Thursday, July 06, 2006

Probate records

I received copies of the paperwork for eight probate entries today (it should have been nine but the HMCS haven’t found one of them yet).

The family information available in such documents can vary – for example there’s the eight page Will of Joseph Henry Parry, an unmarried gentleman of Harewood Park, Herefordshire, which names his cousin and several nieces, or the four page Will with two codicils of Philip Parry, which names his five children, a son-in-law, and four grandchildren, two of whom are stated to be by his daughter’s former husband. Very useful.

In contrast to those, three of today’s were just grants of Letters of administration, which contain a standard wording to the effect that such letters have been granted to a particular person and that some other person or people are the sureties.

These often result in more questions than answers.

And, of course, it is two of this latter group which relate to my own family - the administrations of the estates of Mary Parry, my 4xgreat grandmother, who died in 1874, and of Thomas Parry, my 3xgreat grandfather, who died in 1854.

So now I am wondering – was the William Parry of Clodock, one of the sureties for Mary’s administration, her son? And, if so, why was it his sister, Elizabeth Griffiths wife of John Griffiths, of Penyworlod, Clodock, who received the Grant and dealt with the estate? Was the Henry Jones of the Cwm Farm, Clodock, one of the sureties for Thomas’ administration, his brother in law? Were the other two sureties, John Price of Cwmyoy Lower, for Mary’s and Richard Watkins of the Veddw, Clodock, for Thomas', relatives or just friends?

And why did Hannah Parry, Thomas’ widow, only obtain the letters of administration in 1876 – more than twenty years after Thomas had died? It implies there was something to administer, perhaps something which passed to Thomas as a result of his mother’s estate being distributed.

I wonder if I will ever find out what.

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