Saturday, 11 April 2015

Findmypast adds Essex Wills Beneficiaries Index, 1505-1916

One of the missed opportunities in Ancestry's indexing of the post 1858 Probate calendar's for England and Wales involves the lack of any mention of anyone but the deceased in the index.

It's not an opportunity missed by Findmypast in placing online a database of 156,616 records, the Essex Wills Beneficiaries Index 1505-1916.

Findmypast information is that it records all people mentioned in a will, with the exception of witnesses and those with the same name as the testator – therefore not only beneficiaries and relatives appear but also executors, trustees, occupiers of property and adjacent landowners and so on. Most records include a combination of the Testator’s name and location, the Beneficiary’s name and their relationship to the testator, the year the will was made, any additional notes and an archive reference. Each record contains a transcript and an image of the index.

Less than 100 records are for the period after 1858 and the civil system of probate. The best coverage is for the latter part of the 17th and early18th centuries.

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