England (Counties as in 1851-1901) => Berkshire => England => Berkshire Resources & Offers => Topic started by: chasbaz on Wednesday 22 December 04 17:06 GMT (UK)

Title: Look ups offered - West Berkshire Wills Beneficiaries Index -
Post by: chasbaz on Wednesday 22 December 04 17:06 GMT (UK)
West Berkshire Wills Beneficiaries Index - Lookups offered.

Some years ago my wife Trish [nee Walker] started to collect wills and abstracts from old West Berkshire, mainly centered around Wantage. These she indexed by beneficiary - in other words if a person is mentioned in a will they will appear here, with information such as the relationship to the testator, and where the full will can be found.  By this method it may be possible to find people and relationships not available elsewhere. At present the index is far from complete - about 9,000 names. We have wills waiting to be abstracted and abstracts waiting to be indexed which would add probably another 9,000.  Depending on the interest shown we may be stimulated to do more work on this!

I am prepared to do lookups in this index.

It does NOT include wills after 1837.

For a look up request please start a new topic in the CENSUS and RESOURCE LOOKUP REQUEST board for this county.

Charles Bazalgette

Typical index entries look like this:

Person Named   Place     Occupation   Year   Assigned Role   Relationship   Testator      Court

Abbott, Robert   [Charnham St]      1677              witness      James Hardinge (b)   DCW

Probate Court Abbreviations:

ADB   Archdeacon of Berkshire
ADO   Archdeacon of Oxfordshire
ADW   Archdeacon of Wiltshire
CS   Consistory Court of the Bishop of Sarum
DCW   Dean and Canons of Windsor (excluding Peculiar Court of Wantage 1582-1668)
DS   Dean of Sarum
FPec   Peculiar Court of Faringdon
PCC   Prerogative Court of Canterbury
WPec   Peculiar Court of Wantage (1582-1668)
BRO   Miscellaneous wills and probate documents deposited at the Berkshire Record Office.
SDR   Salisbury Diocesan Register


Person Named - 'ygr' = 'the younger'; 'eld' = 'the elder'; 
+ = that person's signature appears on the document that was indexed.
x = that person did not sign the document, but made their mark.
Spelling of surnames has not been standardised, but close variations have been indexed together with headings to indicate which names have been brought together (e.g. 'Hidden  incl. Heading, Hedden, Iden').  Surnames of different families but with similar sound or spelling have 'see also' references in the headings (e.g. 'Paty  see also Petty')
Spelling of christian names has been regularised (actual spelling in round brackets):
Catherine/Katherine - see Catherine
Elisabeth - see Elizabeth
Geoffrey - see Jeffery
Johane, Jone - see Joan
Marie - see Mary
Variations of Christian names have not be regularised (e.g. Sybil is not combined with Isabell) except:
Betty - see Elizabeth
Harry - see Henry

Place - in round brackets if implied but not specifically stated (usually because husband/father is said to be of that place)
- in square brackets if it is the place where the testator is from (to give an  idea of the person's general location)

Occupation - given if stated in the will, otherwise other relevant information is put into brackets (often relationship to a person other than the

Year - year of probate, note that the will may have been written long before it was proved

Assigned role, if any  - only one role is given; there may be more.  Overseers, executors, etc are often beneficiaries too;
admon.=administration was granted to that person

Relationship - i.e. relationship to testator as described in the will (remember that, for example, 'son-in-law' could mean 'daughter's husband,'
'step-son,' or 'adopted son')

Testator - a= administration, b=bond, c=codicil, co=commission, i=inventory, o=oath, w = will (if nothing, then just a will is implied)

A typical abstracted record will look like this:

GIBSON, Thomas            PCC will 1775   [also in BRO D/EZ 7/117/1]
of Englefield, victualler
son:      John
daughters:   Mary wife of Thomas Steward; Eleanor wife of William Ludlow; Elizabeth Wyatt;
Sarah wife of Thomas Farmer; Ann Gibson
grandson:   Thomas Farmer
executors:   son John, daughter Ann, & son-in-law William Ludlow
witnesses:   Thomas Ireland & Nicholas Boon
dated:  14 April 1775            probate: 5 May 1775