparents Robert Chichester (1767-1830) and Martha Noake (1762-1836) married on 13 Apr 1797 at Branscombe, Devon and had five children: Priscilla (my 3rd great grandmother) was born ...
5 votes
1 answer
161 views

Deciphering part of 1799 probate from USA?

In the numbered parts (which I've highlighted) of the probate for Joseph Eayers pictured below: Does that mean Joseph was a widow? And what does the "third" and "excepted" part mean? Does "incapable ...
8 votes
2 answers
318 views

Meaning of “dofhoadayne” in 1648 Will of William Noake from Longburton, Dorset, England?

The man I believe to be my 9th great grandfather William Noake wrote his Will on 2 Jan 1648 at Longburton, Dorset, England, and a cropped image from very near the beginning of that document appears ...
4 votes
1 answer
89 views

Minimum age to be mentioned in a will?

Edward Penny died in 1824 in New York. A brief abstract of his will is as follows: EDWARD PENNY, Pittstown Wife: Phebe. Oldest son: Benjamin. Son: Ammiel. Oldest dau.: Esther Marvel. Daus.: Thankful ...
6 votes
1 answer
344 views

What are these words in the 1841 will of Elisha Strong?

I was able to read most of the words in Elisha Strong's 1841 will but not the two shown in red below. My transcription includes: The Said Eunice Strong shall pay one third for the support & ...
5 votes
1 answer
248 views

Reading words on old document relating to share of Will?

I was just given this old document by my grandmother. It is a document relating to a share of a Will in which her grandmother was mentioned (Emily Pynn nee Hughes). There are a few words I cannot make ...
6 votes
1 answer
87 views

Locating will from Berlin (Germany) in 1930s?

I am trying to find my grandfather's last will and testament. He resided in Berlin, Germany and died in the late 1930s. I will be in Berlin shortly and so offline as well as online resources will ...
7 votes
1 answer
111 views

Unknown Abbreviations in abstract of probate

I have found a number of abstracts from another researcher and do not know exactly what they mean. The following is a typical one: Eliab Cooper b. 1767, Charles County, MD Father: Jesse Cooper ...
5 votes
2 answers
191 views

Identifying difficult words in 1651 will?

I am transcribing a Nottinghamshire will and probate bond dated 1651, and two passages of the will are eluding me. In the first passage the testator bequeaths unto his "sonne my house & my ...
5 votes
3 answers
470 views

Interpreting names and abbreviations at the end of wills?

I have been transcribing several wills over the last few months and am pretty much done. However, at the end of the wills, after the names of the witnesses there are letters that I think are shorthand ...
7 votes
3 answers
127 views

How to tell if a will was executed as written?

I've a very recent example of a will in my family in which none of the bequests was actually paid due to a change in circumstances, and this has set me thinking about which records would show what ...
13 votes
2 answers
285 views

What does "Effects under" refer to on proving a will?

On proving of a will in 1866 in Ramsbury, England, the executors state 'Effects under thirty five thousand pounds'. Was this a general figure for wills or would this represent a rough net worth?
2 votes
1 answer
185 views

What happens when a last will and testament enters probate?

In a newspaper, I found mention of an ancestor's last will and testament: Last will and testament of Ida O. Vannoske, late of Amsterdam, will admitted to probate. Letters testamentary Issued to ...
5 votes
1 answer
240 views

Does a bequest of $1 or "to be paid on their demand" mean it is a minor child?

I'm looking at the Will of Zebulon Tharp dated October 1, 1775. On page three it appears as follows: Starting at line 8, it reads in part: ...I also will and bequeath unto my son Benjamin Tharp ...
6 votes
1 answer
128 views

Could a beneficiary also be witness to a will?

I have several wills from 16th/17th century England where a witness to the will had the same name as one of the sons who was a beneficiary in that will. I have always assumed these witnesses were ...
5 votes
2 answers
132 views

Finding Kentucky records from 1800 to 1900?

I am researching various families in Kentucky from 1800 through 1900. All the online resources have census stuff but when looking for more details I hit nothing. Where online can you find ...
4 votes
1 answer
108 views

Is word (like) etus likely to appear on 19th Century Cornwall Will?

I have largely transcribed the 1840 Will of my 4th great grandfather William Symons of Helston in Cornwall but there is one word which eludes me and it appears twice. It looks to me like etus and I ...
1 vote
1 answer
169 views

How to interpret hand written will that refers to children and possibly in-laws?

I'm looking at the March 8, 1869 will of Samuel Fought in Monroe, Cumberland, Pennsylvania shown here: I'm having trouble reading the names of his children. As best as I can tell it reads something ...
1 vote
2 answers
103 views

Seeking parents' names for Shadrach/Shedrick Montgomery, born 1790 in Chester, Pennsylvania, USA?

My family is looking for our great-great grandfathers parents' names. His name is Shadrach or Shedrick Montgomery, and he was born in Chester, Pennsylvania in 1790. How can we find a birth record ...
1 vote
2 answers
67 views

Finding details of recent Will in California?

I want to be sure if I am or am not included in the will of my relative who died in California in 2000. What kind of lawyer I should refer to investigate. Can a lawyer give idea about cost to look ...