Who Do You Think You Are?


Try transcribi­ng this 16th-century will from the Wiltshire collection on Ancestry (ancestry.co.uk). There are tips on page 20 and a transcript­ion on page 22. Good luck!


The will of Edith Garrett of Yatesbury, Wiltshire, was proved by the Court of the Dean of Salisbury in 1574 during the reign of Elizabeth I. The clerk employed to write out Edith’s final wishes was writing in cursive Secretary hand. See if you can find out what Edith had to say by transcribi­ng her will, line by line. The aim is to make an accurate copy of the text, so do look at the transcript­ion tips given to help you.

Note the back-to-front shape of the letter ‘e’ and the phonetic spelling of many words.

The word ‘pishe’ in line 4 is an abbreviati­on. Look closely to see the line running through the descender of the letter ‘p’ as it loops up, an abbreviati­on for ‘par’. Note too the tilde above the names of Edith’s sons, indicating that they have been abbreviate­d.

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