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Sentence for shared Probate Records


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#1 Madge

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Posted 01 June 2020 - 01:23 PM

I've just found some probate records which I am trying to share with the people mentioned, but the only sentence is for a Witness which doesn't sound right, what sentence structure do others use?

 

Not sure if I've made myself clear, the Probate Notice reads:- "NEVILLE, Horace William of ………… died ………… Probate London 7 November to Gladys Maude Neville widow".  I'm happy with his part of the record but when I share with Gladys her sentence reads "Gladys Maude Neville witnessed the Probate", but I'm not sure that is right, I don't know much about probate but I didn't think that there were witnesses involved, is there a sentence that I ought to be using instead of 'Witness'?  If so can someone tell me how to format it please. 

 

Thanks for any help.

 

Margaret.



#2 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 01 June 2020 - 04:47 PM

You are not alone in being confused about this. I know that there are individuals doing genealogy who are comfortable with the word "witness" with respect to sharing facts. I am not one of them. I would just like to banish it from use. For example, the Midwife who attended a birth was the midwife for the birth, not a witness. The Pallbearers who served that role at a funeral were pallbearers for the funeral, not witnesses. The Flower Girl at a a wedding was a midwife at the wedding, not a witness.

 

I do think there are legitimate uses for the word witness. Wills have witnesses when wills are signed. There are usually two official witnesses who sign some sort of paperwork for a marriage. Deeds often are witnessed. Etc. But to me this is a specific legal function, required by law. So I like the term Role much better than the word Witness for shared facts. The word Witness for shared facts just grates on me like the sound of fingernails on a blackboard.

That being said, probate usually does include witnesses in the legal sense of the word, in which case the Role is Witness, just like a Role can be Midwife or Flower GIrl or Pallbearer. Without seeing the text of your document, I can't tell what Role we ought to assign to Gladys. It seems likely it would be Primary_Heir, but it could be something else.

 

A good way to think about the problem is as follows. Suppose you weren't using RM at all, nor any other genealogy software. Suppose you were just using a word processor and were typing in a little family history in your own words. What would you say? It might say something like the following.

John Doe's will was probated on 12 Jul 1932. His wife Gladys was the primary heir to the estate. His children William Doe and Sarah Doe Johnson received $1,000 each, with the farm and all the rest of the estate going to Gladys.

Well, that's a really wild guess about how you would want it to read. But however you would want it to read with a word processor, make it read the same way with RM. In this case, you might have roles such as Primary_Heir and Other_Heir. Then your sentence could be something like the following.

 

[Person:Possessive] will was probated on [Date:Plain]. [Primary_Heir] was the primary heir to the estate. His children [Other_Heir] received $1,000 each, with the farm and all the rest going to [Primary_Heir].

 

To get this level of customization, you would have to customize the sentence just for John Doe. With more thought, it might be possible to come up with a more generic sentence that wouldn't require customization for each probate situation in your database. In any case, the Probate fact would go to John Doe. The Primary_Heir role would be assigned to Gladys. The Other_Heir role would be assigned to William and Sarah.

 

This is not a complete solution for your situation, but it should get you started in the right direction.

 

Jerry



#3 TomH

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Posted 01 June 2020 - 06:03 PM

The builtin Witness role is just a starting point, an example for the user to define the roles that suit the fact. There is no obligation to use it nor any limit on the number of custom roles one might make for any fact type.

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#4 Madge

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 02:45 AM

Thank you Jerry and Tom, perhaps changing 'Witness' to 'Beneficiary' will answer though I'm not sure if just because their name is mentioned on the Probate Record it doesn't mean that they actually benefitted I have found one where the only name was the Nat West Bank, so I assumed that maybe these people were in charge of seeing that the money was properly distributed.  I obviously need to see if there is a Will anywhere, the whole thing seems like a minefield to me!

 

Thanks for your input.

 

Margaret.



#5 Trebor22

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 03:37 AM

For England & Wales grants of probate, 1858 or later, a copy of the will can be ordered via - https://probatesearch.service.gov.uk/#wills  £1.50 per will.

 

Note:-  a grant of administration only will not usually include a will unless one is mentioned in the index entry.



#6 mjashby

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 03:48 AM

Margaret,

 

If your source is the National Probate Index (England & Wales) then the people/organisations mentioned in the index entries are the approved Administrators/Executors, i.e. those to whom Probate or Administration was granted; who will not (necessarily) be named beneficiaries of any Will, although some Wills will state sums of money granted to the Executors. so someone can be both an Executor/Administrator and a Beneficiary, but those roles are distinct and separate.  The Index covers both proven Wills, Grants of Administrations (Admons) where there is no valid/proven Will; and sometimes you might also see "Administatrion/Admon, with Will, which may indicate that Probate/Administration was granted to an individual/organisation not specifically named as an Executor in the Will", or that (some) Executors that were originally named were possibly unwilling/unable to apply for Probate, so Administration was granted to another party.


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#7 Madge

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 04:33 AM

Thank you Trebor22 and mjashby, it seems to get more complicated by the day, but at the same time interesting. I have ordered a couple of Wills in the past just to be nosey, I'll obviously have to order a few more.

Margaret.

#8 Dick-TMG

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 01:41 PM

I have a question about the witness or roles. I have many people from generation to generation that have identical names. It looks strange to see d\Daniel  was the beneficiary of Daniel.  I have the RIN displayed for people but it does not carry over to every thing. Is there a way to have the RIN show after a surname in a sentence?



#9 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 04:46 PM

I have the RIN displayed for people but it does not carry over to every thing. Is there a way to have the RIN show after a surname in a sentence?

 

In general, no.

 

However, the sentence for any specific fact can be customized any way you wish. So you could just hardwire a sentence for a specific fact to include the RIN. There would not be a variable called [RIN]. You would just type the number into your customized sentence. A customized sentence doesn't have to have any variables at all. Instead, it can consist 100% of hardwired text. Of course if you do that with things like the [Person] variable and the [Place] variable, the person's name and the place of the event will not appear in any index produced by the report.

 

Jerry



#10 Dick-TMG

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Posted 02 June 2020 - 09:35 PM

Thanks Jerry but this will need to use a variable if possible. This will e sentence used for many people and I was hoping the RIN could help resolve some ambiguity. I can live with  no RIN but since the variable is used elsewhere it would have been nice if it had been extended to a sentence variable. Maybe in version 8