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(FURG)

GENEALOGICAL CONTENTS OF DEVON AND CORNISH WILLS AND INVENTORIES [ca. 1558-1810] (Vol. I)

By C.A.T. Fursdon

Transcribed by Jo Dyer and Richard Grylls

Historical background

C.A.T. Fursdon was a Devon-based genealogist. Back in the late 1920s he happened upon a goodly clutch of documents hidden away in one of the towers of Exeter Cathedral. He transcribed/abstracted these and typed them up in 1931. His work was later bound into two volumes, each with some 600 entries. It is thought that the original documents (from which he transcribed/abstracted the information) perished in the Blitz. In view of this destruction his findings are very valuable indeed.

 

The Source (FURG) and DWP's editing process

Fursdon's Volume I - most of which comprises the source we have called FURG - contains abstracts of wills, of administrations, of inventories and of a few other items. Most abstracts are fairly brief, though it appears that Fursdon listed all the beneficiaries of a particular testator. The usefulness of inventories - or summaries of them - to family historians is questionable, especially because it was usually respectable and literate neighbours who were asked to compile them, rather than any relative of the deceased. However, the names of the inventory makers are given in Fursdon's book, and their identities might with luck prove useful. (The remainder of Fursdons's Volume 1 is devoted to a list of marriage licences granted to couples, one or both of whom came from the parish of Thorverton.)

 

Locating the source and acquiring copies

The two volumes (which we have called FURG and FURW in our source list) are to be found in the Library of The Devon and Cornwall Record Society, which is located on the open shelves at The Devon Heritage Centre, Exeter. There is a third Fursdon volume there, but this is merely an index of the other two volumes. Researchers wishing to acquire a copy of an item listed in FURG should contact the Devon Heritage Centre.