bhs Brixworth Village Thomas Roe & Buttercross All Saints` Church Brixworth 1_Exterior Post-1865

Index of Names & Places In PCC wills

with Testators from Brixworth, Northamptonshire


The Index Fields




This is allocated in the order in which the first reference in the will to the subject appears.


Subject’s Forename

•Where there is no doubt about the meaning of an abbreviation or variant spelling, the name is standardised to its most common non-abbreviated modern form. Otherwise, it appears in the index as in the original.

•Titles or descriptions such as “Mr”, “Rev” or “widow” are only included in the index if no other “forename” is recorded.

•Descriptions such as “senior” or “junior” are not included.


Subject’s Surname

•This is the surname stated in the will, using the husband’s surname in the case of a married or widowed woman and the father’s surname for children of any age unless another surname is recorded for that child (e.g. for a married daughter).

•Where more than one spelling appears in the record, the one most commonly found in the will itself is adopted.

•If there is an alternative surname, the index has a separate record of the Subject for each one, e.g. “Smith alias Jones” and also “Jones alias Smith”.


Subject’s Place

•Where the Subject is also the Testator only the abode (existing and, where relevant, previous) as stated in the will is indexed. The index does not associate a Subject who is the Testator with other types of places (e.g. where property was held or to whose church or poor folk a bequest was made).

•For Subjects other than the Testator, the Place is usually the abode but sometimes may be where, for example, the Subject owned or rented land and did not necessarily live.

•If a married couple both appear in the will but an abode is specified for only one of them the same place is added in the index for the other person too.

•If the will describes the Subject as a “neighbour” and no abode is specified, the Testator’s abode is recorded as the Subject’s Place.

•If two or more Places are associated with the Subject (e.g. a former and a current residence), the index entry for the Subject has separate records for each one.

•Where a Place mentioned in the will is complicated, such as a street & locality & county, it is abbreviated, e.g. to “London”.

•Counties are mentioned only if stated in the text.

•The names of counties may be abbreviated.

•Provided the identity of a place is not in doubt, its modern spelling is used.


Subject’s Role

•Testator - The person who made the will.

•Relative – Where the will states a family relationship either to the Testator or to anyone else. Godchildren are not included in this category but are classified as “Other”.

•Other – Anyone mentioned in the will who is not the Testator and for whom a family relationship is not stated, even if the person concerned has the same surname as the Testator. In some cases, the person concerned may in fact be related to the Testator. Occasionally, wills may be proved by someone other than the named executor (e.g. when that person had already died) – in that case the person proving the will is included in the “Other” category.

•Witness – A person who witnessed the signing of the will.

Probate Year

For wills proved from 1 January to 24 March in years prior to 1752, both the “old style” and “new style” years are shown in the index, e.g. as “1658/9”.


Testator’s Forename

Standardised in the same way as the Subject’s Forename.


Testator’s Surname

•Where more than one spelling appears in the record, the one most commonly found in the will itself is adopted.

•If there is an alternative surname, the index records it in this way: “Jones alias Smith”, adopting the order in the will.


Testator’s Abode


This is the parish, as identified in the PCC index and checked with the original. Subsidiary place names within a parish are not recorded.




Unless it is clear that names repeated within a particular will definitely do relate to the same person, the index may include more than one entry for Subjects who had precisely the same name.


If the same person appears in more than one capacity (e.g. as “Relative & Witness” or “Other & Witness”) there is a separate index entry for each appearance.


© Francis Howcutt

24 May 2017