Who Do You Think You Are? Sir Derek Jacobi – Wills and more | The Nosey Genealogist's: Help Me With My Family Tree
Skip to content

Who Do You Think You Are? Sir Derek Jacobi – Wills and more

by Nick Thorne, The Nosey Genealogist on August 30th, 2015

 

Derek Jacobi from TheGenealogist

I watched the Sir Derek Jacobi episode of Who Do You think You Are? with great interest this week. The television researchers showed us that although the famous actor was born into a South London family of humble stock, he was descended from a Huguenot ancestor of status. Joseph De La Plaigne had been imprisoned in France for his protestant beliefs, before making his escape to England in his sixties.

It gave me great delight to find the TV programme showed Sir Derek a copy of his illustrious forebear’s will, as I too had discovered this very same document when looking around the Prerogative Court of Canterbury wills on TheGenealogist’s website.

The Genealogist - UK census, BMDs and more online

If you want to read more about this and some of Sir Derek’s other ancestors’ last wishes, then there is an article on TheGenealogist’s website that I helped put together.

TheGenealogist Wills of ancestor of Sir Derek Jacobi

Many people from all stations of society, including some whom we would not have expected to have, made wills and so it is certainly worth taking a look to see if your ancestors left one.

Before 1858, England and Wales were divided into two provinces. The largest and most influential was Canterbury, which covered the South of England up to the Midlands and also Wales. The other was York, which covered Durham, Yorkshire, Northumberland, Westmorland, Cumberland, Lancashire, Cheshire, Nottinghamshire, and the Isle of Man. The two provinces of Canterbury and York each had their own Archbishop, and were divided into several dioceses. Each diocese had a minimum of two bishops, and these dioceses were also divided again into archdeaconries.

All wills, up until 12 January 1858, had to be proven in a church court to ensure that the will was legal. Wills were proven in over 250 church courts across the country, and the records of these are now stored mostly in local record offices.

For more on wills there is a module that reveals more about the subject inside the Family History Researcher Academy course on English/Welsh Family History that is available from the link below. The course takes the student from beginning researching their English/Welsh ancestor to deal with many intermediate level lessons such as wills and much more.

Compensated affiliate links used in the post above http://paidforadvertising.co.uk/

—–

Hit a brick wall with your English/Welsh ancestors?

Learn how to discover the many records and resources to help you find your forebears.

Join the Family History Researcher Course online.

Send to Kindle

Have a comment to make?

Loading Facebook Comments ...
One Comment
  1. James Mac permalink

    All wills, up until 12 January 1858, had to be proven in a church court to ensure that the will was legal.

    What, Jews and Quakers too?

    I think that actually they might have made a little more of the connection between the De La Plaignes and the La Bastides. The reference I spotted to Casteljaloux is very suggestive, because the land the La Bastides had there ultimately belonged to the D’Albrets, who were immediately related to king Henry IV. A connection with the D’Albrets would possibly explain how Joseph De La Plaigne got to be the greffier.

    Incidentally Armand de La Bastide’s son spent about 13 years building fortifications in the Channel Islands.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

%d bloggers like this: