Consistory Court of Norwich (NCC) wills

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Many wills for people who lived in Suffolk came under the auspices of the Consistory Court of Norwich. While the wills are held at the Norfolk Record Office, scans of the wills on microfilm are available to view for free at FamilySearch. Administrations are to be found on the last page.

Wills are arranged by register, and each register takes the name of the first person to appear in it. So for instance, the register Woodcocke, covering wills from 1558 to 1559 begins with the will of Elizabeth Woodcocke.

If you look on NRO’s catalogue, you will find the year, and the name of the will register, with the folio number (so for instance, Elizabeth Woodcocke’s will is “NCC will register Woodcocke 1”, and the year is 1558. But the microfilm number on NRO’s catalogue is 57, but the will is on number 67 on FamilySearch. This isn’t a problem where, for instance, all the wills for 1840 are on vol. 225, but it’s more confusing where a year is covered by two or three microfilms. Some microfilms cover several years, eg vol. 42, Attmere, covers twenty years from 1526-46! If you had Attmere 1530 as a reference, there are four different microfilms that you would need to look at, without the index below.

To make it easier, I’ve been looking through the wills and working out which register is on which microfilm on FamilySearch, and you’ll find it below alphabetically by the name of the will register. The wills start in 1370, however, my own research is currently in the 1500s, so that’s the area I’ve started with, but if I get snowed in this winter, maybe there’ll be more!

How to use

The 1532 will of William Bredlaughe of Laxfield, Suffolk, is Alpe 20. Look below and you’ll find the information for Alpe:

Alpe: 1518-1533, vol 39-40, images 385-end

Go FamilySearch’s NCC wills, look down the list for vol 39-40, then click on the icon of the camera. You’ll see the images from the microfilm laid out on the screen. Scroll down and pick an image (if the image starts with 1, then look at the start – if the register’s the second on the microfilm, scroll further down. The covers of the registers have been microfilmed too, so you can spot where they begin and end). In this example, William Bredlaughe’s will is on image 420. Note that the pages do double duty – so Alpe 20 is both on image 420 and 421. This means that two wills can share the same register number if the first will is quite short and the next follows on the other side of the same leaf (this will make more sense when you see it!).

Look in the top right of the right-hand page for the number. You may find yourself in the Palgrave register which is in the same volume – if you get lost, look up the will you’re on on NRO’s catalogue. You might be a few pages away, you might not! The wills are still difficult to navigate (as you may have guessed from what I’ve said) but do give it a go – at least with the index, you’ll know which register to look at..

Will register index 1510-1570, some 1700s & 1800s

Abby: 1748-1750, vol. 167-168, images 1-208
Alblaster: 1520-1524, vol 36, all
Alpe: 1518-1533, vol 39-40, images 385-end
Angell: 1615-16, vol 110-111, images 1-286
Attmere: 1526-1546, vol. 42, all
Beeles: 1554-1556, vol. 60-61, images 356-end
Bircham: 1561-1562, vol. 70, all
Bird: 1761-1764, vol. 173-174, images 593-end
Briggs: 1514-1532, vol. 34-35, images 1-283
Bun: 1567-1570, vol. 75-76, images 1-144
Cage: 1498-1500, vol 22-24, images 232-end
Chamberlain: 1812-1813, vol. 201, images 6-267
Chicoe: 1761-1764, vol. 173-174, images 1-147
Claxton: 1736-1737, vol. 161, images 173-end
Colman: 1559, vol. 68, all
Coppinger: 1510-1514, vol. 29-30, images 334-end
Courant: 1548-1550, vol 56-57, images 179-end
Curtis: 1767-1768, vol 175-6, images 516-end
Deynes: 1535-1547, vol. 53-54, images 1-298
Errington: 1767-1768, vol 175-6, images 1-514
Folklin: 1566-567, vol. 74, all
German: 1535-1547, vol. 53-54, images 299-end
Godsalve: 1531-1542, vol. 41, all
Goldingham: 1560, vol. 69, all
Goodrum: 1812-1813, vol. 201, images 268-end
Groundesburgh: 1522-1526, vol. 1522-1526, 83-end
Gylys: 1516-1520, vol. 32-33, images 1-252
Haywarde: 1514-1532, vol. 34-35, images 285-end
Hendrey: 1748-1750, vol. 167-168, 213-357
Herman: 1522-1526, vol. 37-38, images 1-80
Hustinges: 1556-1557, vol. 62-63, images 428-end
Hyll: 1526-1526, vol. 43-44, images 298-807
Ingold: 1558, vol 65-66, images 1-413
Jagges: 1556-1557, vol. 62-63, images 1-422
Jerves: 1557-1558, vol. 64, all
Johnson: 1510-1514, vol. 29-30, images 1-333
Knightes: 1563-1565, vol. 72-73, images 1-383
Lyncolne: 1552, vol. 58, all
Marten: 1563-1565, vol. 72-73, images 389-end
Mingaye: 1532-1533, vol. 48-49, images 1-326
Palgrave: 1518-1533, vol 39-40, images 1-382
Page: 1736-1737, vol. 161, images 1-171
Platfoote: 1526-1526, vol. 43-44, images 1-295
Ponder: 1567-1570, vol. 75-76, 150-end
Puntyng: 1532-1545, vol. 52, all
Robinson: 1516-1520, vol 32-33, images 253-end
Rogers: 1748-1750, vol. 167-168, 358-497
Roper: 1761-1764, vol. 173-174, images 339-593
Sayer: 1615-16, vol 110-111, images 294-end
Sayve: 1498-1500, vol 22-24, images 1-78
Spurlinge: 1514-1516, vol. 31, all
Stead: 1761-1764, vol. 173-174, images 148-333
Thyrkyll: 1532-1533, vol. 48-49, images 327-544
Veysye: 1558, vol 65-66, images 426-end
Walpoole: 1554-1556, vol. 60-61, images 1-350
Watson: 1782-1783, vol 185, images 1-end
Wellman: 1548-1550, vol 56-57, images 1-178
Whytefoote: 1541-1547, vol 50-51, all
Wight: 1498-1500, vol 22-24, images 83-227
Wilkins: 1553-1554, vol. 59, all
Woodcocke (NCC): 1558-1559, vol. 67, all
Wymer: 1547-1549, vol 55, all

First published: 13th July 2021 by Helen Barrell