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Wills for family History by Jackie Depelle on 14th September 2021.

The talk explained the value of using wills, perhaps the most useful resource after certificates.

A member has written to express her thanks for Jackie Depelle's talk on wills. She has been inspired to order a few wills already, with more to follow.

She wanted to add some information that may be useful to others. She said if you search the National Probate Calendar via Ancestry, the matches are limited (unless she is mistaken) to the testator or intestate. 

One of our volunteers commented that it depends on the entry that the England & Wales National Probate Calendar 1858-1995 has and how lucky you are as some entries give more information than others. The 1924 example he mentioned had the address, date of death, testator, the two beneficiaries and because one was a married woman, the husbands name plus the effects.
She added, however, if you search FamilySearch's England and Wales, national index of wills and administrations: 1858-1957 other people are mentioned in the probate notice (e.g. executors, administrators, spouses) will also be matched. FamilySearch rather misleadingly labels all of these as beneficiaries which, of course, they could be. 

The 1924 example our volunteer used calls them 'beneficiaries' and 'additional person's name' in this case the husband. What FamilySearch does for you is cross check the entry against the Death Registration Index 1837-2006 and gives the Volume and page entry of the certificate and notes the age given so you have an estimated year of birth.

Our correspondent rightly says it's a pity that the record set ends in 1957.

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