PLYMOUTH AND WEST DEVON RECORD OFFICE WILLS CARD INDEX
Transcribed by Brian Randell
The Source (PWDRO-W) and DWP's editing process
The PWDRO-W source items are derived from a listing provided by the Plymouth and West Devon Record Office (PWDRO) - now part of The Box. This listing was produced in about 1999 of a card index that they used to keep for their wills collection. For a number of years afterwards details of newly-accessioned wills were entered by the PWDRO into the A2A database; more recently they been entered into the PWDRO's own online catalogue.
The present set of source items is one of three we provide relating to PWDRO wills, etc., the others being PWDRO-A for items from A2A and PWDRO-C for items from the PWDRO online catalogue. Although progress is being made by the PWDRO towards making all their wills information available via their online catalogue, from our checks (covering surname, forename and reference number) it would appear that as of March 2012 only about 10% of the entries that we have in our PWDRO-W index are also in our PWDRO-A index, and about 35% in PWDRO-C.
A number of the items that were included in the card index concern post-1857 wills, or photocopies of PCC wills, and not all relate to Devon, but all have been included here in PWDRO-W for the sake of completeness.
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.