Dallowgill Wills - Introduction

Before 1858, wills for the Dallowgill area came under the jurisdiction of the Masham Peculier Court. The original documents are now held at the West Yorkshire Archive Service at Morley near Leeds, where arrangements can be made to see and photograph them. [ http://www.wyjs.org.uk/archives-leeds.asp ]

Copies of wills proved after January 1858, when the Principal Probate Registry was established, can be located and obtained via the National Probate Calendar.
[ http://www.ancestor-search.info/NAT-Probate.htm ]

The transcriptions on this webpage all contain references to properties and people in Dallowgill.

If someone died intestate, i.e. they did not make a will, the next of kin could apply for probate to administer the estate of the deceased. Some of the transcriptions on this webpage are of such Administrations or ‘Admons’.

In ancient law there were rules about who got what, if it was a man that died then the widow got a third, the children got a third between them and the church took a piece and sometimes the Lord of the manor as well. These rules disappeared as more land and property was freehold and not subject to copyhold law, but still the widow was allowed a third, the eldest son and heir, or nearest male relative would get the rest. If there were only daughters then they were co-heirs and shared the estate, not subject to primogeniture. A younger son however, could end up with nothing at all.

When a widow died, often the estate had been already bequeathed through her husband’s will and she was only allowed a life time interest, but if a spinster died she could will it where she wished. So in the event of any of these dying intestate, there would be some sort of enquiry into who was the next of kin and would therefore inherit.

Thanks to Marion Moverley for this explanation

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