Thursday, 16 May 2019

Want Welsh Wills?

Ancestry now has them, 99,955 of them from 1513 to the start of civil probate in 1858.

Just for fun, the table below is ordered by the number of entries in this database. The initial number is the rank in a table of present-day Welsh surname popularity. The highlighted names occur substantially more frequently in the wills list than that for all surname popularity. Are these the names highlighted those you associate with those more likely to leave a will?

(1) Jones - 7,017
(5) Thomas - 5,673
(2) Williams - 4,213
(3) Davies - 2,886
(7) Lewis - 2,765
(9) Morgan - 2,689
(4) Evans -  2,162
(14) Rees - 1,924
(22) Lloyd - 1,747
(8) Hughes - 1,639
(6) Roberts - 1,622
(16) Owen - 1,376
(17) Price - 1,281
(11) Edwards - 1,089
(10) Griffiths - 594
(15) Jenkins - 592

The wills database is from the National Library of Wales holdings for the following ecclesiastical jurisdictions:

Diocese of Bangor: Anglesey, most of Caernarfonshire, most of Merioneth, parts of Denbighshire and Montgomeryshire Original wills 1576-1858 (majority dated 1635-1648, 1660-1858) Copy wills 1790, 1851-1858

Archdeaconry of Brecon: Breconshire, most of Radnorshire, and some parishes in Monmouthshire, Montgomeryshire and Herefordshire Original wills 1557-1857 (mainly 1609-1653, 1660-1857) Copy wills 1543-1858 (mainly 1570-1589, 1694-1858)

Diocese of Chester: four parishes in Flintshire and Holt in Denbighshire. Original wills 1521-1858 (mainly 1557-1650, 1660-1858)

Peculiar of Hawarden: parish of Hawarden Original wills 1554-1858 (mainly 1554-1641, 1660-1858)

Diocese of Llandaff: Monmouthshire and Glamorgan (except for Gower) Original 1568-1857 Copy wills 1695-1844

Diocese of St Asaph: most of Denbighshire, Flintshire and Montgomeryshire, and parts of Merioneth, Caernarfonshire and Shropshire Original 1557-1858 (mainly 1583-1649, 1660-1857) Copy wills 1548-1709 (mainly 1565-1648, 1660-1669, 1684-1709)

Diocese of St David’s: Pembrokeshire, Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire and part of Glamorgan (Gower) Original 1556-1858 (mainly 1564-1653, 1660-1858) Copy wills 1703-1858 (mainly 1703-1731, 1814-1858).


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