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2014-2015

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Online British and Irish Probate Indexes

by Nathan W. Murphy, MA, AG®

Try our NEW Expert Links page for England

Find out if your county is online!

Probate records and parish registers are the most valuable genealogical sources in pre-Victorian Great Britain and Ireland. Like parish registers, the creation of probate records fell under the jurisdiction of state churches. In England and Wales, the Church of England held this responsibility until 1858; in Ireland, the Church of Ireland until 1857; and in Scotland, the Presbyterian Church until 1823.

In England and Wales, single villages and towns belonged to multiple probate jurisdictions. Several jurisdictions existed in each county making it necessary to search a variety of probate courts in order to locate wills, inventories, and administrations. Some align with boundaries of dioceses (consistory courts), others with old monasteries (peculiars).

The Family History Library in Salt Lake City provides free-online guides to searching probate records. Click on the nation of interest to learn more: England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. Under the table of contents of each place, click on the section titled “Probate Records” to learn idiosyncrasies between the English, Irish, Scots, and Welsh record-keeping practices.

The following table identifies which probate courts have been indexed and are searchable online. It will be updated as new indexes become available. Click on titles of probate courts for links to web sites. Most of these web sites require subscriptions. Our researchers are experts in finding and reading old wills. If you find an old will that you’d like to obtain, they can help you upon request.

Probate Court Years Coverage (Multi-County)
England
England (Nationwide) Includes Wales
Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills 1384-1858
Wills Proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury 1383-1700
Gaps
Administrations in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury 1396-1660
Gaps
Index to the Act Books of the Archbishops of Canterbury 1663-1859
Bank of England Will Extracts 1717-1845
Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills 1750-1800
Death Duty Index 1796-1891
[Currently in limbo]
Berkshire, England
Wills Proved and Administrations Granted in the Court of the Archdeacon of Berks 1508-1652 Includes Glamorgan, Wales
Cheshire, England
Lancashire & Cheshire Wills 1301-1752 Includes Lancashire
List of the wills, inventories, administration bonds, and testamentary depositions preserved at the diocesan registry, Chester 1487-1620
Consistory Court of Chester 1492-1940
Excellent site!
Cheshire: Stockport – Probate Records 1578-1619
Cheshire: Wills and Inventories 1681-1720; 1741-1820
Cheshire: Supplementary Index to the “Infra” Wills and Administrations 1693
Cheshire: Chester – Calendar of Wills, Diocesan Registry of Chester 1701-1800
Cheshire: Wills and Administrations 1821-1837 Includes Lancashire
Lancashire & Cheshire – Calendar of Parsons Commemorated in Monumental Inscriptions, Abstracts of Wills, and Administrations
Cornwall, England See also Devon
Calendar of Wills, Administrations and Accounts relating to the counties of Cornwall and Devon in the Consistorial Archdiaconal Court of Cornwall 1569-1799 Includes Devon
Devon, England See also Cornwall
Wills and Administrations Proved in the Consistory Court of the Bishop of Exeter 1532-1800 Includes Cornwall, Gloucestershire
Wills and Administrations Proved in the Bishop of Exeter 1559-1799 Includes Cornwall
Dorset, England
Dorset: Wills and Administrations
Wills and Administrations 1312-1799 Includes Somerset
Dorset, Somerset: Wills and Administrations 1313-1799 Includes Somerset
Essex, England
Chelmsford Wills 1400-1720 Includes Hertfordshire
Gloucester, England See also Devon
Wills Proved in the Court of Bishop of Gloucester 1541-1650; 1660-1800
Wills Proved at Gloucester 1541-1858
Bristol Wills 1572-1792
Hampshire, England
Wills Proved at Winchester to 1858
Hertfordshire, England See also Essex
Huntingdonshire, England
Calendars of Huntingdonshire Wills 1479-1652
Kent, England
West Kent Wills <1650
Lancashire, England See also Cheshire
Lancashire Wills proved at Archdeaconry of Richmond (Yorkshire) 1457-1858
Lancashire Wills 1531-1652
Lancashire Probate Index (7 courts) 1541-1858
List of the Wills, Inventories, at the Diocesan Registry, Chester 1621-1700 Includes Cheshire
Chester Wills and Inventories, Court of Probate 1660-1680
Lancashire & Cheshire – Miscellanies and an Index of Infra Wills 1834-1837 Includes Cheshire, Wales
Leicestershire, England
Index to the Wills and Administrations Proved and Granted in the Archdeaconry Court of Leicester and in the Peculiars of St. Margaret, Leicester, and Rotblen and the Rutland Peculiars of Caldecott, Retton and Tirover, and Liddington 1660-1750 Includes Rutland
Lincolnshire, England
Calendar of Lincolnshire Wills 1320-1652
London, England
Inquisitiones Post Mortem for the City of London, Wills and Administrations 1561-1577
Archdeaconry Court of London 1700-1807
Middlesex, England
Archdeaconry Court of Middlesex 1609-1810
Norfolk, England
Wills among the Norwich Enrolled Deeds 1286-1508
Index to Wills, Consistory Court of Norwich 1370-1603; 1751-1818
Northamptonshire, England
All local courts 1469-1857
Includes Rutland
Calendar of Wills 1510-1652 Includes Rutland
Administrations, Archdeaconry of Northampton 1667-1710
Rutland, England See also Leicestershire and Northamptonshire
All local courts 1469-1857
Includes Nhants
Shropshire, England
Lichfield – Wills and Administrations 1516-1652
Shropshire and Montgomeryshire Wills 1858-1940 Includes Montgomeryshire, Wales
Somerset, England See also Dorset
Calendar of Wills and Administrations in the Court of the Archdeaconry of Taunton 1537-1799
Somerset Death Duty Wills 1812-1857
Staffordshire, England
Burslem Stoke on Trent Wills and Administrations 1534-1858
Suffolk, England
Lewkenor Wills
Little Saxham, Some Wills and Inquitions Post Mortem
West Stow Wills
Denham Wills
Rushbrook Wills
Whelnetham Wills 1350-1724
Wills of the Archdeaconry of Sudbury 1439-1461
Ipswich Probate Inventories 1583-1631
Wills of the Archdeaconry of Suffolk 1620-1626
Sudbury Archdeaconry Wills 1630-1638
Suffolk Probate (Testator and Beneficiary Indexes) Probated at Ipswich 1847-1857
Sussex, England
Wills and Administrations preserved in the District Probate Court of Lewes
Calendar of Wills in the Consistory Court of the Bishop of Chichester 1482-1800
Calendar of Wills and Administrations in the Peculiar Court of the Dean of Chichester 1577-1800
Calendar of Administrations in the Consistory Court of the Bishop of Chichester 1555-1800
Wiltshire, England
Wiltshire Wills Project (forthcoming) 1540-1858
Wiltshire Peculiar Courts (19 courts) 1800-1858
Worcestershire, England
Wills and Administrations in the Court of the Bishop of Worcestershire 1451-1652
Yorkshire, England
York Medieval Probate Index 1267-1500
York Peculiars (54 courts) 1383-1883
Ireland
Ireland (Nationwide)
Vicar’s Index to Prerogative Wills 1536-1810
Irish Wills Indexes 1536-1858
Irish Records Extraction Database
Scotland
Scotland (Nationwide)
Scotland: Wills and Testaments 1513-1901
Aberdeenshire, Scotland See also Lanarkshire
Ayrshire, Scotland See also Lanarkshire
Commissariat Record of Glasgow, Register of Testaments 1547-1800 Includes Lanarkshire, Stirling
Banff, Scotland See also Lanarkshire
Clackmannan, Scotland Se+C141e also Lanarkshire
Dumfries-shire, Scotland
Dumfries & Kirkcudbright: The commissariat record of Dumfries, Register of testaments 1624-1800 Includes Kirkcudbright
Edinburgh, Scotland See also Midlothian, West Lothian
Fife, Scotland See also Kincardineshire
Forfar, Scotland See also Kincardineshire
Inverness-shire, Scotland
Commissariot Record of Inverness, Register of Testaments 1630-1800
Kincardineshire, Scotland
Commissariat of St. Andrew’s, Register of Testaments 1549-1800 Includes Fife, Kinross, Perth, Forfar
Commissariat Record of Kirkendbright, Executry Papers 1663-1800 Includes Perth, Forfar
Commissariat Record of Dunkeld, Register of Testaments 1682-1800 Includes Perth, Forfar
Kinross-shire, Scotland See also Kincardineshire
Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland See also Dumfries
Lanarkshire, Scotland See also Ayr
Commissariat Record of Hamilton and Campsie, Register of Testaments 1564-1800 Includes Aberdeenshire, Banff, Ayr, Stirling
Commissariat Record of Lanark, Register of Testaments 1595-1800 Includes Stirling, Clackmannan
Commissariat Record of Stirling 1607-1800 Includes Stirling, Clackmannan
Midlothian, Scotland See also West Lothian
Commissariat of Argyll 1693-1702 Includes Edinburgh
Perth, Scotland See also Kincardineshire
Stirling, Scotland See also Ayr, Lanarkshire
West Lothian, Scotland
Commissariat Record of Edinburgh, Register of Testaments 1514-1600 Includes Midlothian, Edinburgh
Wales
Wales (Nationwide) See also England: Nationwide
Glamorgan, Wales See also Berkshire, England
Montgomeryshire, Wales See also Shropshire, England

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