This collection comprises series 1 through 6 of Abstracts of Somersetshire Wills by Rev Frederick Brown. The six volumes were published between 1887 and 1890. However, the abstracts themselves span the years from the sixteenth to eighteen centuries. You can search the digitised images created from these publications. You can search by name, publication title, and keywords.
The forward located at the beginning of the first series includes the following note: ‘As a memorial of the late Rev. Frederick Brown, M.A., F.S.A., of Beckenham, Kent, I have printed from his manuscript collections some abstracts of Wills, &c., relating to Somersetshire families. Permission to print these important genealogical records has been granted by Mr. Frederick Latham Brown to J. J. Howard, Esq., LL.D.’
From these abstracts, you may discover your ancestor’s full name, residence, marital status, relatives’ names, and will date.
Amongst these abstracts can be found that of Sir Ralph Hopton. Hopton was a Member of Parliament for Somerset (1553, 1555) and Heytesbury (1559). From the abstract of his will, we learn that he left instructions for the giving of funds to various family members.
The digital images in this collection are presented in PDF form. Searching through a PDF can be different from searching through other record sets.
The search feature uses direct search: it will only search for the exact words you write in the search field. For example, if you search for John Smith, the results will give you pages with John and Smith.
All search results will bring you to the page on which your search word has been found and not to an individual transcript. You can then read through the page to find your result.
To search for your ancestor by their name, write it as it would appear in the original record; for example, if your relative was known as Will, it is likely that the name used in official documents was William.
If you are unable to find your relative on your first search, you can try different name variations; for example, if your search for William Smith yields zero results, try searching for W Smith.
Page numbers correlate with the individual pages of the images rather than the page numbers printed in the publication. Therefore, page one pertains to the first page of a volume.