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Deciphering Wills

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    Deciphering Wills

    Hello all,

    Whilst researching I ran into a problem I think is probably very common. I can't read the writing on some of the Wills I have found. Any suggestions of what I should do?

    Thank you.

    #2
    A trick I learned years ago - fasten a piece of tracing paper over a copy of the will. Pencil over the words you can read. Everytime you go past it, gaze at it to see if you can read the missing words (gaze, not stare). You will find you suddenly get your eye in and most of it becomes readable. If really stuck - ask on here!

    OC

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      #3
      That's a good idea OC. I try to read through it , even if I only get a few words and then do it again later and pick up a few more words. Also a lot of the phrases are repeated over and over so you get used to the writing.
      Lin

      Searching Lowe, Everitt, Hurt and Dunns in Nottingham

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        #4
        Are they online? You could post a link so we could help.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Jill on the A272 View Post
          Are they online? You could post a link so we could help.
          Yes but sadly it's all on Ancestry

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            #6
            I have a sub so happy to help

            Comment


              #7
              How old are the wills? If really old and written in “court hand / legal hand” there are sites on the web to help with learning the terms used and samples of the scripts so you can begin to recognise what the letters are.

              Comment


                #8
                If you post the url of the will we can look at it for you. If you would rather not then perhaps this might help script examples .jpg
                Kat
                My avatar is my Great Grandmother, Cassandra Elizabeth Palmer 1861 to 1940

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Jill on the A272 View Post
                  I have a sub so happy to help
                  That's so lovely of you thank you. I've deciphered fair chunks of it using methods described above but as I'm writing a history of my family at the moment I want to make sure I haven't incorrectly transcribed anything:
                  https://www.ancestry.co.uk/interacti...1_310461-00060

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Matthew Carr? (Just checking in case it's the previous one)

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by Jill on the A272 View Post
                      Matthew Carr? (Just checking in case it's the previous one)
                      Yes Matthew Carr dying in 1832

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                        #12
                        I'm working on it now, may be a while before I post my finished effort though

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Katarzyna View Post
                          If you post the url of the will we can look at it for you. If you would rather not then perhaps this might help script examples .jpg
                          ooh this is handy will have to keep this, I have a will to do
                          Last edited by cbcarolyn; 17-05-20, 19:22.
                          Carolyn
                          Family Tree site

                          Researching: Luggs, Freeman - Cornwall; Dayman, Hobbs, Heard - Devon; Wilson, Miles - Northants; Brett, Everett, Clark, Allum - Herts/Essex
                          Also interested in Proctor, Woodruff

                          Comment


                            #14
                            It's a long will, 8 pages so I think I will have to do a page a day, here's my first look at pages 1 and 2

                            This is the last Will and Testament of me Matthew
                            Carr of the Borou and County of Newcastle upon Tyne First I order and
                            direct that my body may be decently interred in Gateshead Church Yard
                            so near to those of my late father and mother as conveniently may be
                            without I shall have at the time of my decease a burial place of my
                            own elsewhere and I do also order my just debts to be paid and I do
                            hereby give and devise unto my dear wife Elizabeth Carr in addition
                            Page 2
                            to the provision made for her my our marriage Settlement for and during
                            her natural life of she shall so long continue my widow the house we
                            now live in with the flagged yard and other ??????????? immediately
                            behind the same exclusive of the fields and Garden there she keeping the
                            same in proper repair but it is my will and desire that until the said
                            fields and Garden may be ????ted by my executors my said wife shall
                            be permitted to occupy the same of such part thereof as my executors
                            shall think fit upon her paying a very small annual rent or
                            acknowledgement for the same I give and bequeath unto my said
                            wife for and during her natural life if she should so long continue
                            my widow the yearly sum of three hundred pounds and I hereby
                            charge the same upon my personal estate and direct the said annuity
                            or yearly sum of three hundred pounds to be paid to her by two
                            equal half yearly payments the first thereof to be made at the end
                            of six Calendar months after my decease and my will is that it shall
                            and may be lawful to and for my said wife in case she shall
                            continue my widow but not otherwise in ?? by her last will and
                            testament in writing to give bequeath and dispose of the sum of two
                            thousand pounds to be charged and chargeable upon and ????
                            and paid out of my personal estate unto or any of the children
                            of my brother George Carr in such parts shares and proportions and
                            in such manner and form as she shall think fit and I do hereby
                            declare and make chargeable the residue of my personal estate and
                            effects with the payment of the said sum of two thousand pounds
                            to the legatee or Legatees thereof to be named in the last will and
                            testament of my sins wife and in default of such bequest or appoint
                            nest and as to so much or such part of the said sum of tow
                            thousand pounds whereof as such bequest or appointment shall
                            be made I direct the same to continue part of the residue of my
                            estate I also give and bequeath unto my said dear wife to and for her own
                            use and benefit all the household furniture plate linen china
                            and Cash whether in bank of England Bankers notes or ?????
                            that may be in my House at the time of my decease but not
                            only Exchequer bills not any money due or ??????? bonds bills
                            of Exchange or promissory notes ?????? notes of the Bank of England
                            or Bankers notes nor any stock in the government or public
                            funds or other personal property whatever and I do Hereby declare
                            that the provisions hereby made to and for my said dear wife shall
                            be ???pted by her in lieu of any ???? she may have by our
                            marriage settlement on a field called South Bank being part
                            of my freehold estate of Sl??? in the County of Northumberland
                            and also in lieu and full satisfaction of all soever and this or free
                            ??? out of my real estate I give and bequeath unto my sister
                            Sarah Carr twenty pounds for mourning and also in addition to
                            the annuity I have already granted to my said sister and paid
                            her for some time past a further annuity of twenty pounds
                            a year to be paid to her by four equal payments in the year
                            another first payment thereof to be made on the first day of pay
                            ment of the other annuity that shall happen next after my decease
                            and I give and devise unto my said Sister the house she now lives
                            in for and during her natural life the keeping the same in
                            tenantable repair and my will and mind is that it shall
                            and ??? be lawful to and for my said sister in and by her last
                            will and testament in writing to give bequeath and dispose of the
                            same of five hundred pounds unto all or any of the children of my
                            brother George Carr in such parts shares and proportions and in
                            such monies and form as she shall think fit and for the payment
                            [end pf page 2]
                            Last edited by Jill on the A272; 17-05-20, 19:54. Reason: increased font size

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                              #15
                              This is jolly nice of you Jill. Thank you.

                              Comment


                                #16
                                I'm sorry I don't think I'm going to be able to complete this as it is so very long.

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by Jill on the A272 View Post
                                  I'm sorry I don't think I'm going to be able to complete this as it is so very long.
                                  Not a problem at all. Thank you so much for what you have done.

                                  Comment

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