PLYMOUTH AND WEST DEVON RECORD OFFICE'S ONLINE CATALOGUE
Transcribed by Brian Randell
The Source (PWDRO-C)
The PWDRO-C source items provide information concerning wills, administrations and inventories held at the Plymouth & West Devon Record Office (PWDRO), found via their online catalogue. A number of the items listed concern post-1857 wills, and not all relate to Devon, but all have been included here for the sake of completeness.
This online catalogue is in fact just one of three we provide relating to PWDRO wills, the others being PWDRO-A and PWDRO-W. No attempt has been made to remove overlaps between these three sources, though these overlaps are growing as the PWDRO gradually imports additional information, e.g., from A2A, into its own catalogue.
DWP's editing process
By no means all the catalogue entries found provide any information as to the place or even county of residence of the testator (though in general the county can be presumed to be Devon) and some give a non-Devon residence without providing any indication of any link to Devon - all such items have nevertheless been included here. Catalogue 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 PWDRO concerning a particular item might elicit more precise detail of what they hold.
N.B. As implied above, a single document held at PWDRO may appear in more than one of the three sets of source items, PWDRO-A, PWDRO-C and PWDRO-W. Furthermore, because of different transcription rules employed by the various compilers of A2A, of the PWDRO Online Catalogue and of the Wills Card Index at PWDRO, this single document may appear in PWDRO-A, PWDRO-C and PWDRO-W with slightly different reference numbers in each. These and other types of minor inconsistency cause little difficulty to the PWDRO staff when dealing with requests for copies of wills. However, the inconsistencies should be borne in mind when, for example, using a reference number, rather than a testator's name, etc., to look up an item in A2A or the PWDRO Online Catalogue.
Locating the source and acquiring copies
To obtain information about the possibility of viewing the source listed, photographing them or acquiring photocopies of them by post, you should contact the Plymouth and West Devon Record Office directly. However it is worth first checking the online catalogue entries corresponding to any items of interest to see if they contain further information about the wills, etc., concerned, since some provide extensive abstracts.