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  1. #1
    Newcomer to Brit-Gen
    Join Date
    Aug 2019


    Hi All
    I found a will from England and Wales Prerogitive Court of Canterbury Wills 1384-1858of one of my ancestors, Joshephi {Joseph] Castles. Probate 3/12/1647. Is there anyone out there that could decipher it? Its written in old writing that I can only understand a few words of it. Sorry dont know the word for old wording. It starts off with Probatum in the will
    Thanks for anyone who could me on the right track

  2. #2
    Knowledgeable and helpful
    Join Date
    Feb 2009


    At a guess I'd say it is written in Latin so looks like you will a Classics scholar to translate. Not me, I'm afraid.

  3. #3
    Famous for offering help & advice
    Join Date
    Oct 2004


    I've found a copy of this online. The Latin section is the probate clause; this follows on from the will itself, which is in English.

    It would take me a while to transcribe and translate the probate, but it's all standard wording relating to when, where and before whom the will was proved. For family history purposes, the most important points are that probate was granted on 3 Dec 1647 in London (where the PCC sat) to Elizabeth Castle, the relict of the deceased who was named as executrix in the will.

    When reading the will you need to be aware that some letters were written differently from now. The National Archives guide to palaeography may help you here:

    Spellings also varied a bit, and words were sometimes abbreviated. However, the will itself is relatively short, so I suggest you have a go at it and ask again if you have problems with any particular bits.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator christanel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Wairarapa New Zealand


    Thank you arthurk for your helpful post and if you wish to post a/some cropped pieces of the will you can't decipher here are the instructions on how to do it.
    It sounds a bit complicated but isn't because I can do it!

    The first step is to make sure that you are in Go Advanced mode on the Brit-Gen thread where you want to place the photo. Click on the picture frame in the row of images above the reply box. (6 from the RH side). The box that appears requires a URL address.
    You have to upload your photo to a free site which will provide a URL address. I use Postimage which is very simple.
    On the home page of Postimage click on 'Choose images' then find and click on the file you want to upload where you have the photo stored on your computer eg Pictures. Then click on the particular folder that holds your picture and Open it. Choose your photo, click on it and click on Open. You are now taken back to the Postimage page where you are given a choice of 9 links. Click on the URL 'Hotlink for forum' Now right click on the URL address and then click on Copy. Go back to the reply box on the Brit-Gen thread and in the URL box right click on your mouse and from the menu click on paste. The URL for your photo is now ready to be posted on the forum along with any information you have typed in to accompany it.
    There are other free sites from which to upload images with URL addresses if you want an alternative.
    Sometimes paranoia is just having all the facts.
    William Burroughs


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