More great websites
Probate sources are one of the most potentially useful areas for researchers interested in 17th century ancestry. And so websites providing access to pre-1858 wills highlighted in issue 128 will also come in handy here. These include wills proved in Welsh Ecclesiastical courts ( llgc.org.uk/en/discover/ nlw-resources/wills). There’s also the North East Inheritance Database ( familyrecords.dur.ac.uk/nei/data/intro.php) covering wills and related documents under the jurisdiction of the Diocese of Durham (images of the records are available through familysearch.org). The ScotlandsPeople guide to testaments is at: scotlandspeople.gov.uk/record-guides/wills-and-testaments.
The Society of Genealogists (SoG) has a host of unique resources, finding aids and rare volumes not available elsewhere, so it’s worth exploring SoGCAT or the members’ Data Online area. There’s a guide to 17th and 18th century sources by the SoG’s own Else Churchill available via this mothballed section of BBC History: bit.ly/17thcenturysources.
Genuki and Rootsweb have all sorts of material relating to specific sources and regions. One example is this ‘index of terms used in 17th and 18th century wills, inventories and other documents’ ( freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/ ~fordingtondorset/ Files/Glossary.html). Although the glossary relates to the Dorchester area, much of the information will be useful to all probate researchers. Another is this list of potential sources for research in Ireland ( freepages.genealogy.rootsweb. ancestry.com/~irishancestors/Add17.html).
Cornwall Online Parish Clerks ( cornwall-opc- database.org/ extra-searches) has a searchable database of protestation returns from the county. You will find this via the ‘Extra searches’ tab. There’s an equivalent database for Sussex at sussex-opc.org.
Other sites include Victoria County History ( victoriacountyhistory. ac.uk), Earls Colne: Records of an English Village 1375-1854 ( linux02.lib.cam.ac.uk/ earlscolne//index.htm), the Cause Papers Database ( hrionline. ac.uk/causepapers), where you can search cases heard in the church courts between 1300 and 1858 and and Ancestry’s UK, Poll Books and Electoral Registers database is drawn from various documents recording names of voters in elections back to 1538 ( search.ancestry.co.uk/search/db.aspx?dbid= 2410).
Finally, if you stumble upon an unfamiliar source, try the GenGuide website. This page ( genguide.co.uk/source/recusantrolls- catholics/3), for example, describes recusant rolls – listing people, mainly Roman Catholics, who refused to conform to the Anglican doctrine.
ScotlandsPeople features a useful guide to testaments in the country
Use the Cause Papers Database to find cases heard in the church courts