24 September 2010

Where there's a Will

Those of us with a subscription to Ancestry (other websites are available) will doubtless have discovered the recent addition of the "England & Wales National Probate Calendar, Index of Wills & Administrations, 1861-194" . . . . to give it the full title.  And much fun it is too!

I've got one in front of me now for a chap who worked as a plumber & grocer in what is now Greater London, between 1871 and 1929.  Somehow he managed to leave effects to the value of £4310.  Now that's not bad.  I'm guessing, though, that it's before tax . . . ?

I do have a few in the family who left effects worth wondering about but mostly I come from a long line of ag labs so I'm not holding my breath!  I've joked before about following a silver teapot through one branch because it must have been worth a bob or two - why else would it be mentioned on its own?  

The most remarkable thing, though, about this Index is the language.  I've seen any number of individual Wills before where there is a serious lack of punctuation.  Well, these entries are the same.  Nary a comma or full stop to be seen.  Quite a challenge to read if, like me, you're daft enough to obey the rules and not breathe until the end of a sentence!

Still, don't suppose that'll stop me looking at it again - for the more unusual names, you understand; I'm not sure I'm up to looking for the more . . . . shall we say, prevalent surnames!

Back to sorting out a corrupted file.

More soon.

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