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    I have been lucky till now and always found Wills with the greatest of ease. But now I'm stuck.

    My 3 x GGF James Kenyon was a butcher and his widow Ann is on the 1861 census "Owner of houses".

    I feel certain that either she or he, or both of them must have left a Will but I am a bit hampered by not knowing when either of them died!

    I have googled a bit aimlessly, but the names are bringing up too many hits with too little identifying info.

    I have never actually looked at the National Probate Calendar - does it give any identifiying info on the lists, or is it a suck it and see exercise?

    (They lived and died in Lancashire)


    The NPC gives varying aamounts of info depending on the year:

    This is 1900:

    Ann Horniman of “Coombe Cliffe” Croydon, Surrey, Widow died 19th July 1900. Probate granted at London 13th August 1900 to Frederick John Horniman Esquire. (plus the value of the estate)


    Frances Buck Widow of Weymouth and Melcombe Regis died 10th January 1866 at Charles Street, Milford, Pembrokeshire. Probate was granted 2nd February 1866 to Caroline Barrett (wife of Richard Nanscawen Barrett, Chief Officer of HM Revenue Cruiser “Active”) of Portsmouth in the county of Southampton, the daughter of one of the executrixes. (no value of the estate)


    Robert Buck late of Elm House Walhampton in the county of Southampton, Wesleyan Minister, who died 28th May 1891 at Elm House was granted at the Principal Registry to Louisa Buck of Elm House Widow the Relict. (no value of estate)

    There's only one alphabetical list per year, not like the GRO indexes!


      Thanks Merry. If mine give an address that will probably help.

      There is a sub mystery here that is intriguing me - their granddaughter Martha Whittaker appears to have always lived with them and I want to know why - she had perfectly good parents and siblings of her own, lol.

      But - she is the only one of her siblings bapt in Manchester Cathedral, the rest were all done locally. I am starting to wonder if she was in fact the illegitimate daughter of Ann Kenyon's other daughter Margaret and was baptised as the daughter of Edward and Ellen to save family face - Margaret would only have been 14 when Martha was born. Man Cath is a nice anonymous place where no one would know you.

      I am hoping a Will might shed some light on this theory, however obliquely. Martha appears in 1861 as Martha Kenyon, not Whittaker, although that may have been the enumerator's assumption.

      Oh well, a trip to the County library is called for, then!



        OC - On FindMyPast they have the Death Duty Registers. You have to search year by year, but I have found when some of my family died by trawling through, and then you get the added bonus of the will details (ref. no and court only and executor) and the death date, and whether the person left a will or died intestate.
        Research Interests:
        England:Purkis, Stilwell, Quintrell, White (Surrey - Guildford), Jeffcoat, Bond, Alexander, Lamb, Newton (Lincolnshire, Stalybridge, London)
        Scotland:Richardson (Banffshire), Wishart (Kincardineshire), Johnston (Kincardineshire)


          If you can get to a record office that has the National Probate Calendar it is well worth having a look through because you may come across other members of the family during your trawl through. If there is an entry for James then there will certainly be enough info in the entry to identify him.

          But it sounds quite likely that James would have died before 1858 in which case he wouldn't be on the National Probate Calendar anyway. In which case I would think the Index to Death Duties Register is going to be your best bet.

          Every five years or so I look back on my life and I have a good... laugh"
          (Indigo Girls, "Watershed")


            Elizabeth and Kate

            Thankyou both - I shall try both options.