This index started off being for a number of wills and admons that I have transcribed, or more often just abstracted the main genealogical detail from, during the course of my research (plus a handful from other sources, duly noted). Having got to the stage where I felt I needed to compile an index for my own use, I figured I might as well make it available to other researchers whilst I was doing it. I have now started extending this index to include various other documents which I have transcribed or abstracted.
A few of the probate abstracts have been submitted to the GENUKI Derbyshire Probate Collection, but I have to admit to being very lax at letting Rosemary have all my entries for her collection, so whilst you will come across some probate records here that also appear on that site, there are many more that I have neglected to submit, along with the non-probate documents of course.
The purpose of this index is to allow me to easily search through my records without having to consider variant spellings, as a simple text search obviously doesn't offer that ability. Hence all variants are listed together in the index, both surnames and forenames. So for example all Heathcoats, Heathcotes & Hethcoates are listed under Heathcote; and within the one surname in the index, all Catherines, Katherines and Kathryns are listed under Katherine, and Bettys are listed under Elizabeth. Latin names are only Anglicised where there is no ambiguity, e.g. Guilliame will be listed under William, but Jacobus will be listed as it appears, as it could be Anglicised as either Jacob or James.
Note that you may not agree with my grouping of name variants. Indeed there a handful that I would like to highlight, which should be considered when searching. For example I have taken the abbreviation Jo to be short for John, but it is possible that it could be used for Joseph. The name Bennet may used for either gender, as an abbreviation for either Benedict or Benedicta. With surnames I have NOT counted Hulme as a variant of Holme so both may need to be checked. Similarly Buckton has not been treated as a variant of Buxton. Similar care should be exercised with regards to Hall/Halley & Heane/Hayne.
Unless otherwise indicated, all places referred to are in Derbyshire (predominantly in the Peak District), or may be just over the border in the Staffordshire Moorlands around the Longnor/Sheen/Alstonefield area.
Any names in [square brackets] are my best guess at the difficult handwriting.
Where two years are given in the heading to a probate entry, then this is the year of the will, and the year of probate/administration. eg 1761/73 means the will was written in 1761 and probate was granted in 1773. Non-probate documents will typically have a single date, except where they are undated and an estimate or range is given
Where a date is given in a form such as 5/3/1603[/04], this gives the date as originally written (in the Julian calendar - 5/3/1603), followed by the "modern" year (in the Gregorian calendar - 1604).
Where a married daughter is mentioned only by their first name, and her husband is not named, then they are indexed under their parent's surname, even if I happen to know their married name from other sources, as I feel it is very important to provide source material here as opposed to my personal interpretation of that material (which could of course be wrong!). I have generally applied this rule about providing unaltered source material across the board, but it is inevitable that on occassion my interpretation of hard to read names will have been influenced by existing knowledge, and whilst this will usually be appropriate I cannot claim that it will never have lead to an incorrect transcription. I would of course be grateful to be informed of any such cases you are aware of.
An index of people is provided. You can also just browse the abstracts/transcripts directly if you like.
I also started indexing placenames, but this has been (temporarily?) abandoned. The partial index that had been compiled is provided for now, but be aware that the links therein no longer work so you will have to manually retrieve the will or other document that a place occurs in.
Finally, please bear in mind that this is an ongoing project. I have a lot records to add here and it is only being done as a "background task"!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
This is an index to places such as field or house names (i.e. not the names of whole villages etc), which may be of use in tracing ownership of a property through a family.
The abstracts are on a seperate page for each surname - for example all those where the testator was called Heathcote are on one page, and all those where the testator was called Goodwin on another. You can browse these pages directly if you prefer, rather than using the indexes above. Note that some pages may have only a single entry whilst others may have dozens.
Some marriage licenses (or bonds or allegations etc) from the Diocese of Lichfield and Coventry, held at Lichfield Record Office, have also been abstratced.
These other abstracts are grouped according to the archive where the documents are to be found. You can browse these pages directly if you prefer, rather than using the indexes above. Note that some pages may have only a single entry whilst others may have dozens, or even be further subdivided. Note that some of the miscellaneous items (such as the 1569 and 1611 visitations of Derbyshire) are not included in the indexes.
The National Archives
Derbyshire Local Studies Library
Derbyshire Record Office