This index aims to help readers decide whether they would like to see an image of the original document (or a full transcript if one should be available). So it provides the most useful details for helping people make that decision. It was compiled by reading the office copies of all the 31 wills that were proved at the Prerogative Court of Canterbury where the testator is described in The National Archives’ index as being of Brixworth, Northamptonshire.
•All those mentioned in the will
•All those mentioned in the record of the grant of probate with the exception of the court officials.
Finding the wills
The index is a finding aid and not a full transcription, even of the fields included. If you see someone of interest, the next stage is to consult the will itself.
The office copies have been digitised and can be consulted on the following websites:
•The National Archives (TNA) – You can download a PDF of all the will register pages that include a specific will for a fee which in May 2017 was £3.50 per will.
•Ancestry – You can download PCC wills, one image at a time, at no extra charge if you have a relevant Ancestry subscription. As some wills are quite lengthy, a number of images may be required for a single will.
In either case, you have to search for the will using the index on the site you choose. The indexes were compiled separately. Generally speaking, the TNA index appears to have fewer transcription errors.
The series of images on the two sites were also created separately, so if legibility is poor for those on one site it is worth consulting the corresponding document on the other one.
For wills proved from 1 January to 24 March in the years before 1752, Ancestry indexes the probate year using the “old style” but the TNA index has converted such dates to the “new style”. Therefore, for instance, if the probate date of a will is recorded in the office copy as “5 February 1658“ it is shown as such in the Ancestry index but as “5 February 1659” in the TNA index.
© Francis Howcutt 24 May 2017