|Search the Surrey & South London Will Abstracts by Last Name, First Name and Year Range, OR by Abstract ID, OR using a free text search. |
|Searching by Name and Year Range|
|Every person named in a will has been indexed, so you will find the names of many people mentiond in wills besides the actual testator: in fact there can be a dozen or more people named other than the testator.
The names appearing in older wills often appear in a variety of obsolete spellings. In the actual abstract Christian names have generally been rendered into modern standard form, but surnames have been left in their manuscript forms. However, in the index surnames have been entered to modern form, but often with multiple variants. So even searching for an "exact match" will allow you to find records where the actual spelling might have been unusual. Additionally, you can use the NameX name variant option to widen the number of possible variants you can search for.
Click here for forename abbreviations sometimes used
All dates have been rendered New Style. The index date is generally the year of probate, but where this is absent (infrequent) the year of the will itself may be indexed. The date of death is generally not present in the abstract, so when searching you should allow for probate to be later, sometimes - though not often - by a few years from the date of death.
|Searching by Abstract ID|
|You can also search for a specific abstract. There are many references to specific abstracts in the text concerning the Surrey & South London Will Abstracts, and some abstracts contain references to other abstracts. You can retrieve any abstract simply by entering the appropriate reference.
|Free text searching|
You can search the abstracts for any single or multiple words which may appear. For example, to find references to inventory and gown enter inventory gown. This will find abstracts which contain both of these words anywhere in the text (logically searching for "inventory" AND "gown"). To search for "silk gown" enter the words in the Free text search box including the double quotes, ie "silk gown" (similar to a GoogleTM search).
|Results, Next & Previous|
Search results are listed by Name, Date, and Abstract Reference. Click the "Details" button alongside an entry to display the full abstract.
Unidentifiable place names and nicknames given to animals have been left in their manuscript forms and enclosed in single inverted commas.
Square brackets identify editorial interpolations.
Please note that viewing an abstract from Volumes 1 ("Spage") and 7 ("Herringman") will display all abstracts present on the original printed page (typically 2-4 abstracts), rather than just the specific abstract identified in the search. You may have to look through all the abstracts displayed to find the name of interest.
The Full abstract display has two buttons at the foot - Next abstract and Previous abstract to allow you to scroll sequentially forward or back through abstracts in that volume.
Glossary of terms related to probate
Surrey Wills Glossary
|Bequests of real property|
There are frequent bequests of real property - land and buildings. Some of the terms may be confusing and it may not always be clear who actually owned what. Example SW/23_530 will abstract - terms in red in are explained below the abstract.
See also: Surrey Wills Glossary, Glossary of terms related to probate
|Relationships mentioned in wills|
|Terms denoting relationships as stated in wills of this period are not always the same as in use now. In particular, 'cousin' may mean cousin as we understand it, but was frequently used for nephew or niece. While the term 'in-law' was used frequently, it may refer to a step or half blood relationship, and is frequently omitted altogether. No attempt has been made to 'correct' these usages here, which might have been even more misleading.
|Form of the text|
|In this Calendar the Latin Wills, which are far the most numerous, are given in abstract only. The formal matter has been omitted, but all names and all bequests are given.|
In cases where the interpretation is open to question, or where there is something peculiar, the original is quoted; the English words and phrases which occasionally occur are given in inverted commas. The title "Dominus" which was given to priests is, following the analogy of the English Wills, translated by "Sir." The names of places are given in the spelling of the original, even where, as often happens, variants occur in the same Will. In the records of probate the modern form is used.
The English Wills are given verbatim.
Meaningless abbreviations in English words, especially those of the abbreviated final ll and n, have been omitted and the punctuation and capitalisation of the original have also been modified.
|It is, of course, impossible to say how far the transcripts of the Wills are perfectly accurate. The growing carelessness of the Register prevents one from feeling complete confidence. There may be the occasional omission of a word of two; where necessary such omissions have been supplied in brackets. In SW/Spage_226, the date of probate, "19 Sept." instead of "19 Oct." seems to be an error.
More serious is the error in SW/Spage_257 and 260 - Juliana and William Garland were clearly wife and husband; the former is represented as making her Will as a widow eight days before her husband made his Will ; there has apparently been some confusion in the dates of the Wills, and perhaps in the dates of probate also.
In SW/Spage_318 the date of probate appears to be correct, but the date given in the Will must be an error either on the part of the writer of the original, or of the transcriber; the copy of the Will was not written by Richardson, who, however, entered the record of probate. It is possible that some small errors may be accounted for by the practice (undoubtedly not infrequent) of copying from dictation: the case of si opem moriatur might well be one of these,
|NameX is a proprietary name-matching tool which allows you to find family records for names which have common variations in spelling or which may have been spelled incorrectly on some records. |
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