WILLS, ETC., AT THE NORTH DEVON ATHENAEUM
Transcribed by Steve Hobbs and Brian Randell
The Source (NDA) and DWP's editing process
Our set of NDA source items provides information concerning wills, administrations and inventories held in the North Devon Athenaeum, many found via use of a preliminary version of their new online catalogue, courtesy of the North Devon Athenaeum Librarian. A number of the items found concern post-1857 wills, and not all relate to Devon, but all have been included for the sake of completeness.
The online catalogue does not provide means of searching for particular categories of record. Thus the items included in the DWP index from the NDA catalogue were found by examining and selecting from the results of searches for the words "will", "administration, "probate" or "inventory" anywhere in the text of each catalogue entry, discarding all those which were not in fact to do with testamentary material. Further checks were then made at the North Devon Athenaeum. The set of entries so obtained from the NDA catalogue is believed to be reasonably complete, as of June 2010.
This catalogue's entries typically include a descriptive phrase (included here) which usually makes evident the type of document that is being referred to. However, though the phrase such as 'probate of (the) will' implies just a document confirming that probate had been granted, it is certainly possible that an actual copy of the will may be attached to this document. An enquiry to North Devon Athenaeum concerning a particular item might elicit more precise detail of what they hold.
However the majority of our NDA items do not come directly from the NDA catalogue, but rather from a two-volume Index to Wills (ref D929.3/WIL) held at the NDA containing fair copies of wills probated by the Solicitors known variously as Richard Bremridge (1830), Bremridge, Toller and Saville (1852) and later as William Henry Toller and Son. They were obtained from a scan of these volumes' ten-page index, kindly provided by the North Devon Athenaeum Librarian.
Locating the source and acquiring copies
The North Devon Athenaeum is co-located with the North Devon Library and Record Office in Barnstaple. To obtain information about the possibility of viewing the source listed, photographing them or acquiring photocopies of them by post, you should contact the North Devon Athenaeum directly.