Is there anyone that would be able and willing to decipher an old English (1621) Will?

+3 votes
123 views
Hello! I am struggling with my attempt to read a will for Thomas Cooke written back in 1621. With my handy old script alphabet I am still only able to get pieces. I have been at it for hours! I am positive I have found the correct will for my family based on the few names/relationships I was able to pull out, but I am admitting defeat. Lol! I realize that this is a super long document, and I hate to take too much of anyone's time. If the whole document is too much, I would appreciate any help with the parts that involve Thomas Cooke's family. I cannot tell you how grateful I would be! Here is the link to the document: https://photos.app.goo.gl/g1AqJqHNM8e7eA227

Thank you so much!
in Genealogy Help by Sarah Gnewikow G2G1 (1.7k points)
Thomas Cooke the Elder of Pebmarsh, Essex 1622

5 pounds to poor of Pebmarsh parish at discretion of sister who lives there

20 shillings Poor of Alph?sford (Alresford, Alphamstone?) and Lamarsh parishes

long thing about charitable bequests

Thomas Cooke grandchild large bunch of real estate

brothers Lawrence (? smudged) and Robert Cook life pensions of 40 shillings/yr

Thomas Wistones(?) the younger sister's son 5 pounds

bequest to all children of brother John Cooke deceased, sister Wistones(?), sister Samen(?) deceased, brother Lawrence

George Cook grandchild property in Lamarsh

son in law Edmunde Reade debt forgiveness

daughter Elizabeth wife of Edmund Reade 3 score pounds

bequests to daughter Elizabeth and her daughter Margaret now wife of John Lake and to Suzan now wife of Thomas Cooke my son

bequest to grandchild Samuel Reade and rest of daughter's children

bequest to children of son Thomas Cooke

son Thomas Cooke the younger residuary legatee and executor

son in law Edmund Reade to be executor if son refuses

bequest to grandchild Martha Reade now wife of [blank] Epps of London

beq. to Johannes Gillot late servant

beq. to Maryon Edwardes, Clement Channdler, and Elizabeth Hayward

beq. to William Scott, George Smith, and Samuel Medcalf

beq. to Thomas Manning, Thomas French, and Richard Goodwyn

witnessed by George Coo(?), Robert Williams, and Thomas Smith
Thank you so very much!!

2 Answers

+3 votes
Have you had a look at his profile, looks like someone has the will (I'm not sure how much) written out in the bio. I looked at the link you sent, and I thought my handwriting looked like chicken tracks! Sorry, but that is a little too much for me to decipher. Looks like Cooke-182 is probably who you are speaking of?
by Michael Smith G2G6 Mach 4 (40.6k points)
edited by Michael Smith
Thank you! :) I know! So difficult to decipher! I really appreciate it! Thank you for the link to his bio, I had looked but for some reason, nothing had come up for him, so I thought there was none.
You're very welcome, hope it helped a little!
+4 votes

A quick summary as follows:

30 Aug 1621

I Thomas Cooke the elder of Pebmarshe, Essex, Yeoman

To Thomas Cooke my grandchild – my messuage called Goddards

To my brother[s] Lawrence Cook and Robt Cook

To Thomas Wistowe the younger my sisters sonne

The children [not named] of my brother John Cooke deceased my sister Wistowe & Sister Sawen deceased and my brother Lawrence

To George Cook my grandchild

To Edmund Reade my sonne in lawe

My daughter Elizabeth now wife of the said Edmund

To my said daughter Elizabeth and unto Margarett her daughter now wiffe of John Lake and unto Susan now wife of Thomas Cooke my sonne

To Samuell Reade my grandchild  ….. my daughter Reads children [not named] ..to be paid unto them or their father for them

To the children of Thomas Cook my sonne [not named]

Residue to Thomas Cooke the younger my sonne whom I make my sole Executor .. if he refuse then Edmund Reade my sonne in law

To Martha Reade now wiffe of [blank] Epps of London

Proved 26 Nov 1621 .. Thomas Cooke Executor

Postscript - and it turns out there is a Transcript in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register vol 47

https://archive.org/details/newenglandhistorv47p1wate/page/n261

by Steve Hunt G2G6 Mach 1 (16.1k points)
edited by Steve Hunt
Thank you so very much!! For your help in deciphering and for the link to the New England Historical Genealogical Register! I didn't even know that existed! Thank you!

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