19 votes

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

That does not list the beneficiaries, it lists the people to whom probate was granted, which is the executors of the will. If there had been no will, or if they were not the named executors, then it ...
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  • 4,333
19 votes

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

The obvious thing to check is whether the other children had died prior to the will being drawn up. Transcription To help you in this case, I have transcribed the will below: Extracted from the ...
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  • 5,167
16 votes
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England - What are some possible reasons an ancestor would name his accountant in his will as a beneficiary?

As Tom says in his answer, the people mentioned are the executors of the estate. The record you are looking at is the National Probate Calendar, which is basically a detailed index of probate and ...
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  • 18.6k
7 votes
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Inferring father/son relationships from Senior (Sr.) / Junior (Jr.) naming?

In the colonial period, language usage for kinship terms (and other terms) was not necessarily the same as it is today. Several of the 'how to' books I've read have said that in the colonial period, '...
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  • 24.4k
7 votes
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Were nephews and nieces sometimes referred to as cousins in 18th century Cornish wills?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) one meaning of cousin is: A collateral relative more distant than a brother or sister; a kinsman or kinswoman, a relative; formerly very frequently ...
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  • 11.3k
7 votes

Why name John Doe as surety?

Having thought it through a bit, Google helped and I found this article on the FamilySearch Wiki that is adapted from a print article by respected genealogist, Anthony Camp. Although it is about bonds ...
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  • 11.3k
7 votes
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Strange Probate record: Could this death record not be correct?

As Elwyn says, the bank getting the grant of probate is not a problem. However, her being a spinster definitely is. It is not impossible that a widow should declare herself a spinster, but pretty ...
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6 votes
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Best practices for producing document abstracts or summaries?

Here's the link to a pdf article "Transcribing & Abstracting," by Linda Woodward Geiger that goes over abstracting that may be useful to you. In it, her example is in third person/past tense. ...
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6 votes
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Reading words on old document relating to share of Will?

...the said share and an insurance of Two pounds and Sixteen shillings... ...(and the receipt of which Alfred born... ...for their own respective use the said share... I agree with the ...
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  • 18.6k
6 votes

Unknown Abbreviations in abstract of probate

"CH" refers to CHarles County, Maryland. "A" (meaning "account") can be found in these documents: "Abstracts of the Administration Accounts of the Prerogative Court; (multiple editions, called "...
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6 votes
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Are probate records typically only for males?

Yes, in the Unites States in the eighteenth century you will tend to find more probate records for males than females. In his study, "Underregistration and Bias in Probate Records: An Analysis of Data ...
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  • 18.6k
6 votes

Understanding the disposal of an estate in Jersey

There may have been letters of administration granted after Dorothy's death. If so, the letters granted for the period October 19th 1848 - May 26th 1906 are held in Volume D/Y/A2/1 at Jersey Archives....
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  • 5,167
6 votes

Strange Probate record: Could this death record not be correct?

You say “probate was awarded to Lloyds Bank when there was a living son and a younger daughter.” All that means is that she had appointed the bank as her executors. It doesn’t mean her children were ...
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5 votes
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Where can I find New York state probate records after the 1920s?

Probate records for New York State are kept by the Surrogate's Court in each county. The website of the New York State Unified Court System says: Genealogy Research Since 1787, probate records ...
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  • 24.4k
5 votes

Where can I find Pennsylvania Archives Series II?

The Pennsylvania Archive Series can be located in multiple places and it is sometimes called different things. I found it pretty quickly in the following two places. Ancestry.com has it online for ...
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  • 5,531
5 votes
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Would a Wife be mentioned in 18th Century English Will?

I have only experience dealing with colonial American wills, but those should be under the same norms as English. I've looked at dozens of wills from New England in the 17th and 18th centuries, and ...
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  • 670
4 votes

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

Somerset wills were sadly kept with Devon wills. See the page on the Somerset archives site where it says "The story of Somerset's wills is a sad one. Having been centralised at Exeter, most of the ...
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  • 11.3k
4 votes

Reading a will to get land information?

I think Jan has an excellent response for actually reading the will, but I will put out another solution or if anything supplementary information that you still may need after you read the will. ...
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  • 5,531
4 votes
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Who are the Campbells in this document?

The first Campbell in this document is a man with the initials of "S.A." and close family or personal ties to Ida W. Smith. You can tell that S.A. Campbell is a man because in the second image the ...
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4 votes

Are probate records typically only for males?

Here are some resources to supplement the answer already given. In The Hidden Half of the Family, Christina K. Schaefer gives the following timeline for New York Probate laws (I've excerpted the ...
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  • 24.4k
4 votes

Understanding Index to Death Duty Registers 1796-1903 for 1799 death in Radnorshire, Wales?

A fairly important piece of information omitted is what IR 27/17 actually contains. As you know, it is an index to the Death Duty registers. But this particular piece (IR 27/17) is an index to the ...
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  • 18.6k
4 votes
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What relation could godson be, and brothers of another surname?

A godson does not have to be any relation at all to his godparents, and often is not. I would think a godson is unlikely to also be a son-in-law, given godparents are named at the time of baptism (...
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  • 18.6k
3 votes

Accuracy of place of death recorded in the National Probate Calendar?

It is true to say that a death can only be registered in the district in which it occurred. What can happen is that the information can be given to a registrar in another district who completes a ...
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  • 1,306
3 votes

Accuracy of place of death recorded in the National Probate Calendar?

I can only say that when I submitted a Probate Application Form earlier this year, one of the documents required to go with it, was an "Official copy of death certificate or coroner's letter". The ...
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  • 11.3k
3 votes
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Where to find Will of Giles Chichester from 1820s, probably in Somerset or Guyana?

Using Adrian's answer as a springboard, I searched for possible resources. The Devon Wills index formerly at British Origins has now been released at Find My Past. A list of the courts (including ...
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  • 24.4k
3 votes

Interpreting the year a 16th century will was written?

I responded earlier, but now am able to view this on a tablet and can actually enlarge the image on a brighter screen so that I can "see" rather than squint at the text. I revise my earlier thoughts. ...
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  • 121
3 votes
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Identifying difficult words in 1651 will?

Kayer = A coarse sieve used to winnow corn (separate large from small) https://books.google.com/books?id=tUYOAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA31&dq=kayer++corn+-layer&hl=en&sa=X&ved=...
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3 votes
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Proving Jane Middleton of Somerset only Next of Kin in 1872 to Thomas Chichester who died 1838 in Guyana?

The concept of next of kin has no definition in English law except in terms of the relatively recent Mental Health Act. So I would suggest some caution before attaching too much importance to this use ...
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  • 1,226
3 votes
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Using a card index to find Probate records?

Hypothesis: Could "317" be a case number in the New York, Queens County, mixed proceedings, 1899-1932 Mixed proceedings, case no. 305-319, 1902, DGS 5041799 (digital images online -- no ...
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