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Tips/Info for NOT SO newbies

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


AnninGlos Report 25 Aug 2005 21:53

I know we always say how exciting it is to visit record offices to search for relatives and info. But that is not always possible with some of our ancestors coming from places far removed from where we live, cost of travel, time etc. Don't underestimate how helpful record offices can be if you e mail them. I have had contact recently with both hampshire record office (Winchester) and southampton Archives and both have been more than willing to help, even, without being asked, looking things up for me. Unfortunately they couldn't find what i was looking for but now I know it isn't there so wont make a wasted journey. You can usually find the e mail addresses on the net. Ann Glos


Unknown Report 25 Aug 2005 21:26

Scottish Wills As you probably know a lot of Scottish Wills are online up until about 1901 but if your relative died after that and may have had property in England (in my case some English Stocks and Shares) it's worth checking to see if he is listed as 'sealed' in the National Probate Indexes. Although you can't order the will from them it does give you all the dates and details you need so that you can apply to the Scottish Archives to order a copy of the will. Worth a look, especially if you do not live anywhere near Scotland. (I understand that the Scottish Wills are indexed in something called the Calendar of Confirmations which is only held in the larger Scottish Libraries). Lyla


Unknown Report 25 Aug 2005 20:56

Following on with the clergy... If you find out which church he was at it is well worth writing to the current minister. The one I wrote to was able to send me a booklet that had a photograph of my rellie and a short biography. Also, check the local papers around his retirement and and death dates especially if he had been there for a long time as you will probably find a few words about his contribution to the parish. Lyla

Willsy once more

Willsy once more Report 25 Aug 2005 20:43

Looking for clergy? Not sure what year the index starts but I have just found out about a book called Crockfords Clerical Directory. My great uncle was ordained in 1922 and he was in it !!! Have been to the library since and if your relative is alive he will still be in it as they are published up to the present date. If you know they have died, like everything, else it is an ideal source for trying to find where they were and where they were ordained as it gives you a short history Elaine


Unknown Report 25 Aug 2005 19:52

I see that Pallot's Index is mentioned above, so let me say there is also Joiner's Marriage Index which covers a lot of Northern England and also Boyd's Marriage Index, although by far the one with the widest coverage is Philimore's. Even these do not cover every Parish, so another place to look is Genuki. Genuki, like Cindy's List, are searchable databases where often you can find a Transcription of the Parish Registers online, and some information about the Parish, where the records are held and which FHS's are covering it..


Jane Report 11 Jul 2005 09:19

Hi all, Can't think of any desperately 'advanced' tips, so am nudging by adding a recommendation for army service records. In one very sticky 'case' recently, I obtained the army service records from the Army Staff Section in Glasgow. It cost me £25, but what I got back was gold dust. It told me where my Great Uncle had served, gave his address (via next of kin details and his discharge to pension info) and also told me he had a daughter. There was lots more info besides which has enabled me to get a clearer picture of what happened to my 'mystery man' ... he'd been something of an elusive pimpernel until then. So, if you have a difficult 'old soldier' it might be worthwhile considering this route .. do remember that with more recent (ie WW2) records, you will need the next of kin's permission. Regs Jane


Kate Report 10 Jul 2005 23:16

Mandy - if you're still wondering, 'proved' just means when probate was granted on the will by the probate court. It was often granted pretty soon after death, but I have seen some where it was many years later. Sometimes a second grant of probate was made years later if the executor(s) to whom probate was granted first time round didn't manage to finish the job. If 'administration' of an estate (or 'admon' for short) was granted rather than 'probate' it usually means there was no will, though you do occasionally see 'administration (with Will)'. If after 1858, you can apply for the letter granting administration in such a case but usually you wouldn't find out very much from that and it would cost you £5 same as a will. But one of the most important discoveries in my family history research did come from a letter of administration. The National Archivist website (NOT to be confused with the National Archives) has an index of death duties and if you are thinking of buying a will from the National Archives Documents Online but you're not sure if it's your rellie or not, if you look it up on the Death Duties Index first it will usually give you the name and address of one of the executors which should help. Though you do have to buy credits on the National Archivist to do that, of course. Kate.


Unknown Report 10 Jul 2005 21:43

Go to the a2a website and put a search in for any relatives with unusual names, or placenames of small villages connected with your family, or even just addresses. You will turn up something of interest, I am sure! nell

Glenys the Menace!

Glenys the Menace! Report 10 Jul 2005 21:19

Great idea, Andy! Thanks for this. Can't think of any tips at the mo., but will copy and paste this thread. x


Emma Report 13 Jun 2005 11:38

Hi Everyone Can someone tell me do you have to be a full member of Ancestry to access the Pallots Index. I am very interested in this as I have several marriages that I am stuck on. Thankyou, Emma Also not sure if you know but if you have ancestors that may have been buried in the East of London then there is an online index for Abney Park Cemetery and now the City Of London cemetery has one also but only for certain years. Anything helps!


Jan Report 10 Jun 2005 18:49

Thanks for this thread Andy. I'm not exactly a newbie now but I'm far from experienced. I use most of the facilities mentioned in this thread so far but I don't think I use them to their full potential. Example is Pallots mentioned by you. I'd not realised there was that much info so I guess I'm not using it properly. I'll have another look. Thanks again Jan :-)


Jane Report 10 Jun 2005 17:29

Hi Andy, Don't pass on a '' wrong'' Certificate, it may stiil belong to an unknown branch of your family. I have a marriage cert. for a man born in the same year, same name, baptised in the same church as my elusive ancestor. Long after I obtained this(and he was the only marriage BMD around the correct date and nothing on 1837) , I was sent a link to the family on Rootsweb., able to Identify both men, their Parents, Gparents and am still going back. Also new transcription on 1837 has given me another marriage ref. and the complete ref. for my ggran(their daughter) which is still missing on BMD regards Jane


Unknown Report 10 Jun 2005 16:04

Andy, The above was cribbed from printed handouts. I've still not started transcribing all those reams of shorthand I took that day. It might take me till the next SoG Fair before I'm finished typing up all the notes! I have managed to read both books I bought that day on ancestors in the Merchant Navy, so I shall be pursuing sailors with a vengeance before long! I expect I shall find I'm descended from Captain Pugwash. I found one Census entry for a vessel moored in port that showed a 17-year-old on board whose occupation was 'Very Best Boy'. What a nice guy - shame he was no relation! CB >|< ;>)


Andy Report 10 Jun 2005 14:28

CB, thanks, I remember wills being the last lecture, we were flagging a bit by then, lol. Still going through my notes and literature that we picked up. Andy


Unknown Report 10 Jun 2005 14:27

To help with Andy's 'breakdown of jargon' - here is a list of probate terms which could help to explain terms used in connection with Wills and Letters of Administration - Will or Testament - A document prepared by or on behalf of an invididual to instruct an executor(s) how to distribute their property upon their death. Wills originally only dealt with land and property, Testaments with money and moveable property. There is now no distinction. Testator (female - Testatrix) - A person who leaves a Will. Estate - this can be termed 'Real' (for Land and buildings) or 'Personal' (for moveable property and money). The term covers the assets of a deceased person. Executor (female - Executrix) - One or more individuals appointed to distribute the estate among beneficiaries Beneficiary, Legatee - A person who receives something left to them in a Will. Witness - At least two witnesses must sign a Will before it is valid. The witnesses to a Will must not be beneficiaries of it. Intestate - Term used to describe a person who dies and leaves money or property without leaving a Will. Administrator (female - Aminiistratrix) A person/persons who administers the estate of someone who dies without leaving a Will, or where a Will is not valid (e g illegible or not witnessed) . Administrators could be appointed if executors of a valid Will could or would not carry out their duties. Letters of Administration - Can be obtained by relatives of a person who dies without leaving a will or whose will is declared invalid. These letters give authority to distribute the assets of the deceased person, according to a defined formula. Bequest, Legacy - specific items left in a Will. Death Duty, Estate Duty - Tax payable between 1796-1904 on the value of estates. The National Archives hold records of these payments. Decree or Sentence - Terms used to denote a dispute over a Will which results in a court case. Grant of Probate/Grant of Administration - Documents issued to executors or administrators by the probate registry which allows them to distribute the estate of the deceased individual. A Grant comprises two documents if the Will is valid(the Will and the Grant) or one document if it is not, for administration. These documents prove the validity of the Will, and the date when they are granted is include in the Calendar entry. Calendar - Indexes to Wills. Separate indexes exist for Wills and Administrations up to 1870. A single series of indexes exists from 1871. These are held by the Probate Registries. Probate, Proved - Probate is the process used to prove (or declare valid) a Will, to enable the Testator's instructions to be carried out. Probate Registry - The Principal Probate Registry is now called the Principal Registry of the Family Division, Probate Department. It holds copies of all Wills and Administrations for England and Wales since 1858. Before 1858, various probate jurisdictions existed and each had its own indexes or calendars.


Unknown Report 10 Jun 2005 13:46

Andy, As you know, we were given various info sheets at the SoG Fair, and one that particularly stands out in my mind was given at the lecture on Wills and Probate. The lecturer told us that lots of information about relatives, possessions, etc, could be gleaned from Wills and Letters of Administration (provided when no Will is left by the deceased), and a better picture of contemporary life, and possibly family relationships, could be built up in this way. For all Wills and Letters of Admin. left in England & Wales from 12/01/1858, copies are held by the Probate Service in High Holborn, London. You can Google for the full address. District Probate Registries hold Wills for their specific areas post-1858. For Wills and Letters of Admin left in England & Wales before 1858, Wills were proved mainly in Church of England courts. The FRC and NA at Kew hold copies for those proved in the PCC (Prerogative Court of Canterbury), which was the highest probate court. The area covered by the Province of Canterbury is vast and covers most of Wales, as well as most of England South of the Humber estuary. The Province of York covers the rest of the country. Estates valued at £5 or more (£10 in London) were dealt with up to c1800, after which a more comprehensive range of Wills was included by the PCC, as it superseded many smaller courts, and the value of estates rose due to inflation. These Wills included not just those of wealthy individuals, but also those of people involved in trade and crafts, and many people who owned property or land in England or Wales and who had died at sea or abroad. Go to www(.)doumentsonline(.)nationalarchives(.)gov(.)uk to find how to view Wills before 1858. The FRC also produce a leaflet called 'How to Use PCC Wills and Administrations'. CB >|<


Unknown Report 10 Jun 2005 13:08

Hi Andy Great idea! I'm a bit of an 'in-betweenie' as I'm not a newbie any more but definitely not experienced! Hope to see this thread nudged to the top regularly. Mandy :)


Andy Report 10 Jun 2005 12:35

What I'm trying to achieve also with this thread is to break down some of the 'jargon' that is used. Like Daisy, I was at the recent Family History Fair in London and in one of the lectures, I remember being overwhelmed with all the various sources of information that are available (Pallots, Boyds, Bishops Transcripts etc). You can build a family tree without having to resort to using such sources but I'm at a stage where I'm wanting to know more about my ancestors other than just names/dates etc. For me, I'm hoping this thread will give me some ideas as to where I should be looking next.


Terjon Report 10 Jun 2005 11:55

Perhaps a list of CD's and what these contain and where they can be purchased would be very useful for people like me, or being pointed in the right direction if this information is already listed elsewhere. Great idea and should prove invaluable, thankyou. Teresa


Andy Report 10 Jun 2005 10:57

Lifted straight from Ancestry site, but useful to know nonetheless... PALLOT'S MARRIAGE INDEX A collection of marriage entries from England, between 1780 and 1837. Pallot's Index to Marriages is essential for researchers with London ancestry, as it covers all but two of the 103 parishes in the old City of London. The dates span the time from 1780 to the onset of General Registration in 1837. The more than 1.7 million marriage entries come mainly from London and Middlesex, but also include entries from 2500 parishes in 38 counties outside of London--many not available in other sources. Also included are several records from counties in Wales. With indexing beginning in 1813, several of the registers transcribed in Pallot's index no longer exist, having been destroyed or lost. The index slips were handwritten on paper slips, and indexing continued regularly over a period of more than 150 years. Each slip identifies the church or chapel in which the marriage was celebrated, the names of bride and of groom, whether spinster, bachelor, widow or widower and sometimes other details along with the date of the event.