Did your ancestors die in Scotland? Explore this index of records from the commissariat courts of Scotland from 1481 to 1807. The index will reveal the date of their last will and testament.
Each record includes a transcript of the original will and testament. The amount of information listed varies, but the records usually include a combination of the following information about your ancestor:
The Scotland, Will and Testament Index 1481-1807 are an index of records from the commissariat courts of Scotland.
When an individual wishes to settle their affairs prior to death, a will is drawn up. The will sets out the instructions for the disposal of their possessions. A testament is the legal document that is drawn up after a person has died. This enables the court to confirm an executor, the executor is then responsible for the winding-up of the deceased’s estate. The testament includes an inventory of the deceased’s property, this can be a brief summary valuation of the goods involved or a list of individual items and their valuations.
The testament testamentar applies when the deceased died testate, leaving a will. The document comprises of four parts:
The introductory clause
An inventory of the deceased's possessions (see below)
The confirmation clause and a copy of the will, stating the wishes of the deceased regarding the disposal of the estate and naming the executor (usually a family member) he or she had chosen to undertake this task. If a copy of the will is not included, reference will be made to its recording elsewhere, probably in the court's Registers of Deeds
The testament dative is drawn up by the court if a person died intestate, without leaving a will, it comprises of the following three parts:
The introductory clause
An in inventory of the deceased’s possessions
The confirmation clause
An additional inventory is a supplement to a testament, this is added later to extend the confirmation of an executor to cover property not originally included.
The confirmation is the document granted to the executor or executors of the deceased person when the court has registered the inventory of the estate or will if one was made. The confirmation signifies that the inventory has been accepted as correct and that the will was valid.
When wills and testaments were recorded in the Commissary, a clerk would copy the documents therefore most wills are not in the handwriting of the deceased. There are certain exceptions to this rule, for example soldiers’ and airmen’s wills, where the deceased’s written will may have been preserved.
Robert Burns was born on the 25 January 1759 in the village of Alloway, near Ayr, he died in Dumfries on the 21 July 1796 at the age of 37.
Robert Burns, also familiarly known as Rabbie Burns is the national poet of Scotland and is celebrated worldwide on the national day name after him on the 25 January each year. On this day, Burns suppers are celebrated with traditional dishes of haggis and whisky with recitals of his best loved work.
Robert Roy MacGregor is better known a Rob Roy, to many he is a Scottish Robin Hood who has been immortalised in written word.
Rob Roy MacGregor was by turn soldier, businessman, cattle-rustler and outlaw. Born in February 1671 at Glengyle at the head of Loch Katrine in the Trossachs. He was the third son of clan chief Donald Glas MacGregor of Glengyle. Rob Roy used his mother’s name of Campbell as the the MacGregor name had been proscribed since 1603.
Rob Roy MacGregor died on 28 December 1734 in Balquhidder Glen and was buried in Balquhidder Kirkyard. The original grave markers of Rob Roy, his wife and two of his four sons has been embellished by a later rail which carries a plaque incorrectly aging Rob Roy as 70 when he died (he was 63), and by gravestone erected in 1981 proclaiming "MacGregor Despite Them".
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