To further assist you in your search for existing wills of past Freer namesakes, this chapter also includes an exclusive index of all the Freers whose wills were proved by the Prerogative Court of Canterbury from l750 to 1800. An index to the wills proved during this time is important because it covers a period before central government indexes for probate began, and the probate records themselves pre-date civil registration and census returns.
The Prerogative Court of Canterbury was the supreme court in the British Isles for the probate of wills, and because of the great prestige of its acts and the greater security of its records it attracted the wills of men of substance (it was of course also a 'local court' for those who held property in more than two di oceses of the Province of Canterbury and thus contains the wills of a great number of residents of the south of England as well). The Bank of England acknowledged no probate other than of this court, and the wills of persons who died overseas were almost invariably proved there. By 1750, the Prerogative Court of Canterbury was proving wills at a rate of about 7,000 a year.
This easy-to-read index is an invaluable tool for finding the estate informalion of the Freers listed herein. You will find the entries are arranged alphabetically by first name. To locate a specific Freer namesake, you must first look up the person's given name. Then you can discover the county where probate was filed, as well as the month and year of probate. To view the wills in their entirety, you can find them on film at the Public Records Olfice on Chancery Lane in London.
To Beginning of FREER Wills
To Alphabetical Index of Names
To FREER Family Research Directory