Thursday, 22 May 2014

Heir to the Goods and Chattles






Not everyone wrote a will, and not every will has to be probated. That said, I have found probate records for a value of effects as little as ₤48 that a spinster left her brother and as much as ₤13,670 that a Master Tailor left his wife. In Canada, Australia and the US, probate records are under the jurisdiction of the province or state. Canada and US records for aboriginals are federal. In southern England and Wales wills 1384- 1858 were a church matter and registered, mostly, with the Prerogative Court of Canterbury.


Unfortunately many offices in Devon that held wills were blitzed in WWII.  Fortunately for me, my ancestor had enough of an estate that a “death duty” was owed and these records, called Inland Revenue Wills, had been kept in London and those from 1812 to 1857 survived, as well as some in Cornwall and Somerset.

My grandmother, being the eldest child, was the executor with her mother of her father’s will, and bless her heart she never threw anything out. What I have is a Declaration of Transmission of Estate for a non-probated will in Montreal, which named the properties he owned. A Will or a Probate Record can name children, property, and what burying arrangements should be made. Sometimes it is just a line saying all their effects go to someone.   


 


Relevant Links:





Court of Surrey Spage Register (Register of Wills named after first person registered)


Devonshire UK wills – from 1546- and genealogy of the most ancient gentle houses


Somerset UK – Wills



Wills and Testaments – Scotland







Wills and Testaments – National Archives of Ireland

A Treatise of Testaments and Last Wills Dublin 1793 (How to write a will)


New Zealand Probate Records at Family Search:


USA Will and Probate Records by State at Family Search









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