2020-07-02 21:07:04 UTC
William's will (dated 22nd Sept 1722 and proved 20th May 1723) includes this legacy:
Item I give and bequeath to the Wife of my Cousin Michael Purefoy the Sume of Forty Shillings.
On the other hand, Dorothy's will (dated 30th May 1723 and proved 30th Aug 1725) says this:
Item I give to my Cousin Purefoy Widow of Mr. Michael Purefoy the Sum of Five Pounds.
I already have some details about the family connections of these people but currently this is far from complete. Nor do I know how they are related to each other. I'm descended from Dorothy's sister, which is why I would like to find out more. Hence my question is this:
Is it correct to assume from the wording that William is a cousin of Michael; and Dorothy a cousin of Michael's wife/widow? Or could a 'cousin' be the spouse of one's cousin, or alternatively the cousin of one's spouse? Any information on the usage of this word in the 18th century would be gratefully received.
Many thanks in advance for any advice that is offered.
(Incidentally, anyone who wants to view these wills in their entirety should be able to download them for free from the UK National Archives website, though only while the lockdown is still ongoing.)