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Wills Index and Explanation provided by Kay Collins

Probate Index

For the new index the existing Will indices at the Northamptonshire Record Office have been used as the basis for typing into the database. The transcriber's typed lists have been checked against the original Wills adding occupations and using the SURNAME as spelt in the Will. To modernise the names may mislead.


The YEAR is, as far as possible, when probate was granted. Some Wills have no grant noted so the year entered Will will be the same as the following Will in the volume, so that it will be in the rightful decade. In some cases the year may be when the Will was written. The Wills of File 1a & File 2a were all lost before the index of 1888. All these losses are marked * in the notes column.

Administrations and Inventories

Some of the printed indexes of Admons & Inventories have an abstract of the grant with all the names mentioned in the documents, and often gives relationships to the deceased. In some cases an Admon & Inventory have been given one number, sometimes a number each, sometimes they are in two different bundles. A few seem to have been lost between Rev. Longden listing them and the Record Office numbering them and, like the Wills, these are marked with a * in the Notes column. These have NOT been checked with the original documents, merely typed up from the existing indexes.

NAMES were spelt as they sounded and may be under a different letter e,g, Pheasant could be under Fezant, Cox may be Cocks or Koks. As today, it is often difficult to decide if a letter is an "l" or "tl", double "b" especially if a "y" follows it ,and "ll" or "tt" is not always clear and could be "It" or "tl", double "ee" or "oo" in modern names is often a single letter, and "i" and "y" are interchanged within the same Will. Some PLACE names have been altered or added, some may be the name of a hamlet or even a farm, and these are in the "notes" column. Place names have been modernised e.g. Wold is Old and Thingdon is Finedon. Sometimes just part of the place name is given e.g. Ashby or Barton. This may mean Castle Ashby, Canons Ashby, Mears Ashby, Ashby St. Ledgers, earls Barton or Barton Seagrave. There are Pilton & Braunston in both Northants and Rutland.

  known to have existed but now lost
  not given
  photograph (mostly negative)
The columns:
  Status or occupation
  YEAR of Probate if given, of writing, or approximate
  Type of document
A = administration
B = bond
C = codicil
  D = deposition
  G = guardianship
  I = Inventory
  P = petition
  O = oath
  Ob= obligation
  R = renunciation
  S = some other document
  T = tutelship
  W = will
  X = deleted
  N/P Northants or Peterborough (Rutland are in both series)
  Book or Box
  no. document number
  fo/pg folio or page number
  MW Microfilm of Wills film Number
  notes, hamlet, surname variation, transcript, photo, photocopy, lost

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